8 Tricks for Bigger, Healthier Shoulders

#5. Don’t Do Front Raises

If your routine already includes a generous amount of pressing and pulling movements, there’s practically no need to overload your anterior delt even further with front raises, as these movements already provide all the stimulation you need.

Furthermore, all delt heads don’t work equally, and the one that typically carries the heaviest load is the anterior delt, which is a primary mover during overhead presses and also assists on all chest and triceps workouts. So if you’re doing front raises in addition to many shoulder, chest and triceps compound lifts, you are overworking your front delts and thereby increasing their susceptibility to injury.

#6. Make Your Rear Delts Roar

Imbalance between the three deltoid heads can lead to painful rotator cuff issues down the road, not to mention that having big front caps and weak rear delts will screw up your posture and make you look like a caveman.

Overhead shoulder presses don’t provide enough stimulation for the rear delts, but these are highly engaged in compound back exercises that involve bringing your elbows back behind the plane of your body. A good way to prevent structural imbalance and avoid overdeveloping your anterior delts is by beginning every shoulder workout with rear delt exercises such as rear delt flyes, uncrossovers and j-pulls. This way you can create better symmetry, achieve that 3D look you want and ensure optimal shoulder health.

#7. Clean and Press

This forgotten gym classic is an amazing tool to accelerate strength and size development in the entire upper body, increase stability and reap bigger gains from your training sessions. And if your shoulders are lagging, doing a couple of sets at the beginning of every shoulder workout can significantly improve the effectiveness of the rest of your hypertrophy work. The clean and press utilizes everything from your core muscles to your delts, traps, biceps and serratus, and you will find out what’s your weakest area as soon as you try it.

Keep your feet about shoulder-width apart so that you have a stable and powerful base, and keep your legs straight but not locked all through the movement. Your grip should be overhand and placed just a bit wider than shoulder width. You don’t have to go too heavy, especially if you’re new to this exercise, so use about 60% of the weight you would be using for overhead presses. Focus on sets of 5-8 reps, unless you’re already very strong and advanced in your training.

#8. Superman Presses

This exercise primarily targets the shoulders, core and glutes, while also incorporating a variety of synergists and stabilizer muscles. It can be performed anywhere and is ideal for preventing postural problems and protecting the health of your shoulders and spine, but it’s also very useful for developing roundness in the delts.

Set an incline bench at 45 degrees and lay with your chest on the bench. Grab a pair of relatively light dumbbells and press perpendicular by extending one arm at the same time as you extend the opposite leg. Make sure to keep your hips straight and your lower back flat. Keep the movement smooth and slow. Switch and repeat.

Finally, keep in mind that your shoulders can handle a lot of work, so don’t be afraid to hit them twice a week.

One Response

  1. john garner

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