Cardio Exercises for Great Shoulders

Woman Lifting Weights on the Beach
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If you want to get great shoulders, you'll need good genes, a healthy body fat, and exercises that help you build lean, strong shoulder muscles. Shoulder exercises like overhead presses and lateral raises are great, but there are cardio activities that will also help work and shape your shoulders.

Best Activities for Your Upper Body

Most cardio activities focus on the lower body while neglecting those important upper body muscles. Getting your arms involved will not only help build muscular endurance, it will also help burn more calories to help you slim down.

  • Boxing/Kickboxing
  • Hitting big heavy bags can help build a strong upper body. Find clubs in your area where you can learn to box or try videos you can do at home. Kickboxing is an option as well. Adding light weighted gloves can help build endurance in your upper body and burn tons of calories.
  • Swimming
  • In swimming, the upper body is primarily responsible for propelling you through the water. Add a flotation device to keep your lower body stationary, and you've got a powerful arm workout.
  • Upper Body Ergometer You may have seen this machine in your gym and wondered what the heck it does. An Upper Body Ergometer gives you a cardio workout using only your upper body. A great addition to a workout or for someone with a lower-body injury.
  • Trekking Poles
  • Walking and trekking poles are great for burning extra calories, taking the strain off your ankles and knees and, of course, giving your upper body a great workout. Use them while walking, hiking, trekking, and climbing.
  • Medicine Ball Training
  • Medicine balls may remind you of P.E. trauma back in junior high, but they've made a comeback. Incorporate medicine ball training into your workout and burn more calories while working your upper body.
  • Yoga
  • Yoga poses build endurance and strength in your upper body. The bonus is that you build strength everywhere else as well while working on important things like balance, stability, and flexibility.
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