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Sleep Problems? Here Are 10 Ways To Sleep Like A Baby

Sleep Problems

10 Ways To Sleep Better

A good night’s sleep is one of the most underrated things when it comes to not only your overall health, but also your recovery from training. Honestly, we feel like the topic of sleep and how important it is is not talked about enough in the fitness circles. Waking up refreshed, energized, and ready to take on the world is the feeling that all of us would love to have but only a few ever do. So many people have sleep problems, so what are some ways to sleep better?

Importance of Sleep

Sleep problems are a huge issue that no one really talks about. Whether you are tossing and turning all night, wake up randomly, or cannot get yourself to fall asleep to begin with, that is a huge issue that is only hurting your gains.

Sleep deprivation is unhealthy and some of its effects include immune system failure, diabetes, cancer, obesity, depression, and memory loss. Not only that, but sleep is also crucial for generating more testosterone as well as human growth hormone (HGH) in the body, which are both essential muscle building hormones. That being said, sleep is so important for recovery, as it works to heal your body and build back your muscles bigger and stronger.

Whether you suffer from insomnia, are a light sleeper or a night owl, these tips should help you improve your sleep.

Get More Sunlight During the Day

Sunlight does more for you than just give you a nice tan, it actually can help you sleep. A naturally secreted hormone called melatonin is one of the most vital things that induces great sleep. Sunlight provides the natural spectrum of light that we need to help coordinate the cycle of melatonin production. Melatonin then sends a signal to regulate the sleep-wake cycle in your body.


Avoid Screens Before Sleeping

Using phones, computers or tablets too close to bedtime is a big reason why many people have trouble falling asleep. Your electronic devices transmit a “blue light” that triggers the body to produce more daytime hormones (like the stress hormone cortisol) and disorient your body’s natural preparation for sleep. Limiting your screen time before bed can help you sleep easier at night.

Limit Your Caffeine

Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can disrupt your sleep cycle. Yes, we know how delicious and refreshing some of those pre-workouts and energy drinks are, but unfortunately they could be keeping you up at night. You should not only limit your intake of caffeine in order to help you sleep better, but also set a caffeine curfew time and stick to it. Setting a cut-off time will give your body time to remove it from your system.

Cool Down

According to a study by the Harvard Medical School, your body begins to drop in temperature right before you fall asleep. During sleep, your core temp is reduced by 1 to 2°F, as a way to conserve energy. Sleeping in a colder room will help you drop to that level faster, which will help you fall asleep (and stay that way) quicker.

Keep Your Gadgets Out of the Room

Studies have shown that Electromagnetic Fields or Electromagnetic Noise (EMFs) coming from our everyday electronic devices can disrupt communication between the cells in our body. Turn your bedroom into a sleep sanctuary and keep all the distracting elements out of it.

Eat a High Protein Low Carb Snack Close To Bedtime

Eating a high carb meal before bedtime can cause a sharp drop in blood sugar levels which can cause trouble in falling asleep or wake you up if you’re sleeping. Having a high protein meal at least 90-minutes before your bedtime can aid in falling and staying asleep. A lot of people will use casein protein shakes right before bed.

Cut the Booze Before Bed

Although alcohol might help you in falling asleep faster, it disrupts the REM (rapid eye movement) sleep and you won’t be able to fall into deeper levels of sleep, and your brain and body won’t be able to fully rejuvenate. Cutting out alcohol before bed can help you sleep.

Shut Your Brain Off

This is easier said than done. Now and then the stress from work, home, finances, and even the physical stress of training in the gym can get to you. If you have trouble falling asleep, meditating for 10-15 minutes on the bed can put your mind at ease, and help you to fall asleep faster.

Set an Alarm Before Bed

This might sound counter-intuitive but one of the best things you can do to improve your sleep is to get up early. Knowing that you have to wake up at a certain time will make you hit the bed at the right time.

Use Supplements

Ideally, you should fix your sleep problem by working on your lifestyle but if you don’t seem to be making progress, supplements can be a lifesaver. So many people will buy their pre-workouts, creatine, protein, and multivitamins, but not really focus on the importance of sleep. There are supplements designed for you to fall asleep faster, a lot of them being natural supplements too, such as melatonin or even the CBD options that are available.

If you do end up taking medication or supplements, make sure you don’t form a dependency.

Sleep Problems Wrap Up

Overall, sleep problems are something that many people suffer from, and honestly the importance of a good night’s sleep is not talked about enough in the fitness industry. People will share their diet, supplement, and training routines, but not talk about the importance of getting 8 hours of sleep.

Sleep aids in things like muscle growth and recovery, so why would you want to avoid something like that? Do yourself a favor and get the proper amount of shut eye tonight.

Do you have trouble falling asleep? Let us know in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook and Twitter.

Does Sleep Help with Muscle Growth?

mark sandor skull crusher tutorial for horseshoe triceps

The correlation between sleeping and muscle growth

So you spend hours in the gym, pushing heavy weight, doing your cardio, you eat super clean, while focusing on your diet and making sure to get in all your protein and aminos but the gains don’t seem to be coming the way you want them to. Could the lack of muscle growth be a sleep related problem?


The answer could be as simple as getting enough shut eye. As when you exercise, tiny tears develop in your muscle fibers but muscle repair only occurs when the body is going through a proper rest and recovery phase, which involves getting the proper amount of sleep, and if you aren’t getting an adequate amount of sleep, your body cannot repair the muscle fibers as insufficient sleep is disruptive.


How Many Hours of Sleep Should You Get?

One Chinese study concluded that ‘there was a positive association between sleep quality and muscle strength. And men with shorter sleep duration(s), of (6 hours), had poorer muscle strength than that of men who slept for 7-8 hours’ and over’.

The study goes on to say that ‘good sleep quality is associated with greater muscle strength, while shorter sleep duration may be a risk factor for decreased muscle strength.

What Happens While You are Sleeping?

Believe it or not, sleep dramatically impacts your entire body, and it’s during sleep that your body recovers from exercise, repairs itself and grows new muscle tissue. 

During this time your muscles also are able to relax, and this is when your muscles are relieved of the pain and tension that you put them through during a workout.

When you are sleeping hormones such as testosterone and human growth hormone (HGH), and even effects cortisol levels, which are produced in higher doses than throughout the rest of the day.



Testosterone is a hormone which aids how much muscle your body can build, as well as other bodily functions like regulating sex drive and even keeping body fat off, and sleep is vital for helping to produce this hormone.

