Sculpted Summer Shoulders The Smart Way

Sun’s Out – Guns Out!  

Every spring, as blossoms pop out on trees, temps rise, and spring apparel appears in stores, that little voice in the back of the mind says “Let’s get the arms ready for tank top season!”  What can I do to make my shoulders and arms look good for summer?  Deltoids, biceps, triceps.  HOLD IT, SISTER. 


If you were to ask me, “Carina, what can I do to get my arms looking great this summer?”  I’d answer with a question: “Friend, what do you want to DO this summer?”  Hike, kayak, swim, work, throw, climb, run?  All of that and more?   OK, let’s get your arms ready for THAT. 

Shoulder Science

Because here’s the deal.  If you were to do tons of exercises to make those big pretty muscles bigger and prettier, you may run into a problem. Exercises designed to target the prime movers (deltoid, biceps, triceps) typically require big movement of the arm and shoulder and therefore require excellent scapular stability.  WHAAA?!?!  The scapula (shoulder blade) is the anchor point for the arm. If the arm and shoulder are going to work well the scapula has to be stable. That means the 30 or so muscles that attach to it need to work well together. Without this, you’re building a house without a foundation. The house may crumble. That means your plans for swimming, kayaking, climbing… Maybe affected. Good thing your arms would look good!  But we can’t have your adventures limited. 

But can we have both?!  You betcha.  Let’s be smart.  Ready?  Here we go.

Train Smart, Play Hard.

The other piece that goes into this puzzle is thoracic mobility (the ability to lengthen and rotate your upper back). Our posture typically limits our opportunities to lengthen and rotate through this part of the spine, as we are often rounded as we drive, bike, type… In training we must include something to reverse this posture prior to attempting big movements with the shoulder.  

3 Elements for Healthy Strong Summer Shoulders are:

1) Thoracic mobility

2) Scapular stability

3) Shoulder and arm strength

1) Thoracic Mobility

  • Standing full body turns, side bends, and toe touch to back bend – these can be done as warm up for your workout or as a posture break during work or road trip!
  • Foam Rolling – open the chest and let gravity help lengthen out the upper back and chest.
  • Upward Facing Dog, Cobra – excellent heart openers and spine lengtheners.  Get the shoulders loose too by alternating these with Child’s Pose.
  • All Fours Twists: Blending mobility work for the back, chest, shoulders with a little stability work too!  I love a good efficient exercise!

2) Scapular Stability

  • Wall Presses – can also be done lying flat on your back!  Lying is best to start with, then progress to standing where you’ve got to hold up your coconut! (Don’t get distracted thinking about that post workout coconut water! Stay with me!)  Activate scapular team by pressing back into the wall/floor, keep the tension out of the neck (be a bobble-head for a second to make sure your big neck muscles aren’t trying to help).
  • Tubing T’s and Diagonals – also standing or on your back!  Attach the band out on front of you, or use shorten it and hold it in both hands.  Focus is moving the shoulder blades first, then the arms.
  • Scap Pulls -like you’re going to do a pull up, but don’t move the arms.  Hang and your head toward the bar solely with the action of the shoulder blades.  This happens to be the key link in progression of pull up training anyway. (scap pulls shown about half way through this video)
  • Scap Presses – From Down Dog and Push Up Positions – again, just move the shoulder blades and let your brain get used to that control, stability.  Coaches say shoulder blades down and back all the time, let’s practice how to actually do that!  From down dog, press the head away from the floor and slowly release, with no movement of the shoulder or elbow joints.  From the top of a push up, lower the chest toward the floor and then press it away, doming the upper back, again, without moving the elbows. 

3) Shoulder Strength:

  • Rotator Cuff – famous for causing problems, these guys are the deep stabilizers of the shoulder, and are key for anything we do overhead.
  • Delts!  Guess what, you already got them when you did your scapular stability stuff.  You could add in some lateral raises (once you’ve nailed the scapular stability part), just keep the weight light and arms straight.  Yes, there are those who do bent arm deltoid flies… But this version puts the shoulder in a position likely to cause pinching of various tissues.  There’s a better way. Straight arm lateral raises, thumbs up, light weight. The weight doesn’t need to be heavy because the lever arm is so long.  
  • Bi’s and Tri’s: tubing works great here, from a standing position for bicep curls and overhead tricep press.  Additional work for the back of the shoulder (lats, triceps) can be on your back with some added benefits included at no extra charge.  Lying on your back with your back flat (not arching) and moving weight with either straight or bent arms gets the backs of shoulders and abs too!  
  • Body weight: push ups and pull ups and all your favorite variations thereof – as long as you’ve got #1 and #2 nailed!  These are fabulous because they include so much!  You’re busy, you might as well get a lot done in one exercise. 

If you approach training in general like this, with considerations of the elements that can get you to your goal (whether it be photogenic deltoids or a long kayak trip) you’re more likely to have success both in training and playing.  Train smart, play hard. 

Check it out @kaiamoves and on the Kaia Moves YouTube Channel.

Move well.  Be well.

~ Coach Carina

7 Day Reset

We’ve incorporated inspiration and motivation to help you rock all 7 days. In the next 7 days you will make shifts in your mind and body that will boost your metabolism, improve sleep and increase energy.


This is a self paced reset, so you can start when you are ready but we recommend to continue with the reset each day once you begin to see the maximum results.

All it takes is 7 DAYS. What are you waiting for?

Kaia Tri is a ten-week triathlon training program with workouts three times a week, which is an optional extra during our spring and summer CORE sessions. We swim, bike, and run, with some cross-training classes too. By being able to set a personal pace, our triathlon training program is suited to beginners tackling their first race and intermediate athletes looking to improve their finish time.

