Tutorial: Shoulder Defining Raises with Tubing

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The Shoulder Defining Raises with Tubing is a quick fix when you want your “caps to pop”.  It is a perfect exercise right before wearing something strapless, to define the lovely lines in your shoulders.

We are focusing on repetition and form as usual with this exercise. This is about cosmetics, not size. I am looking for high reps; the more, the merrier, all while keeping good form. Adjust your weight accordingly so that you can reach this goal. If you want added resistance, you can either use a heavier band, or you can stand on the tubing with both feet. To further increase the weight, lift your feet and step further out sideways on the tubing. To decrease the weight, use a lighter tubing. If you do not have a lighter tubing, you can do one arm at a time while standing on the tubing with both feet and the handle on the opposite ended anchored in a Fitstrap or on a piece of furniture, even though you are still standing on the tubing. Small increments will always serve you better.

Do 20-30 repetitions; every time you cross your pelvis is one repetition.


You have many options here. You can go with either Stroops or exercise tubing... even Thera-Bands.  Make sure to find the center point of the tubing or equipment of choice and step onto it with the arch of your shoe on your front foot.  Have the tubing rest inside the arch of your foot, so that both the ball and heel of your foot will secure the tubing from slipping from underneath you. It is best to wear sneakers, as the tubing may hurt your feet.

Even though I will be referring to tubing throughout this tutorial, remember that you can always use what you have.


Proper Technique, Posture and Tips

  • Hold the tubing, with your palms facing your pelvis, fingers wrapped around the handles.
  • Step onto the center of the tubing on the arch of your front foot as described above and with soft knees.
  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together slightly at the very bottom of the blades, towards the spine. Keep your abs in and lift your upper sternum slightly.
  • Drop and relax your shoulders and upper traps throughout the exercise, right before each repetition. Keep a long, relaxed line from the tip of your earlobe to the tip of your shoulder, with a long neck throughout.
  • Leading with your hands, scoop your arms down and then upward towards the sides of the room, slightly in front of you. Make sure your hands never rise higher than your shoulders.
  • Lower your arms back down in front of your pelvis, then raise them up in front of you, not raising them higher than your shoulders. Keep your arms straight and your elbows soft.
  • Lower your arms back down to your pelvis again; this is two repetitions.
  • When you come to the last repetition, hold the position, lift your arms slowly over your head while maintaining relaxed shoulders and neck, and slowly lower your arms all the way back down again.


Top: Nordstrom Rack, Black
Pants: Lululemon Wunder Under Crop Reversible, Black/Navy
Shoes: Capezio Women's DS11 Fierce Dance Sneaker, Black

Stay tuned for future exercises from The Little Black Dress Workout!

Send me pictures of you in your Little Black Dress and tell me about your successes in the comments below!