Build Strong Shoulders on a Floor Cushion


You don’t need anyone to tell you. You already know that you ought to be exercising everyday. You probably already know that resistance training, also known as weight lifting, is an important part of a well rounded exercise program. If not, there are plenty of great resources online that you can check out, like Strong Lifts and nSuns. We're going to skip all of that and get straight to why you might opt to do seated exercises on a floor cushion, and then share a solid shoulder routine that can be done while seated on a cushion.

Why seated exercises?

There are three main reasons to do seated exercises.

  1. Low impact
  2. Practice a movement
  3. Isolate muscle groups

Seated exercises are lower impact, meaning they are lighter on your body and less prone to cause injury. If you are currently injured or have a lack of mobility in your neck, back, hips, or knees, then consider adapting your exercise routines to be seated. This can allow you to work through an injury safely or bounce back from an injury faster.

When starting a new exercise, it’s important to perfect your form before moving to heavier weights.. In some cases, it’s possible to practice a movement from a seated position. This reduces the number of moving parts, making the exercise simpler to perform and refine. You can better focus on the part of the movement that’s new or challenging. For example, many people learn the correct shoulder press movement in a seated position before moving to the standing military press and adding weight.

If you perform an exercise in a standing position it’s easy to help the movement out with your leg muscles without even realizing it. Leg muscles are big and strong, and can compensate to allow you to "cheat" a movement. Standing military press is again a great example of this.You will often see people dipping and pushing with their legs to get heavier weight overhead. Doing seated exercises eliminates the ability to compensate with your legs and forces the target muscle groups to do all the lifting. In addition, because you don't have your large leg muscles to stabilize you, your core is responsible for the majority of stabilization and is isolated by most seated exercises.

Below is a great resistance shoulder workout that you can do from the comfort of a floor cushion. 

We sell cushions that are sturdy and washable, allowing you to dig deep and get your sweat on. Shop our Intentful cushion to learn more.

Shoulder press

  1. Hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand at ear height, palms facing outward.
  2. Keep your core and shoulders engaged, tuck your chin, and press the weights upward to lock out
  3. Finish the press with a full extension of the arms above your head. The weights may gently touch at the top of the press. Ensure you don't overextend your shoulders.
  4. Lower the weights back to ear height. 

Initial and final Shoulder Press positions.

Triceps extension

  1. Take a single dumbbell and 'cup' the end of it (palms up) or hold your kettlebell by the sides of the handle. Raise the weight up and over your head, hanging it behind you.
  2. Start by extending your arms fully, raising the weight up over your head. Slowly lower the weight back to the same position behind your head. Keep your head still, core engaged, and shoulders relaxed.
  3. Once your elbows make a 90 degree angle with the weight behind your head extend your arms again, returning the weight to the position above your head.

Starting and finishing positions of the Triceps Extension 

Arnold press

  1. Start with a dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand in front of you at roughly chin height with your palms facing toward you.
  2. Turn your palms outward as you lift the weights to roughly ear height.
  3. Finish the press with a full extension of the arms above your head. The weights may gently touch at the top of the press. Ensure you don't overextend your shoulders.
  4. Slowly return the weights to the starting position, ensuring you take the opposite path while descending.

Arnold Press initial and final positions. 

Lateral raise

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand hanging at hip height at your side, with your palms facing one another.
  2. Slowly raise both arms upward at your sides until your elbow is just below shoulder level.
  3. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Lateral raise start and end positions. 

Front raise

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand hanging at hip height in front of your body, with your palms facing your body.
  2. Slowly raise both arms upward in front of you until your elbow is just below shoulder level.
  3. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Front Raise beginning and ending positions. 

Depending on your fitness goals you may vary the number of sets and reps you choose to do. However, a good place to start is by doing each of these exercises in 4 sets of 12 repetitions. Find a working weight where you feel like you're doing about 80% of your maximum effort with these sets and reps.

Whether you’re interested in seated exercises because they are low impact, you’re trying to practice a movement, or you’re hoping to isolate a specific muscle group you can use a floor cushion as a comfortable and supportive base, anywhere you’ve got weights.


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