Sculpted Shoulder & Back Workout

As women, so many of us get afraid of looking "too bulky" so we shy away from upper body workouts. But truthfully, bulking up to the point where you look big is REALLY HARD to do. You will not accidentally wake up with giant biceps and a shredded back. Sculpted shoulders are sexy, and having a toned, sculpted back looks amazing in tanks and swim suits. Being that it's winter, now is a great time to start putting in work for the upcoming summer months. 


1. Head to the gym with a plan. Know which workouts you are going to do and how to perform them properly ahead of time. This will help eliminate down time and get you in-and-out the door faster.

2. Don't assume you need to come up with all of your own workouts each week. I follow a wide variety of fitness fanatics on Instagram and "borrow" ideas from them to incorporate into my workouts to keep things fun.

3. No need to get overly fancy with your workouts. The movements do not have to be complicated. You will see people (especially on social media) doing all sorts of... errr... interesting movements. Get back to the basics. Tried and true movements give great results without all the fuss.  

This workout incorporates some of my favorite moves and is brought to you by fitness expert Heidi Powell (@realheidipowell). The thing I love most about this workout is that it is excellent for beginners and for those who are somewhat uncomfortable moving around the gym. The entire workout can be done on the cable machine! *Rest 45-60 seconds between each set. 

1. Cable Lat Pulldown - 5 sets of 15 (Do not round your back; sit up straight. Imagine you are trying to pinch your shoulder blades together as you pull down).

2. Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown -5 sets of 15 (If the rope isn't available, you can use the short straight bar instead). Extend your arms all the way using full range of motion. Keep movements slow and deliberate. 

3. Cable High Row - 4 sets of 15 (Focus on full extension)

4. Single-Arm Pulldown - Each side 3 sets of 12. If there is no bench available to sit down on, swing the cable arm up to a high notch and do pulldowns like this instead.

5. Cable Upright Row - 4 sets of 15. Standing on a bench gives you wider range of motion, but is not required. 

6. Cable Overhead Press - 8 sets of 10. These can be done on your knees or standing (with a slight forward lean). 

For those of you that are scared of the gym because you don't have a clue WHAT to do or WHERE to go when you get there...this one is for YOU!! Get your gym bag, your tunes, and your low-pulled hat, and go cozy up to the cable machine in the back corner. Today's workout is what I call the Cable Crusher...a major Back and Shoulder Shredder.🔥🔥🔥 Try not to be distracted by Chris' heavy breathing in the first part 😂 (thanks to heavy squats), and go sculpt a sexy set of shoulders and back! Oh, and sign up for our Dietbet starting January 2, and we'll help you shed the holiday weight too.😉 Link in bio or #NewYearNewYOU 🔹45-60 seconds rest between sets 🔸Cable Lat Pulldown - 5 sets of 15 (extend all the way at the top, and pull through your back) 🔸 Straight-Arm Lat Pulldown - 5 sets of 15 (again FULL range of motion, squeeze at the bottom) 🔸 Cable High Row - 4 sets of 15 (focus on full extension AND pulling from lats, rear delts, rhomboids...NOT traps) 🔸 Single-Arm Pulldown - 3 sets of 12 each side (keep inward hammer grip, focus on pulling from mid back) 🔸 Cable Upright Row - 4 sets of 15 (keep shoulders depressed and elbows high. Don't need to stand on a bench - I needed more range on my cable) 🔸Cable Overhead Press - 8 (yes EIGHT) sets of 10 (these will burn and shred!!! Especially at the end of your workout. Bear through'll be worth it!)

A video posted by Heidi Powell (@realheidipowell) on

If the cable machine isn't your thing, or you don't have access to one, grab a set of dumbbells and try this instead (brought to you by @sarah_bowmar).

Front raise, lateral raise, front raise to the top, shoulder bomb - 3 sets of 5 reps.  If you're thinking this sounds easy, think again. 

And a simple, but effective shoulder exercise is the overhead shoulder press. I incorporate this in most every one of my shoulder workouts. Use dumbbells, do it as a drop set, or try this method from @paigehathaway


Cheers to starting the New Year off right!