Frank Mikulka's

Weekly Fitness Tip

April 25, 2004

I am 5’9” which to me is tall for a woman and I’m rather lean. I was told to bring up my upper body, especially my shoulders. What can I do to make this happen? (Sheila, Valley Stream)

Yes, you are tall and lean and that could give you a straight appearance. So, you want to add some shape from top to bottom. Strength training is the prescription. Total body training should be done, but let’s address the shoulders.

Here are the best exercises for width and depth:

  • Dumbbell shoulder press.
  • Barbell military press - Best exercises for shape.
  • Side, front and rear lateral raises.

All presses are pressed overhead, slowly and controlled. Keep elbows under your weights, knees slightly bent, so as not to stress the lower back. Hold abdominals in and exhale on the way up. (8-12 reps) Front, side, or rear raises are done with a controlled movement, exhaling on the up phase (12-15 reps).

This should get the job done. However, remember to do the total body for balanced composition.

Listen to Frank Mikulka’s Weekly Fitness Tips every week on Debbie Mandel’s Turn On Your Inner Light Show every Sunday morning from 7:30 to 8:00 AM on WHLI 1100 AM. Also available on