The Best Shoulder Exercises!
The make or break body part for any good physique in my eyes are the shoulders. Wide, round shoulders give the illusion of a smaller waist, creating what is known as the ‘V taper’.
Some guys are born with genetically broad shoulders, I personally were not one of the winners of this genetic lottery… although over time I have been able to sculpt my shoulders into by far my strongest and most dominant muscle group (as of right now I’ve had to reduce the volume of shoulder work I do as they are beginning to overpower my chest/arms in terms of proportion).
Regardless of your genetics I want you to know that you can build broad, round shoulders.
You just need to know how to train them correctly.
Before you can train your shoulders effectively you need to understand the different heads of the deltoid (Shoulder).
Your shoulder is not just made up of one muscle, the shoulder is comprised of 3 ‘heads’, these are known as:
- The anterior deltoid (the front of your shoulder)
- The medial deltoid (the side of your shoulder)
- The posterior deltoid (the rear of your shoulder)
The key to building great shoulders is to ensure you are hitting each head of the deltoid, most guys just tend to hit the anterior deltoids (with exercises such as front raises) working on the concept that it is the only portion you need to train to get that size and shape.
If you are not training all 3 heads you will not get round, full shoulders.
Shoulder training is based around 2 main movements, presses and raises, the traditional dumbbell and barbell presses are a great starting exercise for your shoulder routine as they are a compound exercise (and therefore hit all heads of the deltoid) we can then hone in on the anterior, medial and posterior heads individually through different variations of raises.
Here is the shoulder routine I use and recommend, if you’re struggling to build up those shoulders give this routine a try once a week for at least 6 weeks, then report back with your new found boulders.
First of all - I spend a couple of minutes working on my shoulder mobility. This is important.
The Best Shoulder Exercises For Full, Round Shoulders
Compound strength oriented exercise: Seated dumbbell shoulder press or standing barbell overhead press – 6 sets, 4 reps
Anterior deltoid: Front dumbbell raises – 3 sets, 12 reps (per arm)
Medial deltoid: Seated dumbbell lateral raises – 4 sets, 12 reps
Posterior deltoid: Cable rear deltoid flies superset dumbbell rear deltoid flies – 3 sets, 10 reps each
Compound finisher exercise:
Hand stand push-ups (against a wall) 3 sets until failure
A few notes regarding my routine…
With the initial shoulder press I recommend alternating between dumbbell and barbell each week.
As the posterior deltoid appears to be neglected by most people I ensure I hit it with slightly higher volume by performing a superset as opposed to 1 single exercise.
If you cannot perform hand stand push-ups against a wall perform a variation of the hand-stand push up, using a bench or box assume a steep decline push up position. As you begin to perform your reps attempt to lean as far forward as you can to place greater emphasis on the deltoids. You can then gradually work your way up to performing hand-stand push ups against a wall.
Do you have any specific shoulder training techniques? What’s your go-to shoulder exercise? Let me know in the comments below!