The Taming of the Shoulder

Ladies, when we wed, it’s likely our shoulders will be on show…

So, what to do to create great shoulders? Watching the Olympics recently I have been admiring many examples of fabulous shoulders. It’s that little line thing that makes shoulders look like epaulettes which I aspire to. (The wee links here are all to pics of splendid shoulders, go look as it’s so worth it – one, two and three.)

Encouragingly, shoulders are a cinch to sculpt (unlike bloomin’ stomachs) and I’ve been surfing to find out the best shoulder workouts based on what I think works. I can’t pretend expertise in the exercise arena, but I’ve been working out since I was a teenager (sadly that’s more than a few years away now) and I read extensively about exercise and fitness.

Old school press ups – yup, they so do work. And you can find out how to do it properly on this site. Adding in lateral raises with light-ish dumbbells is also good and the fab ex Navy Seal Stew Smith has plenty of adviceon his website. If you work out on a Power Plate, using the hideously difficult cables also moulds the shoulder.

There’s a great saying though, that you can’t out-train a bad diet. (Sadly). So, sensible, healthy eating which strips back the body fat so your muscles can happily shine through is a very important part of the whole equation.

Happy shoulder shaping!

Can the Olympics Motivate You?

If you hadn’t already noticed, the London Olympic Games begins tomorrow…

Really, my interest in sport tallies with my interest in economic theory – zilch. (Except gymnastics perhaps, for the sheer wonder of what some people can do with their bodies.) I did, however, read today that the resting heart rate of athletes is usually below 60 beats per minute. Is this something, I wondered, the ordinary bod can achieve?

And where, pray tell, does this fit into a wedding blog? Bear with me on this one as it’s kind of tenuous… I’m tying the Olympics theme into my blog with a vaguely sporty goal. Could I possibly reduce my resting heart rate to under 60, say in time for my wedding next May?

You could describe this as an inner double bluff. I’m telling myself that achieving such a target will make me fit & healthy and that I’ll have the stamina to cope with the inevitably busy week that will be part of getting married. What my real motivation is – surely all the work needed to achieve a resting heart beat rate of such slowness is going to require lots of cardio (weight loss!) and sweating (great skin!).

A not entirely anatomically correct pic of a heart

And there we have it. Bride wants to be slimmer and look good for wedding shocker! Watch this space – the journey to the 60 beats per minute heart rate could prove interesting. And you can find out more about the best exercises for stamina and sweating here while The Great Fitness Experiment blog is great for reading about new fitness ideas as tried and tested out by an ordinary person.