A 2011 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association found that ‘cutting back on sleep, may have a dramatic effect on men’s testosterone levels’.

The ‘study shows a week of sleep loss lowered testosterone levels by up to 15%’. And, that skipping sleep is the equivalent to aging by that of 10-16 years.

And, Eve Van Caulter, director of the study, goes on to say that, ‘low testosterone levels are associated with reduced well being and vigour, which may also occur as a consequence of sleep loss’.

The study also found that 15% of the US adult working population were getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night, and for those wanting to add on quality muscle, that is nowhere near enough sleep.

Growth Hormone

Human Growth Hormone is also produced while we are sleeping, and this is greatly enhanced early in the night, specifically the first few hours of sleep. 

And it has been concluded that ‘in adults the most reproducible pulse of growth hormone secretion occurs shortly after the onset of sleep in association with the first phase of slow- wave sleep (also referred to as SWS), and in men approximately 70% of the GH pulses during sleep coincide with SWS.’

So the first few hours of sleep are crucial as Growth Hormone is vital to the body being able to form and sustain muscle mass.



Cortisol is known as being the stress hormone but it plays so many other roles, and one of those is that it helps control your sleep wake cycle.

It stimulates wakefulness in the morning, which continues throughout the day, and slowly dips as the day goes on, coming to its lowest point around midnight, where melatonin and other hormones rise up in its place to bring about sleep.

Cortisol is the hormone that assists in the breaking down of muscle protein (catabolism), and in excess this catabolic hormone can decrease muscle mass and lean body mass.

What Can Help Stop Muscle Breakdown?

When you are sleeping you are essentially fasting as your body is not consuming any calories during that period and this is catabolic to muscle growth.

One study recommended ‘ingesting 40g of dietary protein prior to sleep to elicit a robust stimulation of muscle protein synthesis rates throughout the night’.

Another study stated that casein protein ingested ‘before sleep increased the ‘whole body protein synthesis rates and improved net protein balance’ and this is the ‘first study to show that protein ingested immediately before sleep is effectively digested and absorbed’. 

So to increase the gains chug a casein shake to ensure you don’t waste away during your sleep.

Muscle growth

Supplements to Help You Sleep

There are a few different supplements that can help you sleep, so let’s take a look.

ZMA – is a supplement made from zinc, magnesium and vitamin B6. If you are zinc deficient then this supplement can boost testosterone levels, but it also helps induce sleep.

Supplements to Increase Anabolic Potential

Glutamine- is an amino acid that prevents catabolism, promotes optimum growth hormone release and supports a strong immune system.

During sleeping periods, muscle wasting can occur due to amino acid shortage, and this can result in increased cortisol secretions and inflammation. Glutamine helps maintain a positive nitrogen balance and helps to promote repair.

BCAA’s – Branched Chain Amino Acids – have proven anabolic properties and increase testosterone and growth hormone levels.

BCAA’s can also help to blunt the rise in cortisol levels during sleep, helping to prevent catabolism and promote maximum anabolism.

Wrap Up

So there you have it, sleep is essential for muscle growth. So, make sure you get in a solid 8 hours of shut eye, and supplement accordingly to ensure all that hard work in the gym doesn’t go to waste – literally!

So until next time, keep pumping!

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.
















The Ultimate Guide to the Sumo and Conventional Deadlift


The Importance of the Deadlift

Very few exercises can compare to the deadlift in terms of its ability to simultaneously develop strength, muscle size, power, and athleticism.

It is clear that the deadlift should be a staple exercise for every athlete and avid gym-goers. Especially for those looking to develop a strong back. However, which type of deadlift should you be performing?

There are many arguments that can be made in favor of both the conventional and sumo deadlift, however, the purpose of this article is not to discuss conventional vs sumo, rather it will provide a guide to both.

It will investigate the kinematics of both movements, help you to understand when to use each stance and provide tips to allow you to establish which stance suits you best.

Kinematic Differences Between the Conventional and Sumo Deadlift

There are a number of apparent visual differences that can be seen between both the conventional and sumo deadlift.

With that being said, both movements have a large number of form similarities including a neutrally aligned spine and head, activated lats and hips, strong grips and engaged core musculature.

The more advanced lifter may be able to pinpoint specific differences between both stances and have a greater understanding of force transfer and muscle activation.

In terms of muscles activated, the sumo places a great demand on the glutes, hips and legs whereas the conventional stance recruits the low back and hamstrings more heavily.

While both lifts activate the same muscle groups, certain muscle groups are activated at different rates.

A recent study found that the rate of activation of the vastus medialis and lateralis (quadricep) were greater during a sumo deadlift.

Similarly, the rate of medial gastrocnemius and tibial anterior activation were significantly different between both deadlift styles (1).

This highlights that both upper and lower muscle groups of the leg are activated in different fashions.

The sumo involves a much wider stance than the conventional which significantly changes the biomechanics of the exercise.

The sumo stance places the trunk in a much more upright position and also alters the position of the thighs (2).

In addition to this, the feet are more significantly turned out and the grip on the bar tends to be narrower in the sumo in comparison to the conventional.

All of these slight technique adjustments contribute toward altering the kinematics of the sumo when compared to the conventional deadlift.

How To Perform the Sumo and Conventional Deadlift

This section will explain how to effectively setup and execute both the sumo and conventional deadlift.

As you will see, once the set-up has been completed, the execution of both exercises are the same.

The Conventional Deadlift:

– Start with feet hip-width apart
– Place the feet directly underneath the bar with toes slightly pointed out
– Drop down to the bar by pushing the hips back and hinging the knees
– Ensure that the hips are higher than the knees
– Grip the bar tightly with hands approximately shoulder-width apart
– Lift the head, drive the chest up, squeeze between the shoulder blades and brace the core
– Drive powerfully through the heels and keep the bar tight to the body
– Drive the hips into the bar by squeezing the glutes at the top of the rep
– Reverse the movement and drop the bar back to the floor

The Sumo Deadlift:

– Start with feet wider than hip-width
– Place the feet directly underneath the bar and turn the toes out (approximately 40 – 45 degrees)
– Drop down to the bar by pushing the hips back and hinging the knees
– Ensure that the hips are higher than the knees
– Grip the bar tightly with hands slightly narrower than shoulder-width apart
– Lift the head, drive the chest up, squeeze between the shoulder blades and brace the core
– Drive powerfully through the heels and keep the bar tight to the body
– Drive the hips into the bar by squeezing the glutes at the top of the rep
– Reverse the movement to drop the bar back to the floor

Determining Your Deadlift Stance

For those athletes or highly conditioned individuals, it would be wise to use both deadlift styles in training.

