Here are 6 Reasons Why you Should do Side Laterals for Big Shoulders

Do you want to get that wide-shoulder look many guys aspire to? Here are 6 different ways which will spice up your shoulder routine and give you huge shoulders.

Every guy wants to have the V-tapered look that is considered the ideal body, showing the ultimate level of fitness and athleticism. One of the key features of that look besides the narrow waist are broad shoulders. You cannot build a complete physique unless you fully sculpt your shoulders.

Although the overhead pressing exercises should be the staple of your shoulder training regimen, incorporating side lateral movements is as much important component as the pressing movements. They further sculpt and define the massiveness of the shoulders that pressing exercises give you. Here are 6 reasons why you should be doing side laterals on your shoulder days:

You can isolate the muscle better

Even though movements such as overhead presses or upright rows do engage a great deal of the medial or lateral deltoid head, the side lateral raise will isolate and target this area even more perfectly. Here’s a useful tip: before you start the movement, place the dumbbells at your sides, do not place them in front of the thighs, forcing the medial head of the deltoid to do the brunt of the work.

You can vary the exercise in different ways

One of the great things about side lateral raises is that there is a huge variety in the ways in which you can execute them, making each variation give you a different and unique stimulus to the muscle. The variations include doing them seated or standing, using dumbbells, machines or cables or executing the movements by using both hands at once or doing them one hand at a time.

A very effective variation would be doing it with a single arm using a cable, where the cable would be positioned behind you and you holding the handle behind your back. You should start with a lot smaller weight when doing this movement, but don’t be fooled, even when using a smaller weight you will experience extensive lactic acid build up and a burning sensation in your medial deltoid head.

They’re great for doing supersets

Side laterals are one of those movements that are excellent when it comes to using them as supersets. Supersets are proven to be an extremely effective technique for introducing intensity to your workout and boosting shoulder muscle mass. This works great when combined with upright rows that can also be done in supersets giving your medial deltoid heads a really brutal and agonizing workout.

There’s also another technique you could use. It’s called pre-exhausting supersets, where you do some variation of a side lateral movement which is then followed by some kind of a compound pressing movement or an upright rowing movement. Then at other times, you can switch them up, by doing the compound exercise first and then do the side laterals, which is called post-activation superset. Both types present an effective stimulus to the shoulder muscles and the CNS.

You can achieve a greater peak contraction

When performing the side laterals the medial deltoid heads are fighting against gravity getting the weight upwards. When the weight reaches the top of the repetition, you should be holding the contraction at the peak for at least 2-3 seconds when performing each rep. Doing so will enable you to have an incredible pump and will engage a lot more muscle fibers, which in turn will promote a faster and bigger muscle gain. Using cables and machines are a superior way in which you can experience peak contraction in comparison to using dumbbells.

You can never get “too wide”

Certain exercises have been proven to cause asymmetrically or disproportionate looking bodes by overdeveloping certain muscle groups, like the bench presses for example, however side laterals are not one of them. You can use them as much as you want, whenever you want. No one has ever complained of looking “too wide” and since creating upper body width is the main thing side laterals help to achieve, you should try incorporating some variety of the exercise in every shoulder workout. Most often, the majority of lifters lag in their medial deltoid development, so starting your shoulder workout with a variety of side laterals as a pre-exhaustion technique is an excellent idea.

You can make half-reps effective

Most fitness advice would have you do the exercises with a proper form and with a reasonable weight. And that’s a terrific advice. However, sometimes in certain exercises you can bypass this advice, making them much more effective. One way in which you can adjust side laterals and stimulate side delt gains is that once in a while you grab a pair of dumbbells weighing twice as much as you would usually use and just try to execute at least half of a full rep. Another way in which you can make half reps more effective is by keeping tension constantly throughout the movement by never allowing the dumbbells to fully return to your sides, which if they do, they will relax the muscles that should be isolated and worked.

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