The shoulder is a dynamic joint which has an incredible range of motion and gives you the dynamic power to perform various activities like throws, punches, pushes and more. But do you want just the mass minus the strength? Not really! To attain strong and healthy shoulders, you will need a variety of exercises which will not only give your shoulders definition,they’ll give you just plain strong and healthy shoulders.
Nothing looks better on a body than sculpted and strong shoulders, so you need to include exercises which will develop your shoulders, read mass, and not ignore the smaller muscles that are good for stabilizing your shoulders and preventing injury.
The picture of great shoulders is the “v taper.” Broad sinewy shoulders meeting a slim waist. We realize you desperately want those six-pack abs, but can you imagine a body with a taut abs and under-developed shoulders?! I can’t. Or rather, don’t want to! But how many people have those flaunt-worthy strong and round shoulders? More and more men only focus on front deltoids, ignoring the rear deltoids!
Are you guilty of doing just heavy bench-presses and little else? Okay, we don’t mean any offense, but over-giant shoulders and a less-than-matching lower bodyisn’t a good result. EEKS! Almost like the hunch back of Notre Dame. So, no overdoing the chest and ignoring the back from now onwards.
We know your DNA-ed differently! Yes, you are an individual, so what works for some may not work for others, but there are certain principles that need to be followed, come what may.
So, do you need to build strong drool-worthy shoulders? We will tell you how to, and keep your shoulders firmly on your shoulders. There are several things you need to pay attention to, like your volume, exercise choice and order, weight/rep targets, and some advanced training principles to aim to reach your goal body.
How to Build Strong Shoulders
If you trying to build mass, start your workout by first doing the most demanding shoulder exercises, which includes multi joint overhead presses that allow you to bring in the most weight. This is the basis of a good solid mass workout.
The crux of the matter is that when you keep the total volume fairly high, it promotes muscle growth. As the front delts are worked on more on chest day, and the middle delts face it because of the weight on overhead pressing moves, it’s true that the rear delts suffer and become the smallest—and weakest—of the three. If you are still wandering in the woods, clueless about your shoulder workouts here are some basic laws to abide by:
1. Nail your overhead press first
Start with your multi-joint moves first, when your energy levels are at the maximum. They engage the greatest number of muscles, as two or more muscles are worked on simultaneously.
Going heavy is important, but you need to maintain your form when you are doing the multi-joint exercises like the overhead press. Keep the range from 6-8 to about 12 in number.
2. Coming up next- Isolation exercises
Right after you begin with doing multi-joint moves, start with the isolation moves, focussing on your front, rear and middle delts. Be careful about the amount of pressure you put on while doing the single-joint exercises, as this puts pressure on elbow joints.
3. Focus on your delt heads equally
If your delts are developed evenly, you can keep on rotating the order in which you train them from one workout to the next to bring about balanced development. If you save on one area for the last in your workout, eventually it will begin to lag behind the others.
4. Are you giving your rotator cuffs enough time?
Rotator cuffs, a group of four strap muscles help stabilize your shoulders. So even if you cannot see them you need to work them, otherwise the balance between the delts and rotator cuffs is ruined. Do internal and external rotating cuff exercises for healthy rotators.
5. Add variety to your shoulder training
If you are down to 6-8 weeks into the same routine, well, it is time to mix things up. Go from light to moderate to heavy to get better growth results and you can work it from different angles.
6. Is shoulder pain an inevitability with shoulder workouts?
Yes, it may be, especially for long-time lifters. But you can tone it down by trying out different kinds of equipment. Like for example, you can use dumbbells instead of barbells while using shoulder-presses. It allows a more pain-free range of motion. But do not ignore the persistent pain as it may have an underlying reason which you simply cannot ignore.
Top Badass Shoulder Workouts
Are you ready to get those boulder shoulders that you always dreamed of having? I hear a resounding yes to that, so we will start right away. Get yourself acquainted with the things to come; here best shoulder exercises which you must include into your shoulder workout routine.
- Cable reverse fly
- Dumbbell front raise
- Feet-elevated pike push up
- Wide-grip inverted row
- Crab walk
- Wide-grip pull-up
- Barbell rear delt row
Got it? Now start!
1. Cable Reverse Fly
These shoulder workouts are the perfect options to work on key muscles areas. They strengthen and work the rear shoulder muscles or the deltoids. The other muscles which are worked are the supraspinatus, infraspinatus and the teres minor, you hit the posterior muscles of the rotator cuff. Cable Reverse Flys also hit the upper back muscles, which bring the shoulder blades toward each other.
- Face twin pulley cables which are placed close together, about your shoulder height.
- Grab the stirrup cable attachment in each of your hands.
- Stand in a way that you are placed in the right distance from the machine so the cable is pulled taut.