There is a lot to be gained by performing both styles – especially if you have only ever performed one style.

To determine which deadlift stance you should focus on, you can ask yourself a couple of questions that will help to guide you.

Firstly, which style looks and feels most athletic and most natural? Secondly, with which method can you lift the most weight?

If the answer to both questions is the same, it would be wise to stick with that stance.

If you have never performed the deadlift, it is recommended to start with the conventional deadlift first and then move onto the sumo at a later date, if necessary.

Don’t be under any illusions, the sumo stance is equally as challenging as the conventional deadlift, so be prepared to spend time working on it.

If you are beginning to deadlift using a new stance, it is recommended to use a lighter weight and start from the blocks rather than the floor. Over time, gradually work down to the floor.

Doing this will facilitate the process of learning the new technique while simultaneously allowing you to build strength.

Having attempted both the conventional and sumo deadlift for an extended period, it should eventually become clear which stance allows you to lift the most efficiently lift heavy weight.

Be aware that it can take time to understand which stance suits you best.

Even if you feel like you have great technique, it may be the case that there are stabilizing and supporting muscle groups that are not quite strong enough yet to facilitate a powerful deadlift.

Given time and patience, these muscles will strengthen and you may then find that the stance you believed to be best is actually inferior to the other.

Conventional and Sumo Deadlift Considerations

It is true that the stance that allows you to lift the heaviest load should be prioritized as lifting the heaviest loads possible, in a safe manner, will certainly have the greatest impact on your strength levels (2).

However, it is also useful to look at the mechanics of the movement as this can often be the key to unlocking pure strength.

With both stances, the bar should move in as straight a line as possible from the floor directly up to the hips. Any deviation from this path will impede performance.

Allowing the bar to drift away from the body will cause the body to expend and waste energy as it fights to maintain control.

However, moving the bar in a smooth, vertical path will preserve energy and therefore has the potential to facilitate performance.

Keeping this in mind, it is important to select the stance that facilitates this most efficient bar path.

Let’s say that you can lift heavier with the conventional deadlift but your technique for the sumo is much cleaner and the bar move more efficiently, it may be worthwhile shifting focus for a time.

A more efficient lift will allow you to train with greater intensity, frequency, and volume – all which have a direct impact on strength gains and muscle growth.

There is no denying that limb and trunk lengths have an impact on deadlift performance.

Research has indicated that those with long limbs may be at a mechanical advantage when it comes to performing the deadlift (3).

Furthermore, another study has found that the conventional style may be more suitable for those with longer torso whereas those with shorter torsos may be better at sumo. (4)

However, there’s nothing that can be done to change your body type.

Instead, your focus should be placed on the things that can be controlled – factors such as attitude, technique, strength levels and muscle size.

The final consideration that must be made is the training goal that you have set for yourself.

For example, if you are a competitive powerlifter, then it would make sense to predominantly focus on the stance that will allow you to lift the heaviest in a competition.

A useful rule of thumb when deadlifting for powerlifting is to use your competition stance 80% of the time and use other variations for the other 20%.

If your goal is to generally improve strength levels then a mixture of both the conventional and sumo deadlift will lead to efficient strength improvements.

3-Day Deadlift Sample Program

The following 3-day program has been designed with the conventional deadlift being the preferred stance. If you perform the sumo, simply swap around the conventional and sumo exercises.

Day Exercises Sets x Reps
1 1) Conventional Deadlift
2) Front Squat3) Good Mornings4) Leg Extensions
5 x 5
3 x 5
3 x 12-15
3 x 12-15
2 1) Sumo Deadlift
2) Back Squat
3) Hyperextensions
4) Leg Curls
5 x 5
3 x 5
3 x 12-15
3 x 12-15
3 1) Conventional Deadlift
2) Barbell Lunges
3) Glute Bridge
4) Calf Raises
5 x 5
3 x 6
3 x 12-15
3 x 12-15

Final Word

Both deadlift stances will effectively train muscle groups the length and breadth of the body while accelerating strength and power improvements.

While it is true that there are differences between the two deadlift variations, both have their place within a strength program.

If you are unsure which stance suits you, try them both and employ a number of the above tips to help make things more clear.

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1-Escamilla, Rafael F.; Francisco, Anthony C.; Kayes, Andrew V.; Speer, Kevin P.; Moorman, Claude T. (2002-4). “An electromyographic analysis of sumo and conventional style deadlifts”. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. 34 (4): 682–688. doi:10.1097/00005768-200204000-00019. ISSN 0195-9131. PMID 11932579.

2-Schoenfeld, Brad J.; Contreras, Bret; Vigotsky, Andrew D.; Peterson, Mark (December 1, 2016). “Differential Effects of Heavy Versus Moderate Loads on Measures of Strength and Hypertrophy in Resistance-Trained Men”. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 15 (4): 715–722. ISSN 1303-2968. PMC 5131226. PMID 27928218.

3-Lockie, Robert G.; Moreno, Matthew R.; Orjalo, Ashley J.; Lazar, Adrina; Liu, Tricia M.; Stage, Alyssa A.; Birmingham-Babauta, Samantha A.; Stokes, John J.; Giuliano, Dominic V.; Risso, Fabrice G.; Davis, DeShaun L. (2018-11). “Relationships Between Height, Arm Length, and Leg Length on the Mechanics of the Conventional and High-Handle Hexagonal Bar Deadlift”. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 32 (11): 3011–3019. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002256. ISSN 1533-4287. PMID 29045317.

4-Cholewa, Jason M.; Atalag, Ozan; Zinchenko, Anastasia; Johnson, Kelly; Henselmans, Menno (August 1, 2019). “Anthropometrical Determinants of Deadlift Variant Performance”. Journal of Sports Science & Medicine. 18 (3): 448–453. ISSN 1303-2968. PMC 6683626. PMID 31427866.

Shaquille O’Neal Details 55-Pound Weight Loss: “I Couldn’t Even Walk Up The Stairs”

Weight Loss

Shaquille O’Neal continues to shed weight and improve his physique in retirement.

Shaquille O’Neal is an NBA Hall-of-Famer that is considered one of the greatest big men of all-time. Now, O’Neal continues to work hard in retirement as he tailors his physique in a different way. He has discussed his weight-loss transformation in depth overtime and recently shared that he hit the 55-pound mark.

