Having big shoulders gives the appearance of being leaner thanks to the V taper effect. They also fill out a t-shirt quite nicely. Shoulders are definitely important muscles to develop, however many people make the mistake of over training them. This could lead to serious injury. Here are some do’s and dont’s of shoulder training.
Within the shoulders, or deltoids, are 3 heads. Front, Lateral and rear. To get the 3D bowling ball effect on your shoulders you need to train each head individually. Your goal here is to develop each part individually to get more deltoid definition. Please remember, especially with shoulders – warming them up is very important. The most common injury we see in the gym is related to shoulders. Avoid lots of pain and shoulder rehab training by simply warming up and loosening the shoulder joints.
Rear Delt Exercise
The rear head of the deltoid is by far the most under trained. It is also the hardest to bring up. Thats why we start with a rear shoulder workout. A great exercise to hit this back part of the shoulder is the bent over delt flyes(sometimes called a dumbbell rear delt raise). I prefer doing this rear delt workout seated on a bench, but standing up works good too. You are always trying to squeeze and stretch the shoulder muscles, so if you catch yourself throwing up the dumbbells to get it up with mostly your arms, try lightening the weight. Slow and controlled movements are what will build that rear delt head.
Lateral Delt Exercise
Next up is the lateral head of the deltoid, commonly called the side delt. Growing this muscle will give you that width you are looking for in your shoulders. For this head we will be performing a side lateral raise. I prefer to do drop-sets on this exercise to get the most out of it. No heavy weights are needed, start with a moderate weight and drop down to a light weight with no rest in between. Remember to squeeze the lateral delt and hold that squeeze for a second, then slowly back down.
Front Delt Exercise
Finally we have the front head. We are saving this one for last because it is the most actively used part of your shoulder. Anytime you are working chest your front delt gets worked as well, so it really does not need that much attention. For this one we will do a military press. Straight up and down, and don’t forget to go low enough to get a good stretch. You should be a bit tired from your other shoulder exercises so there really is no need to go too heavy on your front delt workout.
A great way to blow up your shoulders is to switch up the movements with a super set. Instead of doing 3 or 4 sets on each head then continuing to the next one, try a set of rear, then immediately hit the side laterals with no rest for 4 sets. After that, side laterals first followed by front delts. And finally do a superset with front delts together with rear. There are lots of different variations and types of deltoid exercises, however these are the basics that you need in order to get that mass on your shoulders. When you have the mass, then worry about all the little shaping exercises. Following this guide is guaranteed to give you a great shoulder pump.
For all exercises:
Rest Time: 1min – 1.5min max
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