Our mock triathlons run several times to familiarize women with the course route. We finish the season with a Triathlon Training Camp which includes paddle boarding and power workouts. The next day is our exhilarating and fun Triathlon race day for all Kaia Tri women to enjoy working out in a beautiful location. Friends are welcome too!


Kaia Sandbag combines traditional fitness with unconventional training methods. With sandbags, the weight shifts and moves in an unpredictable fashion. This piece of equipment is integrated into our conditioning & strength building workouts to simultaneously develop strength, power, endurance, mobility, and balance – with an additional emphasis on developing overall core strength and stability.

New to sandbag training? No problem! Beginners are always welcome.


TRX® Suspension Training® body-weight exercise simultaneously develops strength, power, endurance, mobility, durability, balance, flexibility, and core stability. Whether you’re younger or older, out of shape or a pro athlete, injured or at the top of your game, TRX Suspension Training meets you where you are and takes you where you want to go. TRX Suspension Training leverages gravity and the user’s body weight to enable hundreds of exercises that can be instantly scaled for any user to reach any fitness or training goal. The easily-scalable nature of TRX Suspension Training makes it a practical solution wherever you are on the fitness continuum.

Need a little extra boost to keep your body guessing? Our TRX/Cardio class is an excellent complement to any Kaia FIT session. TRX workouts, which can be used by anyone at any level, builds true functional strength and improves flexibility, balance and core stability all at once. Mixed with cardio, the classes give every member the perfect balance of challenge and success.

*TRX classes not available in all areas. Please contact us your local studio.


Our trademark Kaia Cross-Training™ classes are a unique mix of cardio, functional movement, and both weighted and non-weighted exercises.

Cross-Training benefits:

Each day brings a new workout. We have an elite group of advanced coaches who infuse each workout with their own flair and focus, meaning you’re never going to repeat a workout, avoid burn-out, and fitness plateaus.

Keeping the body guessing is key to sculpting lean muscle mass. We also have a 3-part modification foundation: Balance (non-impact); Strength (mid-impact) and Kaia (high impact). Each exercise has its own progression so that everyone can feel successful.

As a part of our program, we also offer nutritional guidance to help you make healthy food choices and keep your fitness on track.

What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Our barre-based class is a unique combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates and Kaia. Using the barre as a prop to balance, you’ll complete a series of isometric holds combined with high reps of small range movements to elongate and tone your major muscle groups.

In addition to the barre, classes incorporate pilates balls, yoga blocks, and/or resistance bands for increased endurance, challenge and focus. Following each set of holds, you’ll rest and recovery with a short series of stretches and poses to increase flexibility prior to advancing.
Kaia Barre is a low-impact class that perfectly complements our program offerings. Meet us at the barre and try your first class for free!

Participating locations may vary. See the schedule page for more details.


Our dance fitness class is rooted in traditional dance. We use those foundational moves and offer a class that is easy enough for beginners yet challenging enough for the more seasoned dancer. The simplicity of the routines allows you to keep moving with ease. Although this is a workout, it feels more like a dance party with your girlfriends.


Improve your speed, skill, endurance, stamina, and strength with our Kaia running program. The program works on developing running skills that can increase speed, endurance, and overall fitness. The program is designed for you to run at your pace and and help you see improvements every step of the way.

The Kaia training is a simple, progressive program designed for women of all ages and all fitness levels. Whether you are a walker, jogger, or runner, you will be able to join this program and move at your own pace. Research has shown that even 20 to 30 minutes of running (two to three times per week) is enough to help you lose or maintain weight and improve many other important health markers, i.e. your cholesterol, blood pressure and insulin response.

Don’t be intimidated by the Kaia Run program name, each class will have walkers, joggers and runners. Keep in mind that the first mile is the hardest mile you will ever run. Once you get off the starting block, things only get easier. All you have to do is be patient and disciplined in your training, and that is where Kaia


Kaia Yoga combines mind and body with a power yoga and core-strengthening weekly workout with Pilates-style techniques. We focus on balance, strength, and cardiovascular fitness through stretching, strength training and dynamic movement to improve overall fitness levels.

By creating long, lean muscles, Yoga promotes improved coordination, greater flexibility and a fuller range of motion, with a strong body that’s less prone to injury. Yoga keeps the mind centered and reduces stress through positive thoughts and a sense of mindfulness, which also inspires mental strength and confidence.

Yin Yoga, or restorative yoga, is a quiet contemplative practice. It targets the deepest tissues of the body, our connective tissues – ligaments, joints, bones, and the deep fascia networks of the body. Poses are held for 1 minute or more and transitions between poses are gentle and slow. This class is an excellent compliment to our other classes, provides dedicated stretching, and is known to reduce stress and anxiety.


Our BRIK Bootcamp sessions are offered three times a year and are designed to help you reach your health and fitness potential, and you’re welcome to start anytime!

Our BRIK Bootcamps are six weeks long and feature classes daily.* This programming fits in seamlessly with our regularly scheduled classes, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Register for BRIK Bootcamp HERE (included for Platinum & Gold Memberships)
  2. Book your classes through our branded app and Show Up
  3. Let our expert coaches do the rest!

These sessions offer great results in weight and body fat loss and an increase in strength and cardiovascular endurance. Our nutritional support will boost energy, help you de-bloat, increase sleep quality, and enhance your overall glow.

BRIK Bootcamp includes:

In between BRIK Bootcamp, we offer a variety of classes to meet you at your level! We also have nutrition and fitness challenges, in addition to fun opportunities to spice up your routine. What are you waiting for? Join us today!


Cardio based, calorie torching workout with certified spin instructors. It’s a party on a bike!

Try a Week Free