Shaq is considered one of the most, if not the most, dominant player in NBA history. He averaged 23.7 points and 10.9 rebounds during a career that included four NBA Championships and an MVP award following the 1999-2000 season. O’Neal even has a passion for bodybuilding and has followed the sport over the years.

READ MORE: Shaquille O’Neal Diet Plan and Workout Routine

Shaquille O’Neal was named an honorary ambassador for the 2020 Mr. Olympia. In 2021, he attended the Arnold Classic and took some time to meet the Austrian Oak himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. It is clear that O’Neal has put in some work in the gym following his latest update.

During a recent interview with People, Shaq opened up about his physique transformation.

Posing Video
Shaquille O’Neal Instagram (@shaq)

Shaquille O’Neal Has Dropped 55 Pounds

At 51 years old, Shaquille O’Neal has found a new motivation and determination drop weight. He shared that he is down to 351 pounds and wants to drop even more moving forward.

“I’m probably gonna get between 315 and 330…where I have a 12-pack.”

Shaq also spoke to the news outlet back in March and he was down 40 pounds. Just a couple months later, he has lost 15 more and will not stop here.

“I’ve got a five-pack now so I’ve got seven more packs to go because I want to take my shirt off on Instagram.I was getting chubby and couldn’t even walk up the stairs. I didn’t like the way I looked in the mirror. I was like, ‘I’m gonna lose 20’ and then I was trying to lose 20.”


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A post shared by DR. SHAQUILLE O’NEAL Ed.D. (@shaq)

Shaquille O’Neal has been a fan of bodybuilding, specifically Phil Heath, over the years. In 2018, he jokingly called out Heath and shared a posing routine of his own. Shaq has been knowledgable about the bodybuilding world for years now and that is going to continue as he is a fan of the sport.

A pose down between Shaq and Heath would certainly be something to watch. Since he retired, Shaq has taken many opportunities to entertain in many ways. This includes staying in tune with the NBA during a pre-game show on TNT. Along with his many other ventures, Shaq has kept up with his physique transformation and diet plan.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Michal Krizo Shares His 2023 Olympia Training Split 9 Weeks Out

Michal Krizo shares details on his Olympia prep.

Slovakian IFBB Pro bodybuilder Michal Krizo has stepped his training prep up for the 2023 Olympia. The talented bodybuilder is ramping up his training 9 weeks out from the biggest show of the year. While his first Olympia event may not have gone exactly as planned, Krizo is leaving no stone unturned for his second outing.

One of the most impressive bodybuilders in the IFBB, Michal Krizo is a competitor to keep an eye on. With some incredible musculature and proportions, Krizo has the potential to be a top five competitor. For some he even has the potential to one day win the Olympia. He already has the seal of approval from Jay Cutler, a massive compliment indeed from the four-time Olympia champion.

With 9 weeks until the competition, Michal Krizo is pushing himself to the next level in order to give his best performance at the 2023 Olympia. During a recent Q and A, Krizo discussed his training.

“9.5 weeks out. I am tired already. And I will be even more. I started prepping about 2-3 weeks ago. We’ll see if this prep is any different throughout the hard diet itself. Whether anything would change or not. Every prep is difficult and specific.”

Changing Things Up

Looking to ensure an improved placing at the 2023 Olympia, Michal Krizo has tailored his training for the big show. Training six days a week instead of his usual three or four, Krizo is working tirelessly in the gym.

“Definitely. I train six times a week now. I train 3-4 times in the off-season. Breaks are shorter now. It’s more intense now. In the off-season, it’s more just around the gym and doing a set after five minutes of walking around. And I train for more strength but not so much now.

“Yes, I am doing more reps now. Same, I do 4 sets [per body part]. Depends, if it’s a smaller or bigger muscle group. For example, biceps, it’s only two exercises for biceps, three exercises for triceps. For chest, I have 3-4 exercise, I think. Four exercises four back, but I train back twice a week. Three exercises for chest, but I train it twice a week. Three exercises for shoulders, but I train them twice a week. I do four exercises for quads, three exercises for hamstrings, two exercises for calves.” 

Michal Krizo 2023 Olympia Training Split

  • Monday – Back and chest
  • Tuesday – Triceps and shoulders
  • Wednesday – Quads
  • Thursday – Back and biceps
  • Friday – Chest and delts
  • Saturday – Hamstrings, glutes, calves
  • Sunday – Rest day

With a schedule like this it’s clear that Michal Krizo is ready for the 2023 Olympia. Will it be enough to win the show? That we’ll have to wait to see.

To see the full Q and A click here.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

News and Editorial Writer at Generation Iron, Jonathan Salmon is a writer, martial arts instructor, and geek culture enthusiast. Check out his YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Sound Cloud for in-depth MMA analysis.

Daniel Radcliffe Shows Off Shredded Physique Ahead Of “Miracle Workers” Finale

@daniel9340 Instagram

Daniel Radcliffe has dedicated himself to fitness and the results are impressive.

Daniel Radcliffe became known at a young age for portraying the infamous Harry Potter on the big screen. Now, he continues to work in the entertainment business and has sculpted an impressive physique ahead of the series finale of Miracle Workers.

People recently shared a post showing off Radcliffe’s shirtless physique as he prepares to play there of Sid in the show, which is described as a “post-apocalyptic warrior” by the new outlet. And he was absolutely shredded.

“The actor looked abs-olutely pec-tacular in the series finale of his TBS comedy #MiracleWorkers, in which he plays Sid, a Mad Max-styled post-apocalyptic warrior who battles robots and villains in a wasteland.”


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A post shared by People Magazine (@people)

There has been four seasons of the show to date and it recently aired its final episode on Aug. 28. To prepare for his appearance, Radcliffe has been working hard in the gym to sculpt his physique.

Daniel Radcliffe’s Impressive Fitness Journey

It is no secret that actors in Hollywood have been tailoring their build to parts for many years . This dates back to when bodybuilders Arnold Schwarzenegger and Lou Ferrigno landed roles, both in movies and TV, thanks to their insane size and strength.

While those are two examples of bodybuilders, there are many others who did not compete on stage but are big stars in Hollywood with insane physiques. To name a few, The Rock and Zac Efron, stars of Baywatch, come to mind immediately along with Mark Wahlberg and Chris Hemsworth.

This is the journey that Daniel Radcliffe has been on as well.


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A post shared by Daniel Radcliffe (@daniel9340)

During an interview with E! back in 2016, Radcliffe credited his longtime girlfriend for his fitness motivation.

“It’s not that we work out a lot but when we do, we always get photographed. I have to put on a little more muscle.”

