Build shoulders like boulders
Broad, ‘capped’ shoulders are a key component of that highly sought-after yet ellusive X-frame physique that so many gym-goers relentlessly chase – the other requirements are big legs and a small waist. Dedicated focus on your shoulder development will, therefore, yield impressive returns in the aesthetics department.
Also, as we established in our article on common shoulder training mistakes (November/December 2015 issue of fitness His Edition – available for download from iTunes, Zinio or Magzter if you missed it), shoulders are complex structures as they consist of a joint and the requisite muscles that enable movement of your arms through a 360 degree arc across multiple planes. It’s the only joint structure in the body where this range of motion is possible, but it does make your shoulders more susceptible to injury. Ensuring balanced muscle development throughout the shoulder region is, therefore, essential. This requires an equal focus on all the associated muscle groups, including the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids, the trapezius, and the rotator cuffs.
It is also worth noting that the shoulders are involved in almost every upper body exercise or movement pattern, which means that strong shoulders will make you stronger at just about every other movement.
To ensure you get the most from your shoulder training routine we have compiled a workout that targets every important muscle group, with a number of exercises you won’t find in your run-of-the-mill routine.
|Barbell overhead press||4||8|
|Dumbbell snatch press||3||10 per arm|
|Spider lateral raises||3||5|
|Rear delt raises||3||8|
Barbell Overhead Press
How to do it: Stand up straight holding a barbell with an overhand grip, with your core engage and feet positioned shoulder-width apart. Clean the bar up to your clavicles. Press the bar upwards, until your arms are almost fully extended.
Dumbbell Snatch Press
How to do it: Stand with your feet positioned slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in one hand hanging between your legs. Drop your hips and flex your knees to drop down into a partial deadlift position. When the dumbbell is below your knees explosively extend your upwards, pulling the weight up in front of your body. ‘Catch’ the dumbbell at shoulder height as you reach the upright position. Press the dumbbell overhead. Lower the dumbbell under control back to the hanging position. That’s one rep. Repeat for the required reps then swap to the other arm.
How to do it: Hold a weight plate with both hands. Lift it to eye level then rotate it from side to side.