Shouldering Responsibility

More important than how your upper body looks in a tight T-shirt or a tank top, a strong and stable shoulder area is the key to optimal sports performance. Consider how involved your deltoid muscles are when swing- ing a baseball bat or tennis racquet, slicing water in an overhead swim stroke, or even dancing the tango — after all the dough you spent on dancing lessons, too.

Perform three sets of 10 repetitions of this shoulder stabilizer:
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and grasp light weights (10 pounds max) in each hand.

2. Slowly, lift slightly bent arms out to your sides (knuckles down), so they’re parallel to the floor in a lateral raise. Hold for two seconds with weights at chest level.

3. Slowly, move the weights to the front of your body until they touch in front of your chest. Hold for two seconds, then retrace the steps back out to your sides, down, and repeat.