Shoulder Workouts

Introduction

If you think shoulder day is just like any other in the gym, you couldn’t be more wrong. Your shoulder is a very special joint, and it deserves special treatment. Thanks to its placement, ball-and-socket structure, and freedom of movement, the shoulder is involved in just about every upper-body movement. As a result, it’s subject to more wear and tear over time than probably any other joint in your body.

Shoulder exercises should be an integral part of any gym routine, because building strength and improving mobility in your shoulders will help with a range of other exercises. And of course, if you’re physique training, wide shoulders are a key part of a V-shaped torso.

When training shoulders, you therefore have to consider exercises and techniques to build muscle and keep the joint healthy for the future.

Before you start here are a few general tips:

1. Watch your overall volume- High-volume training is a cornerstone of bodybuilding, but the math adds up fast for one set of joints that takes plenty of abuse during training for almost all upper body parts. For example, the anterior delts are heavily recruited in chest movements, especially incline presses. Multijoint exercises for the triceps also engage the shoulder joint. And on back day, the rear delts are involved in rowing motions.

All that extra work means the delts can easily be overtrained, depending on how you arrange your training split and how much volume you include on delt day.

2. Consider Training Rear Delts With Back- While chest day means extra work for your anterior delts, when it comes to back training the rear delts take up a greater share of the workload. That’s because all those rowing motions use the rear delts to help pull your elbows back. Here, the rear delts are a secondary muscle group, but make no mistake, they’re hard at work.

3. Never Extend Your Elbows During Single-Joint Shoulder Exercises- Fully extending the elbows is a beginner’s mistake far too many intermediate lifters still make, especially with single-joint movements for the middle and rear delts. It’s best to keep your elbows locked in a slightly bent position during moves like lateral raises and rear-delt flyes. Locking your elbow in place ensures that the only joint in motion is the shoulder, which is what you want since these are single-joint exercises.

Seated Bent Over Lateral Raise

The Seated bent over lateral raise is a separation (isolation) exercise to focus on your posterior deltoids. It incorporates developments that are predominantly centred around two of our shoulder joints – the scapulothoracic joint and the glenohumeral joint.

Seated Bent Over Lateral Raise

Step 1: Sit on the edge of a level seat with feet marginally not as much as shoulder width separated, bend at the midsection so your chest is in contact with your knees and handle the free weights with palms confronting one another.

Step 2: Bend your arms marginally to lift the free weights straight up off the floor.

Step 3: With elbows still marginally bent, breathe out and raise the free weights straight up to the sides until the point when your arms are parallel to the floor.

Step 4: Hold for a minute and afterwards breathe in and gradually bring down the hand weights again into beginning position.

Important Tip: Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps each. You should avoid using too heavy a weight as it will prompt shaking and swinging.

Side Lateral Raise

Along with toning all the three heads of the deltoid muscles, the side lateral raise also activates the trapezoid muscles present in the upper back region.

Side Lateral Raise

Step 1: Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Secure the dumbbells in both the hands and place them on the side, parallel to the body. The palms should be facing the body in this position.

Step 2: With a straight torso, raise the dumbbells to the side with slightly bent elbows until they are in line with the shoulders. In this position, the dumbbells must be parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Hold for a moment and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Important tip: Always follow a proper form while performing this exercise. Do not use momentum to lower the weights as it could lead to a serious rotator cuff injury.

Front Raise

The front raise is a fundamental weight training exercise that is great for beginniners.

Front Raise

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold a barbell or dumbbell with your palms facing down such that it is close to your thighs and your arms are extended down.

Step 2: Raise the barbell or dumbbell up to bring it over your head. Keep your elbows slightly bent.

Step 3: Pause for a second and lower it back down. Repeat.

Do 2 sets of 15 reps each.

Front Cable Raise

The front cable raise is an extraordinary exercise for your shoulders especially the front part.
Front Cable Raise

Step 1: Stand near a low pulley while facing away from it. Select an appropriate attachment and secure it with your left hand such that the palm is facing the thighs.

Step 2: With a stationary torso, pull the attachment forward until it is in line with the shoulders. Ensure that the left arm is fully extended throughout the duration of the exercise.

Step 3: Hold for a moment and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions. Perform the same motion using the right hand to target the other set of deltoid muscles.

Important tip: Do not use momentum to lower the attachment as an improper form could lead to a serious rotator cuff injury.

When raising the cable, your arm should slightly bend.

Upright Row

The upright row is a weight training exercise performed by holding a grips with the overhand grip and lifting it straight up to the collarbone. This is a compound exercise that involves the trapezius, the deltoids and the biceps. The narrower the grip the more the trapezius muscles are exercised, as opposed to the deltoids.

 

Upright Row

Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the knees relaxed, with the bar in hand.

Step 2: Hold the bar in front of your legs with the palms facing your thighs.

Step 3: Pull the bar up to chest level, keeping it below the level of the shoulders.

Step 4: pull until the upper arm is parallel to the floor. The elbows will point out and up.