While Hollywood stars have always been interested in adding more muscle mass, they have also gone the other way for a part.

Wahlberg had to put on about 30 pounds to play Father Stu in a film about a boxer turned priest. Wahlberg used a diet that included over 11,000 calories per day. Following this role, Wahlberg was able to slim back down and get his abs back in shape.

Daniel Radcliffe has shown a clear dedication to his fitness, both in the gym and in his diet. He was able to show it off in the series finale and his results are clear.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

Unmasking Bodybuilding Secrets: Wole Adesemoye’s Guide To The Perfect Peak Week Prep | The Mike O’Hearn Show

Mike O’Hearn speaks with 5x WBFF bodybuilding champion Wole Adesemoye to discuss the intricacies of peak week prep and how to turn adversity into a superpower

In Generation Iron and Barbend’s latest episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, host Mike O’Hearn sat down with Wole Adesemoye, a remarkable figure in the world of bodybuilding. As a 5-time WBFF champion bodybuilder and holistic personal trainer, Wole’s journey to success is nothing short of inspiring. In this captivating conversation, Wole shares insights from his recent competition in Las Vegas and delves into the mindset that propels him towards greatness. This recap highlights key takeaways from their discussion and explores the wisdom shared by this dynamic duo.

Wole Adesemoye is a 5x WBFF bodybuilding campion and also a personal trainer. At over 40 years old – he has become an icon for longevity in bodybuilding. Adesemoye recently had a bodybuilding competition in the United States and completed his final prep at Mike O’Hearn’s house for his “peak week.”

Peak week, as many bodybuilders know, is the final week before a bodybuilding competition. Also called “hell week,” this is often the most challenging period of competition prep requiring a reduction of water weight to bring in a shredded physique for the stage. After the competition, Adesemoye sat down with Mike O’Hearn to reflect on the week prep – and discuss the larger arc of his bodybuilding career. Let’s dive in.

Peak Week at Mike’s House: A Unique Experience

Wole Adesemoye’s recent visit to Las Vegas wasn’t just for sightseeing; he was in town for a bodybuilding competition. What set this peak week apart from his previous experiences was the remarkable support he received at Mike O’Hearn’s residence. With nutrition and scheduling meticulously handled by Mike and his team, Wole could focus solely on resting and training, eliminating the usual stress of peak week.

One of the most notable changes Wole made this time was “doing less.” Unlike past competitions where he felt compelled to constantly push himself harder, this time, he had complete confidence in his physique. This newfound self-assurance allowed him to trust the process and “do less,” recognizing that working smart can be as important as working hard.

The Evolution of Wole’s Mindset

Wole Adesemoye reflects on his earlier years in bodybuilding when he believed that being the hardest-working athlete in the room was the only path to success. However, as he matured, he realized the value of working smarter, not just harder. Dedication and hard work remain essential, but understanding that years of effort accumulate and contribute to success is equally vital. Wole’s focus on optimizing his approach rather than overexerting himself aligns with his goal of achieving longevity in the sport.

Mike O’Hearn, a veteran in the fitness industry, draws parallels between Wole and legendary bodybuilder Lee Haney, praising Wole’s size, structure, and aesthetics. As someone 12 years Wole’s senior, Mike serves as both a mentor and a role model, illustrating that maintaining a strong physique and staying dedicated are possible without burnout. Mike’s emphasis on strengthening connective tissue resonates with Wole as a key strategy for long-term success.

Embracing Positivity Amidst Struggles

Despite his boundless positivity, Wole Adesemoye’s personal life has been marked by challenges, including his father’s abandonment and struggles with dyslexia. In the podcast, he shares how these adversities shaped him into the person he is today. Dyslexia, once seen as a disadvantage, became a “superpower” that instilled in him a relentless work ethic and the ability to persevere through hardship. Wole’s story underscores the transformative power of embracing life’s challenges as opportunities for growth.

Mike O’Hearn adds a unique perspective, likening Wole’s journey to that of a superhero in comics and movies. Both superheroes and super-villains experience trauma, but the former use their adversity as a source of strength, while the latter seek to destroy what hurt them. Wole’s ability to turn personal struggles into a driving force echoes the superhero narrative.

The Grueling Path to Victory

During peak week, Wole Adesemoye impressively shed 21 pounds of water weight while maintaining his impressive muscle mass, ultimately weighing in at 242 pounds on stage. But what comes after a championship win? Wole’s answer may surprise you; he immediately returns to the gym, displaying his unwavering commitment to continuous improvement. Even in victory, he sees room for enhancement.

A Lifelong Dedication to Bodybuilding

Wole Adesemoye envisions no retirement from bodybuilding in his future. His focus on strategies for longevity in fitness aligns with the example set by bodybuilder Robby Robinson, who continues to thrive well into his eighties. Wole and Mike aim to follow in Robinson’s footsteps and prove that maintaining peak physical condition is achievable throughout one’s life.

RELATED: Watch the teaser trailer for Robby Robinson’s Blueprint – the life story documentary

Reframing Stereotypes About Bodybuilding

Mike and Wole acknowledge the unfortunate stereotype that associates bodybuilding primarily with steroid use. They both emphasize that bodybuilding encompasses much more than this narrow perception. It teaches dedication, passion, hard work in the face of adversity, and promotes lasting health and well-being. Despite the negative attention garnered by steroid use in the sport, they believe that bodybuilding can inspire and uplift.

The First Step on a Never-Ending Journey

Wole Adesemoye concludes the podcast with a powerful analogy. Winning a bodybuilding competition should be viewed as the first step in a lifelong journey, not the final destination. Much like earning a doctorate degree, the real value lies in what comes next. It’s the momentum that propels individuals like Wole and Mike O’Hearn towards their next achievements and opportunities.

Wrap Up

In this episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show, Wole Adesemoye’s journey through peak week, his unwavering dedication to improvement, and his ability to transform adversity into strength serve as a testament to the power of mindset, hard work, and resilience in the world of bodybuilding and life itself.

You can watch the full episode of The Mike O’Hearn Show above. And don’t forget to check back every Friday for new episodes of the podcast only on the Generation Iron Fitness Network or wherever podcasts are downloaded.

Use Rogue Box Jumps to Explode Power and Muscular Endurance

rogue fitness box jumps

Rogue box jumps simultaneously improve power and lower body muscular endurance. 

If you’re an avid follower of CrossFit Games, you’ve witnessed the impressive Rogue box jumps. The renowned American brand Rogue Fitness proudly produces the versatile 3-1 plyometric box utilized in this exhilarating competition. These robust boxes offer adjustable heights of 20″, 24″, and 30″, making them the perfect choice to enhance your box jump prowess.

