workout gifs

How to Tone Your Shoulders

When I asked Jackie Dragone, director of FLEX Barre at FLEX Studios, for a workout to reduce armpit fat, she flinched. “Can we not call it that? It doesn’t really exist!” she exclaimed. She held out her arm and demonstrated that what most people colloquially refer to as armpit “fat,” is in fact, a combination of skin and sideboob. Instead of focusing on this “problem area” that isn’t really a problem, Dragone suggested this next series of GIF moves for toning your shoulders and arms, which, yes, will also reduce the appearance of so-called armpit “fat.” Do ten to 12 reps of each move for two rounds. 

Move 1: This upper-body crisscross is an all-over workout. Begin in a plank position and cross your hands, ending in a push-up. Repeat the move by crisscrossing back, ending with another push-up.

Move 2: Crisscross by lying on your side with your shoulders and hips stacked. Keep your left hand on the floor with your fingers facing toward your head and your right arm wrapped around the front of your waist. Press into your left hand as you straighten your left elbow and lift your upper body off the floor. This move looks incredibly awkward, but embrace it: It targets your chest and triceps.

Move 3: You will need a set of light dumbbells for this over-under move. Squat with your toes pointed out in a plié position slightly wider than hip width. With your shoulder directly above your hip and keeping one arm stable, move the other arm over and under. Switch arms and repeat.

Move 4: For the chest-expansion move, the idea is to think about your shoulder blades touching. Step forward onto a resistance band so that the ends remain even. Sit with your hips back and hinge into a small squat. Extend your arms long by your sides and press them behind your hips, being careful not to bend the elbows. You should feel the front of your chest expand as you squeeze your shoulder blades together.

How to Tone Your Shoulders