Here’s how to get pro level boulder shoulders.

So maybe you’ve gotten your arms, legs, chest, and back all worked out – but now you still need to build up some massive shoulder muscles. Shoulders are an important muscle, so why is it that so many people can’t seem to develop a thick, well-balanced set of shoulders? Are you looking to take your shoulders to the next level? Here’s a complete video workout that will give you the tools and tips you need to build up some truly massive shoulders. Check it out above!

The shoulder joint is very delicate and is needed for many movements and exercises. Weak shoulders can lead to a limited range of motion and instability, so strengthening them will not only add to support and stabilization, but also make for a great aesthetic. The benefits of strong shoulders go far beyond physique and strong shoulders can enhance posture, allow for a greater range of motion, and prevent injuries to keep you in the gym.

shoulder mobility

Fred “Biggie” Smalls is a former pro bodybuilder who now seeks to help others as a personal trainer, nutritional consultant, and contest prep coach. Having competed around the world, he has placed in the top three in events like the Arnold Classic Asia and Vancouver Pro, and is a 3-time Arnold Classic best poser. His workout routines are great for building muscle and working to help you achieve your goals.

Smalls laid out his great shoulder routine with four exercises to really boost your overall strength and physique. For those looking to really boost their athletic performance and see great muscle gains, these exercises are sure to do the trick. Having strong and solid shoulders will prove to have a big payoff when it comes to supporting other exercises that require heavy weights, as well as aiding in your overall physique. With helpful hints and tips from Smalls, you’ll be on your way to getting boulder shoulders and looking amazing in your pursuit.

shoulder mobility

The Workout

Incline Rear Laterals

This exercise is great for increasing strength and hypertrophy in your rear delts, but also in your upper and lower body as well. When doing this exercise, keep your pinky finger outward to focus on the rear delts as opposed to having your elbow back, which brings in the lats and not your delts.

How to: Stand with your feet about hip-distance apart and bend your knees slightly. With a dumbbell in each hand, elongate your spine and engage your core as you hinge at the waist. Let your arms hang in front of you holding the weights. Raise the weight parallel to the floor from this position and really squeeze your shoulder blades. Once at shoulder height, slowly lower to the starting position.

Total: 4 sets- 12 to 15 reps


Behind The Back Cable Laterals

This works to get the side delt and is effective in providing for a well-rounded shoulder. The exercise stretches the medial deltoid and it is important to elevate the elbow in order to activate your shoulders and not your lats. The shoulder responds to higher reps so not too heavy of weight will work well for isolation.

How to: Standing perpendicular to the machine, make sure your back is straight. Grab the cable with one hand and place the other either on your hip or behind your back. With the hand that has the cable, lift and straighten out your arm to around shoulder height and lower back to the starting position.

Total: 12-15 reps

Shoulder Workout

Overhead Standing Military Press

This is a great power movement to work the delts and triceps, but primarily is shoulders focused. Your hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and make sure to extend all the way through, just short of fully locking out. On the way down, come to your chin or slightly lower if possible, and when pushing up, bend your knees and press through your whole body for more power.

How to: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and have the barbell racked at shoulder height. Grip just outside shoulder-width with your hands and make sure your elbows are slightly in front of the bar. Lift the bar off the rack, engage your core, and accelerate upwards so the weight is over your head and your arms are extended above you. Lower back down and maintain a solid core as you go into the next rep.

Total: 6 to 10 reps. Your rest time should be around 90-120 seconds for lower reps and 45-60 seconds for higher reps.


Incline Front Laterals

A great end of the workout shoulder exercise, it is most effective after pre-fatigue. An exercise for pure isolation of the front deltoids, it is important to control your motion with your hands parallel and to turn at the top so your palms are pronated.

How to: Seated on a bench with a slight incline, firmly plant your feet on the ground and grab the dumbbells, having them by your side. Engaging your upper body, lift the weights in front of you up past your head and lower back to the starting position. Continue for your desired number of reps.

Total: 3 sets- 10 to 12 reps


Wrap Up

Having big, strong shoulders will boost your overall confidence because you will look and feel great. But the benefits of solid shoulders goes far beyond the aesthetic and really works to boost athletic performance and overall strength. With the ability to enhance posture, promote stability, and prevent injuries, strong shoulders can elevate your workouts to new heights. This series of shoulder exercises from Fred Smalls will work for your benefit to get you going with your goals and helpful hints from this former pro are exactly what you need to succeed.

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*Images courtesy of Envato

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