Did you know that you can beautify your bustline, slenderize your waist, slim your hips, highlight the lines of your neck and back—and improve your posture by strengthening, shaping and toning your shoulders? It’s true. So, if you are willing to devote some time to a shoulder shape-up plan, a more attractive figure can be yours.
To understand how seductive shoulders flatter your figure, stand naked in front of a full-length mirror and examine your physique. As your eyes glide over your body, focus on the dramatic interplay of your contours and how they determine your body’s symmetry. Pay particular attention to the impact your shoulders have on your proportions. Now picture yourself in a strapless dress. Notice how your shoulders are the first part of your body to capture your attention.
Shapely shoulders can enhance the appearance of your bustline. The female breasts consist mainly of glandular tissue – no muscle – so you can’t augment your breasts with exercise. But, if you strengthen and tone the supporting muscles located beneath your breasts (pectorals), you can create an uplifted and exquisitely contoured chest. That’s because your frontal deltoids form a continuous line with your pectorals, and I have found this to be one of the best-kept figure-flattering secrets out there.
The desire for a small waist has existed since the invention of the corset, and you can minimize your waistline by strengthening and shaping your shoulders. Shoulder exercises can help to balance your proportions, and toned shoulders help your body to develop more of a “V” shape. Statuesque shoulders can create the impression of a more slender waist.
Women frequently complain about being ‘pear shaped,’ so if you fit into this category, you can balance your figure with strength-training exercises for your shoulders. When the outer lines of your shoulders are fuller and well-defined, your hips take on a narrower appearance. A flowing line exists between the muscles of your neck and the muscles connecting the upper vertebral column as well as your back muscles. Your shoulder muscles (deltoids) serve as a focal point along this line, so shapely shoulders harmoniously blend the muscular contours of your neck and upper back with those of your middle and lower back. This is likely the explanation for the popularity of the “big shoulder pads” fashion trend of the 1980s.
During the 1980s more than 250 million viewers tuned into a nighttime soap called ‘Dynasty’; and many did so to see the eye-catching fashion designs, which included dresses and suits with enormous shoulder pads. The trend caught on because women discovered that over-emphasized shoulders improved the appearance of their waistline and hips. So, shoulder pads became an accessory. Fashion designers know the importance of shoulders when it comes to accentuating the female form. And although ‘football pad shoulders’ are no longer in vogue (at least for the time being), the appearance of the shoulders is considered a fashion focus. Developing sexy shoulders will compliment your bikini body and keep you red-carpet ready.
Perfect posture and well-toned shoulder muscles go hand in hand. If your shoulder muscles are weak and inflexible, you stand a good chance of developing a ‘round-shouldered’ appearance, which is sometimes accompanied by a sunken chest and protruding shoulder blades. This can take away from your appearance and affect the way you look in clothing. But, strengthening the muscles in the region surrounding your shoulder blades (teres major, infraspinatus, levator scapulae and rhomboideus) will help. These muscles indirectly affect the pectorals by acting as an opposing muscle group. So, strengthening these muscles can help to uplift your pectorals, which gives your body some very nice looking upper-body contours. It’s all good!
Stop and think about it … shoulders are sexy. A strap falling loosely on the shoulders is extraordinarily sensuous; and strapless dresses and/or tops that feature one bare shoulder are absolutely heavenly. So, when you put your shoulders into focus, don’t forget to pamper your skin. (For healthy skin tips, see Bikini Body Fitness “Healthy Soft Skin”.)
I have had great results with simple shoulder exercises. I’ve discovered that it isn’t necessary to make things complicated. So, I encourage you to keep your shoulders strong and toned with shoulder exercises. As with any exercise routine, be sure to have your doctor’s approval—and never push yourself to the point of pain. Keep your movements smooth and controlled, and remember to breathe. Another important tip—especially for shoulder exercises—is to keep your jaw relaxed. This keeps the tension and strain out of your neck. (I will keep reminding you about this because it is important.)
I do not believe it is necessary to use heavy weights or overtraining to achieve good results. If you learn how to use the art of focus and concentration along with breathing and visualization, you can take your results to new heights. In bodybuilding it’s called: adding intensity to your workouts. The idea is to avoid distractions and stay focused directly on the muscles you are working. It’s an effective method.
A good workout for developing nicely shaped shoulders is Yoga. One of my favorite Yoga postures is Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana). This exercise is probably the most widely-known Yoga pose. It is considered by Yoga experts to be a rejuvenating stretch, and I have found it to be a good overall exercise for improving strength and flexibility in many areas, including the shoulders. I am an avid Yoga fan for improved health and wellness. It does wonderful things for your body when performed properly. So, if you haven’t tried Yoga yet, I suggest giving it a try. Be sure to find a qualified Yoga teacher, and bear in mind there are many forms of Yoga, so you’ll want to find the style that’s right for you.