Box jumps are plyometric training that rapidly loads and unloads the muscles. This exercise trains the reflex of your leg muscles, allowing you to generate more power there when you need it (1). Box jumps are also a great way to improve cardio and burn fat

For CrossFit workouts, there are multiple types of box jumps. Some of them are the standard box jump, rebound box jump, rebound box jump with a pause, jump up, step down, box jump over, and burpee box jump. This guide will look at the standard box jump using a Rogue box. 

Technique and Muscles Used

Rogue box jumps are compound exercises that build your lower body muscles. They target your quads, calves, hamstrings, glutes, abductors, adductors, obliques and abs. Your ankle, hips, and knees are all extended during this exercise.

With CrossFit Rogue box jumps, the box height for males is 24 inches while that for females is 20 inches. However, if you’re new to this routine, starting with a lower box is important; gradually, you could jump on a box as high as 30 inches. CrossFit also has rules like a two-foot take-off and landing; only your feet may touch the box.

Rogue box jumps are more challenging than they look, and you must use the proper form to benefit from this exercise. It’s also important to do this exercise correctly to avoid common injuries. You should also note that it’s important to do warmups to prepare your body for this exercise. Below is a step-by-step guide to doing Rogue box jumps. 

  1. Set your Rogue box in a stable position that will not tip over. 
  2. Stand directly in front of it and take a large step backward to take your stand. Your feet should be shoulder-width distance apart and your arms by your side. This is your starting position.
  3. Drop into a squat about a quarter deep, then swing your arms behind you.
  4. Using explosive power, drive your legs to the floor, swing your arms forward, and jump onto your box, going as high as possible.
  5. Land lightly on both feet around the middle of your box and with your legs bent to absorb the shock.
  6. Step down to return to the starting position and complete your rep.
  7. Repeat for the desired number of reps.


Rogue box jumps will help you become faster and more powerful in the gym by strengthening your muscles. Rogue box jumps can also be used as a HIIT workout, and when you add resistance to this training using either dumbbells or kettlebells, research shows that you can increase your muscle strength and mass (2). Below are more benefits of doing Rogue box jumps. 


Many exercises that improve your explosive power are complicated and hard to do, e.g., the clean and jerk. Rogue box jumps, in comparison, are straightforward to do. 

Less Joint Impact

Compared to squat jumps, depth jumps, and hurdle jumps, Rogue box jumps have less stress on your joints. There’s less impact when you land, meaning those with joint or lower back pain can try this to see if it works. Box jumps are also the better jump alternative for people of younger ages, but they’ll need a lower box.

Higher Jumping Power

Rogue box jumps are a great way to improve on your vertical leap. With them, you can add inches to how high you can jump with consistency. The ability to jump higher can help athletes, but it’ll help lifters improve their lifts, too, since the more explosive you are, the more power you possess. 

Carryover to Squats, Deadlifts, and Running

Running, deadlifts, and squats involve using your hip, ankle, and knee. Rogue box jumps help to strengthen these muscles, making your form for these other exercises and routines better. You’ll be able to come out of your bottom reps stronger, better, and in good form for your squats and deadlifts.

Better Muscle Strength

Rogue box jumps will help you strengthen your muscles and bones. Your lower body, in particular, receives the benefit, but swinging your arms also helps the muscles, and your core is involved. This study on plyometric training in elderly people shows better muscle strength due to exercises like box jumps (3).

Fat Loss

High reps of Rogue box jumps will run your heart rate and increase your breathing rate. This leads to more lactic acid production, leading to fat loss. 

Rogue Box Jumps Alternatives

Rogue box jumps are great for muscle power, strength, and fat loss. However, it’s important to use more than just box jumps when training to avoid monotony. Here are some alternatives that offer similar benefits.

Step Ups

While we did talk about similar benefits above, we’re adding step-ups for beginners. They’ll help you progress to a box jump, and you can add resistance in the form of kettlebells or dumbbells to increase the effect on your muscles. 

Weighted Box Jumps

Weighted box jumps take Rogue box jumps to the next level and help you condition your muscles. You can use dumbbells or kettlebells or wear a weighted vest to do them. 

Barbell High Pulls

Barbell high pulls make use of barbells and are also a jumping exercise. As a result, they work the same muscles that your Rogue box jumps, but the resistance adds more effect to your muscles.

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings don’t include jumping but will help you improve your explosive power. This is one exercise that bodybuilding legend Dorian Yates loves to do. 


What size is the rogue jump box?

The Rogue jump box has a built-in height option of 20”, 24” and 30”. Which to use depends on your fitness level and gender for games like CrossFit.

What are rogue boxes for?

Rogue boxes are great for plyometric exercises like box jumps and their variations. 

Do box jumps build muscle?

Box jumps build muscle power and strength in your lower body muscles. They’re also great for muscular endurance and improve your cardiovascular fitness. 

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter for more exercise guides and tips! 


  1. Duchateau, J., & Amiridis, I. G. (2023). Plyometric exercises: Optimizing the Transfer of Training Gains to Sport Performance. Exercise and sport sciences reviews, 10.1249/JES.0000000000000320. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1249/JES.0000000000000320 
  2. Moro, T., Marcolin, G., Bianco, A., Bolzetta, F., Berton, L., Sergi, G., & Paoli, A. (2020). Effects of 6 Weeks of Traditional Resistance Training or High Intensity Interval Resistance Training on Body Composition, Aerobic Power and Strength in Healthy Young Subjects: A Randomized Parallel Trial. International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(11), 4093. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17114093 
  3. Vetrovsky, T., Steffl, M., Stastny, P., & Tufano, J. J. (2019). The Efficacy and Safety of Lower-Limb Plyometric Training in Older Adults: A Systematic Review. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.), 49(1), 113–131. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-018-1018-x

The “Six-Year-Old Hulk” Shows Off Incredible Physique For His Age

Six year old Hulk

Jai’Ceon Campbell is a six-year-old football player who has an impressive build already.

There have been many instances where a child shows off an insane physique at a young age and the latest just hit the fitness scene. Jai’Ceon Campbell is a six-year-old football player who recently went viral on social media showing off his muscles during a practice.

Campbell has totaled over 13,000 followers on Instagram at a young age. On Monday, a video was shared on his account of a TikTok video of him flexing and showing off his “Hulk” move. The video has come close to hitting 200,000 likes on the platform.

