A Complete Shoulder Workout
Broad shoulders are a sign of strength and power. Imagine what would Superman look like with tiny shoulders. A study from the University of Albany found that a woman’s sexual satisfaction is strongly linked to her partner’s attractiveness and shoulder breadth.
Going by this research, who wouldn’t want to have a nice set of shoulders. This is easier said than done. Shoulders are one of the hardest muscle groups to develop. Building round shoulder caps requires a combination of compound and isolation exercises.
Shoulders consist of three heads; medial (middle), anterior (front) and posterior (rear). Most people have lagging shoulders because they fail to train all the three heads equally. The rear deltoids are usually the most stubborn among the three.
We have designed this workout keeping in mind an overall development of your shoulders. If you’re stuck on a plateau, you should also experiment with advanced training techniques like supersets, drop sets, rest-pause sets, etc.
1. Military Presses – 3 Exercises 12 Reps
Military presses are a compound exercise which works the medial and the anterior shoulder heads. You should start your shoulder workout with the military presses as they are one of the most taxing exercises.
Since this is an overhead movement, you need to be extra careful while performing it. Ask someone for a spot if you’re going for a PR. You should also be using lifting equipment like a weightlifting belt and wrist wraps for support.
2. Dumbbell Front Raises – 3 Exercises 12 Reps
Dumbbell front raises work the anterior (front) deltoids. Most people make the mistake of going too high while performing this exercise. Raise the dumbbells to your eye level without using any momentum.
Negatives are an important part of the dumbbell front raises. Don’t drop the weights like a bomb, keep the negatives slow and controlled. If you want a better pump, perform unilateral sets. Unilateral sets are when you perform all the reps on one side before moving on to the other.
3. Pec Deck Rear Flyes – 3 Exercises 15 Reps
Most people lack in the rear delt department. They make it even worse by not training their rear deltoids often enough. Since your rear delts are at your back, it is hard to establish a mind-muscle connection with them as you can’t see them in the mirror.
Pec deck rear flyes are an isolation exercise. Using cables help in maintaining constant tension on your rear delts throughout the movement. Pause for a second at the top of the movement and squeeze your rear delts.
4. Cuban Presses – 3 Exercises 12 Reps
Cuban Presses are an incredibly effective exercise which helps in building overall muscle mass. Hold dumbbells in both hands and place them in front of your quads. Perform an upright row and at the top of the upright row, switch to the shoulder press position.
Complete a shoulder press and return to the starting position by performing a negative on the upright row. Use moderate weights while performing this exercise as it is more brutal than it might look like.
5. BONUS: Barbell Shrugs – 3 Sets 15 Reps
Don’t leave out your traps while training your shoulders. The trapezius is one of the major muscles of the back and is responsible for moving, rotating, and stabilizing the scapula (shoulder blade) and extending the head at the neck.
While performing the barbell shrubs, most people put more weights on the bar than they can handle. Bring your shoulder to your ears and hold them there for a second. You can also perform this exercise using dumbbells.