“Shoulders make the man” or so the old expression goes. I’ve tried in vain to find out who uttered these words or why but it’s definitely true that a broad and well shaped pair of shoulders can really separate the men from the boys!
Strong shoulders also offer more than simple aesthetic appeal – these essential muscles are responsible for connecting your arms to your torso and are involved in just about every movement you make with any part of your upper body. Strong shoulders are healthy shoulders so it makes sense to spend some time and effort making yours as good as they can be.
Broader shoulders also make your waist appear smaller by comparison – a trick not unknown to bodybuilders. That’s not to say that shoulder development is the reserve of muscle men – good shoulder development is also important for women too.
Unfortunately, many weight trainers have overdeveloped anterior deltoids – the muscle on the front of the shoulder. The reason for this is simple – this muscle is involved in all chest exercises as well as many shoulder exercises. In essence, the anterior deltoid is usually trained at least twice a week by most people. This in itself is not really an issue, it’s more the fact that the side and rear parts of the shoulders are often neglected by default. Don’t worry though; this will be addressed in this month’s “shoulders like Boulders” program!
Some people suffer problems with the deep muscles of the shoulder – the rotator cuff. Consisting of small muscles that criss-cross the shoulder joint and control rotation, shoulder pain can often be attributed to the rotator cuff. An over reliance on pressing movements can unbalance the deep rotator cuff muscles but again, we’ll make sure we balance your shoulders and work to prevent this happening to you.
An unbalanced shoulder workout can also have an unfortunate effect on your posture. Focusing too much on the front of your shoulders can result in an inward rotation of the upper arms. If, when you stand relaxed in front of a mirror, you can see the backs of your hands, chances are you have internally rotated arms and this needs to be addressed. To prevent this happing, in this month’s programme you will be performing exercises that involve external arm rotation. This will correct any medial rotation and also prevent it from happening in the first place.
So, without further ado, here’s your prescription for developing shoulders like boulders – or, at the very least, balancing your shoulders so they are both strong and healthy! Continues on page 2(The Workout)…