In the video, Campbell is seen flexing and then showing why he has the nickname of “six-year-old hulk.” Many commenters were surprised that Campbell was as young as he was.

Campbell is next in line of young athletes who have displayed impressive physiques. There are many who have started training very early and even competed in bodybuilding. It is unknown if Campbell has been hitting the weights but he is active in athletics and clearly likes to play football.

Six-Year-Old Hulk Joins Other Young Phenomenons

Jai’Ceon Campbell has hit the social media and fitness world hard because of his latest video. He now joins an exclusive club of minors who have impressed in this area.

Jake Schellenschlager became known early for his incredible feats of strength at a young age. The 14-year-old powerlifter was setting records for his age and weight from his early days of competing. Schellenschlager quickly became known as ‘The World’s Strongest Kid.’

Schellenschlager began weightlifting when he was 12 years old. He would see his father working out in the garage and wanted to be part of it. It did not take Schellenschlager long to develop incredible strength and do something great with it.

By age 14, the world’s strongest child was able to deadlift 300 pounds. He began competing that year and set new world records for his weight and age during the Powerlifting Bench Press Championships.

Mini Monster 12 Year Old Transformation
Images via Instagram @cacauzinho_neto

Schellenschlager made waves as a powerlifter and Cauzinho, known as “Mini Monster,” transformed his physique at 12 years old.

Earlier in January 2023, Cauzinho took to Instagram to share his official one-year before and after transformation. The first picture, taken on January 3rd, 2022 is compared to a photo of him as of January 31st, 2023. He now shows solid conditioning and a noticeable six-pack abs.

Jai’Ceon Campbell is the next in line to build an impressive physique at a young age.

For more news and updates, follow Generation Iron on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

11 Best Shoulder Exercises for Building Boulder Shoulders

best shoulder exercises

Here are the 11 best exercises to build the most monstrous shoulders! 

Keeping your shoulders healthy and strong is vital to achieving your fitness goals and improving your overall quality of life, as you use your shoulder to do a lot of functional tasks. Whether you’re aiming for new personal bests in weightlifting, throwing more powerful punches, or looking good on the bodybuilding stage, having a solid shoulder workout plan is essential. So let’s explore the best shoulder exercises to help you reach those goals and teach you how to do them and the benefits of each movement. Keep reading to learn the 11 best shoulder exercises you should add to your routine!

Best Shoulder Exercises 

  • Military Press
  • Arnold Dumbbell Press 
  • Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Alternating Kettlebell Press
  • Front Cable Raise
  • Cable Upright Row 
  • Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly
  • Face Pulls 
  • Seated Lateral Raise
  • Front Incline Dumbbell Raise
  • Side Lateral Dumbbell Raise

Military Press 

First on the list of the best shoulder exercises is the barbell military press. This barbell military press is a must have movement in an effective shoulder regimen. The barbell military press is an excellent exercise that destroys your deltoids. The military press strengthens your upper body muscles and abs and builds stability. In addition, regular repetition of military presses will ensure increased muscle mass and a broader frame and will help you explode past PRs on other pressing movements like bench press.


  • This exercise is a compound movement for the shoulders.
  • It allows you to use heavy loads to increase your shoulder strength significantly. 

How to Do

  1. To perform this exercise better, you should start from a standing position with a bar resting in the front rack position just above your shoulders.
  2. Keep your back straight before forcefully pushing the barbell above your head until your arms are fully extended
  3. Then return to starting position. 

Dumbbell Arnold Press 

The dumbbell Arnold Press is a great way to build strength and stability in your shoulders. It targets all three deltoid heads, allowing for an increased range of motion and building round shoulders that’ll pop. This exercise strengthens the anterior and medial portions of the shoulder girdle and is a key component of any well-rounded upper-body workout.


  • It targets all three deltoid heads.
  • It’s a compound dumbbell exercise that works on shoulder stability. 

How to Do

  1. Begin with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing forward.
  2. Raise your arms while simultaneously externally rotating your arms and pressing up. 
  3. Press the dumbbells together at the top (without letting them touch) to contract your full shoulder girdle. 
  4. Then, internally rotate your arms back down as you lower the weight to return to the starting position. 

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press 

The seated dumbbell shoulder press is incredibly effective for targeting the shoulder muscles and building overall strength. Sitting dumbbell shoulder presses are an excellent way to build your shoulders, improve posture and stability, reduce injury risk, and develop power in overhead movements. 


  • This unilateral (single-limb) compound shoulder exercise allows for better mind-muscle connection.
  • It will target your anterior and lateral delts. 

How to Do

  1. Sit with your back against a bench and press the weight directly above your shoulders in a controlled manner until your elbows reach full extension.
  2. Keep your torso stationary throughout the exercise and focus on using your shoulder muscles to lift the weight. 

Alternating Kettlebell Press 

The alternating kettlebell press is another one of the best shoulder exercises that challenges your stability. It involves alternating your arms while holding a single kettlebell overhead and pressing against gravity. This exercise activates muscle fibers in a variety of muscle groups, including the chest, triceps, deltoids, and core and it also increases muscular development and endurance. 


  • It improves shoulder stability. 
  • This exercise is an excellent movement for improving your core stability. 

How to Do

  1. Start with your feet firmly planted on the ground, keeping the weight close to your body and palms facing each other (neutral grip) while grasping two kettlebells.
  2. Press up, alternating one arm until it’s fully locked out.
  3. Bring that arm down and simultaneously press the other side until that arm is locked out.
  4. That’s one rep. Repeat. 

Front Cable Raise

The front cable raise is excellent for building shoulder and arm strength. This exercise engages your front deltoid and helps improve posture. Use a neutral grip to take some pressure off your shoulders if you’re experiencing shoulder pain. 


  • This exercise will keep the tension consistent throughout its full range of motion since it’s performed on a cable machine. 
  • It isolates your anterior deltoid. 

How to Do

  1. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and hold a cable in front of you at thigh level. 
  2. Raise your arm while keeping your arms straight until your arms are parallel to the ground. 
  3. Lower the cable down while keeping your arms stable. 

Cable Upright Row 

The cable upright row effectively increases upper body strength, including the shoulders and trapezius. This exercise should be performed on a cable machine. When done correctly, the cable upright row is an efficient movement that simultaneously strengthens various overlapping muscle groups (traps and anterior deltoids).


  • This exercise targets your trapezius and anterior deltoid. 
  • It keeps tension on your muscles through the full range of motion. 