- With your feet staggered, point your elbows outward with arms straight or slightly bent.
- Pull the stirrups and bring them out to sides, your elbow should have a stiff elbow position throughout the exercise.
- Return to the original position and repeat the procedure
2. Dumbbell front raise
Dumbbell front raises help develop your frontal shoulder muscles. Depending on how much you train, you can complete front raises which can build your shoulder muscle size or strength. Front raises are known as an isolation exercise as they require single- joint movements.
- Grab dumbbells in both your hands. Place the dumbbells in front of your upper legs with your elbows either straight or slightly bent.
- Move the dumbbells forward and upward until your upper arms are above horizontal. Lower them again and repeat the movement.
3. Feet-elevated pike push up
The feet-elevated pike, one of the better exercises for shoulders, works on all the major muscles of your shoulders, namely Pectoralis major, clavicular (upper) Trapezius, middle and lower, Deltoid lateral (middle) and Serratus anterior, inferior (lower).
- Get into a pushup position and keep your feet elevated on a bench. Walk your hands back so that your butt points up in the air.
- Bring your body lower until your head is just above the floor and then push yourself back up. Keep your abs taut the entire time.
4. Wide-grip inverted row
The inverted wide-grip row is a great exercise which can use your body weight, and what works is that there is no extra stress on your back. As an added plus, you get to work on your core too!
- Lie on the floor right underneath the bar so that you can reach up to it when you want.
- Grasp the bar with the help of an overhand grip, your palms should face away from you.
- Tighten your abs, and keep your body aligned completely in a straight line. Your entire body right from your ears, shoulders, hips, legs, and feet should all be in a straight line.
- Bring yourself up to the bar until your chest can touch the bar.
- Bring yourself back down.
5. Crab Walk
A crab walk is an exercise that works many muscle groups simultaneously. You can do different variations of this exercise without the help of any resistance equipment. Balance the body weight on the hands as well as your legs.
- Start by sitting on the floor, your feet should be hip distance apart in front of you and keep your arms behind your back with your fingers facing hips.
- Lift the hips off the floor and brace your abdominals.
- Start moving forward by walking, and move your left hand, followed by your right foot and vice versa.
- Walk another four or more steps as much space as you get, then walk back. Continue moving back and forth according to the desired amount of time.
6. Wide-grip pull-up
The wide-grip pull-up is an advanced body weight exercise that can improve strength in the back, shoulders, and also your biceps.
- Grab a pull-up bar in a way that your palms face away from your body, and your hands are shoulder-width apart. Allow both your arms to stay normally in both sides in a fully extended position.
- Use a pronated grip to grasp the pull bar and get a wider than shoulder width grip.
- Inhale deeply, squeeze your glutes and tighten your abs. Brace the shoulder blades and then try to push the elbows straight down to the floor while you activate the lats.
- Bring your chin towards the bar in a pulling action until the lats are fully activated, then bring yourself back to the start position and repeat the entire procedure.
Face pull exercises are great for helping build up the rear delts, traps, rhomboids and the rotator cuff muscles too! And if you are suffering from a common problem that most power lifters face, internal rotation of the shoulder joint, this exercise will fix that too!
- Grasp a rope attachment and keep it at the upper chest level.
- Do not grip the rope from the top with your palms facing down like most people tend to do, rather grip it from underneath and hold it with a neutral hammer-style grip.
- This variation is a little more effective as it allows a larger range of motion and is also really comfortable.
- Keep your chest braced up, hold your shoulders back and contract your shoulder blades.
- Pull the rope back again right before your face as you imagine that you’re trying to pull the rope apart. Imagine that you are hitting a back double bicep pose on each rep, and while you are at it, make sure that your head remains still.
- Pause for a moment while you contract and then try to squeeze your rear delts and upper back before you repeat the exercise.
8. Barbell Rear Delt Row
The barbell delt row is your safest best to develop a strong back. The prime muscle, which helps complete the movement, is the latissimus dorsi. This exercise works on the other muscles too, namely the trapezius and rhomboids.
- Bend the knees slightly and bend over the bar, keeping your back straight. Grab the bar with a wide overhand grip.
- Keep your upper arm perpendicular to your torso and pull the barbell up toward your upper chest
- See to it that your upper arms are just beyond the horizontal.
- Return to the position and repeat the entire exercise.
So, are you guilty of giving your chief attention to your abs, arms, thighs, and ignoring the shoulders? It’s time you changed track and started attention caring more about your shoulder workouts. Sculpting strong shoulders is not only sexy, it’s also important! Your shoulders support you right from your daily exercises to your daily chores, and another little secret is broad and strong shoulders can help give the appearance of a toned waist and more proportionate hip width, which is always a great thing to have!