Step 5: After a pause, slowly lower the weights back to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for as long as you can

Important tips: Initiate the movement at the elbows

keep the abdominals tight and the lower back in a neutral position

Dumbbell Shrugs

Dumbbell shrugs permit singular trapezius isolation, so you can focus on developing your snares better. It takes into account better development. You can hold or position the free weights outside or in front of your thighs or even behind your body.

Dumbbell Shrugs

Step 1: Get into standing position with the hand weights on the two sides of your body.

Step 2: Now move forward, breathe in, and snatch the hand weights with a nonpartisan hold.

Step 3: Stand up tall and guarantee your spine stays neutral.

Step 4: Now you need to contract the traps to lift the shoulders. Crush hard at the top and gradually bring down the hand weights back to the beginning position.

Important Tip: Do 2-3 sets of 10 reps each. Looking marginally upward while shrugging may improve the contraction as the traps will help to control the movement of the skull. This movement ought to be smooth and controlled, as a ballistic development could result in neck injury.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is often seen as the go-to exercise to build the deltoids. However, the exercise does a whole lot more than tone the shoulders; it activates the biceps, triceps and the forearms, along with the rhomboids and the traps in the upper back.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Step 1: Sit upright on a flat bench with back support and secure the dumbbells in both the hands. Position them beside the head such that the palms are facing away from the body. The upper arms must be perpendicular to the torso in this position.

Step 2: Gradually raise the dumbbells overhead until the arms are fully extended and parallel to the body.

Step 3: Hold for a moment and return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise the recommended number of times.

Important tip: Follow a smooth, controlled motion and do not use momentum to lower the weights as it could lead to a serious rotator cuff injury.

Cable Rear Delt Row

The beauty about this brilliant exercise which, as the name suggests, focuses heavily on the rear delts is its sheer simplicity. The movements are super easy, it isn’t as taxing, which is why including it in your shoulder day schedule should be a no-brainer.

Cable Rear Delt Row

Step 1: Sit on a flat bench facing a cable machine. Take hold of cable attachments with an overhand grip while keeping your arms parallel and spreading them out to the fullest.

Step 2: Give the attachments a tug and bring them towards your chest. Keep at it until your elbows hug your back.

Step 3: Pause for a moment before reverting to your original stance.

Important Tip: Begin with 8 reps.

Barbell Rear Delt Row

This exercise is for enhancing the rear delts. All in all, it’s a great exercise and one you might want to consider.

Barbell Rear Delt Row

Step 1: Keep your back straight and your knees slightly bent before grabbing the barbell with a wide grip.

Step 2: Pull the barbell towards your chest while giving your shoulders a good squeeze. Ensure that your arms are perpendicular to the ground lifting.

Step 3: Pause for a moment before reverting to your original stance.

Important Tip: Begin with 8 reps.

Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is an intermediate-level exercise that is ideal for targeting all the three heads of the deltoid muscles.

Arnold Press

Step 1: Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart or sit on a flat bench with a straight back. Secure dumbbells in both the hands and place them in front of the chest region such that the palms are facing towards the body.

Step 2: Raise the dumbbells while simultaneously rotating your wrists until the arms are in a fully extended position.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tip: Ensure that you keep your elbows close to the body throughout the duration of the exercise. People with lower back problems must exercise caution while performing the standing variation of this exercise.

Seated Barbell Military Press

The seated barbell military press is an intermediate-level exercise that primarily tones the shoulder muscles. Other target muscles include the biceps, triceps and the muscles in the forearm region.

Seated Barbell Military Press

Step 1: Sit on a flat bench with a straight back. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and secure the barbell with a grip that is slightly wider than the distance between the shoulders. Position it overhead with fully extended arms such that the palms are facing away from the body.

Step 2: Slowly lower the barbell until it is just below the chin region. In this position, the upper arms must be parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Hold the position for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number repetitions.

Important tip: Beginners are advised to perform this exercise with the help of a spotter.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

The reverse fly is a compound exercise that not only targets the rear deltoids but also tones the traps and rhomboids in the upper back region.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Reverse Fly

Step 1: Stand straight and position your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells in both the arms and place them on the side, parallel to the body. The palms must be facing each other throughout the duration of the exercise.

Step 2: Slightly bend forward while maintaining a straight torso. Gradually raise your arms to the side until they are in line with the shoulders. For maximum efficiency, squeeze the shoulder blades at the end of this motion.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Important tip: People with a history of lower back problems must exercise caution while performing the bent-over dumbbell reverse fly.

Javelin Press

The exercise is simple but challenging. Just perform a one-handed overhead press using a barbell or a dumbbell (we recommend using a barbell). The grip position will be similar to that of a javelin thrower.

Javelin Press

Step 1: Grab a barbell and hold it lengthwise. Bring it to your shoulder level. Your elbows must be under your wrist.

Step 2: Push the bar up and go until your upper arm reaches your ear.

Step 3: Hold for a second and lower it back. Repeat.

Do 2 sets of 10 reps on each side.

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