How to Do

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip the cable attachment (straight or curved bar) from the cable machine with both hands. 
  2. Exhale as you pull straight up towards your chin, curling your elbows up and backward until your hands are beneath your chin.
  3. Pause briefly at the top of the rep before returning to your starting position.

*Note: Be wary of shoulder pain on this one. If it feels uncomfortable, omit this movement.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly 

The dumbbell rear delt fly is an effective shoulder exercise that helps build strength and improve posture, and a staple of the best shoulder exercises. It targets your rear deltoid muscles, which can generally be hard to target with other movements. It’ll help rehab you from shoulder injuries and strengthen your shoulders since this muscle is often neglected. 


  • It helps strengthen the less targeted shoulder muscle—the rear deltoid.
  • It will improve your posture. 
  • This exercise is beneficial for shoulder rehab.

How to Do

  1. To do the dumbbell rear delt fly, start by holding dumbbells while sitting on a bench.
  2. Then hinge at your hips and bend over — about 45 degrees.
  3. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise your arms as far back as your range of motion will allow. 
  4. Hold your arms in this position for a few seconds and then slowly lower back to the starting position (underneath your thighs). 

Face Pulls 

The face pull is a fantastic exercise for strengthening the shoulders and upper back. It can be easily incorporated into any strength training routine to provide benefits such as better posture, increased stability in the shoulder joint, improved range of motion and flexibility, and more effective weightlifting ability in the shoulders. This movement is overall great for your shoulder health.


  • This shoulder exercise is excellent for your shoulder health by reducing your chance of injury and strengthing your shoulders. 
  • It increases your shoulder mobility. 

How to Do 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart to do a face pull and grab a resistance band or cable at face level or above.
  2. Keep your elbows high and pull the band outward from your face while keeping your elbows parallel to the floor — pause to contract your deltoids before returning to starting position. 

Seated Lateral Raise

The seated lateral raise is a crucial single-joint shoulder exercise that strengthens the shoulder muscles, increases shoulder stability and mobility, and directly targets the middle deltoids, and it easily makes our list of the best shoulder exercises. The seated position forces your shoulder to do more of the workload rather than relying on momentum, your core, and stabilizers as standing lateral raises would. 


  • Since you’re seated, this exercise will isolate more of your shoulders and less of your core. 
  • It targets your lateral deltoids. 

How to Do

  1. To perform seated lateral raises, you’ll need dumbbells and a bench. Start seated with your feet on the floor and back against a bench while holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Next, lift your arms to the sides at a 45-degree angle until it reaches parallel to your shoulders.
  3. Lastly, slowly lower your arms back down for one complete repetition. 

Front Incline Dumbbell Raise 

The front incline dumbbell raise is a great exercise to add to your workout routine. It targets the front deltoids while allowing you to hit your shoulders from a different angle. As the name implies, this exercise will help you build solid front deltoids and activate the front core muscles, making it an excellent workout option for those looking to have well-balanced muscle development.


  • It isolates your anterior deltoids.
  • The angle of the bench will give you a greater range of motion. 

How to Do

  1. Begin by holding a pair of dumbbells in each hand in a neutral grip.
  2. While keeping your body upright, draw your arms while keeping your arms straight throughout the raising motion (you can have a slight bend in elbows to protect your shoulders). 
  3. Once your arms are about head level, slowly lower them down again and repeat. 

Side Lateral Dumbbell Raise

The side lateral dumbbell raise is excellent for targeting the lateral deltoid muscles and stabilizing shoulder muscles. Regularly incorporating side lateral dumbbell raises into your workout routine has multiple benefits; it helps build sculpted shoulders, improve posture and shoulder stability, and protect you from shoulder injuries.


  • It targets your lateral deltoids.
  • It makes your physique broader, improving your shoulder-to-waist ratio. 

How to Do

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand held at arm’s length.
  2. Then, with palms facing towards your side, slowly lift the weights straight out to the side until they are parallel with the floor, then lower them back down to starting position.
  3. Repeat.

About Your Shoulders

The deltoids are the shoulder’s anterior, lateral, and rear muscles that provide stability and enable you to lift and rotate your arms. The deltoid muscle is a rounded triangular muscle that originates at the clavicle and scapula, then inserts into the humerus (1). 

Its primary function is allowing you to raise your arm from your sides and rotate it internally or externally while remaining stable. Since your shoulder joint is mobile, it’s easily injured, so you must train cautiously. Not only is deltoid movement important for everyday activities, but it’s also important in sports, such as throwing a ball or swimming.

Thus, consistently training your shoulders is critical for athletes since deltoid strength is essential in many sports. In addition, it plays a big part in pressing movements, such as the barbell bench press. So if you strengthen your shoulders, you’ll improve your bench press. 

How to Train Your Shoulders 

We recommend using heavier weights and performing lower reps with compound movements such as the military press and dumbbell Arnold press to train your shoulders. And we suggest using lighter weights and doing more reps for accessory exercises such as seated lateral raises. 

If you’re a beginner, we recommend two sets for all movements. Intermediate lifters can perform three sets of compound movements and two sets of isolation exercises. Advanced weightlifters can increase the volume to 3-4 sets for all activities. 

Rules to Follow

Warm Up

Your shoulder joint is very mobile. And the more mobile your joint is, the more likely it will be injured. And the shoulder is especially at risk for overhead athletes, e.g., in tennis and baseball (2). So we recommend a thorough warm-up before lifting heavy weights on a shoulder exercise. In addition, include some dynamic strengthing—movement stretching — such as arm circles before your lift. 

Start With Compound Movements

Before performing isolation exercises such as front cable raise, it’s better to start with the movements that allow you to engage all of your deltoids with heavier weights, such as the military press. 

Target All Deltoids

Since your shoulder is made of three deltoids, you must include a mix of exercises that engages them. For example, face pulls for your rear deltoid, side lateral raises for your lateral deltoid, and front incline raise for your anterior deltoid. 

Best Shoulder Exercises Wrap Up 

So there you have it, our list of the best shoulder exercises you can do. But it’s always a good idea to mix up your workouts to add variety. Do you agree with our list of the best shoulder exercises?

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  1. Miniato MA, Anand P, Varacallo M. Anatomy, Shoulder and Upper Limb, Shoulder. [Updated 2022 Jul 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK536933/
  2. Cools, A. M., Johansson, F. R., Borms, D., & Maenhout, A. (2015). Prevention of shoulder injuries in overhead athletes: a science-based approach. Brazilian journal of physical therapy, 19(5), 331–339. https://doi.org/10.1590/bjpt-rbf.2014.0109