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Friday, March 11, 2016

6 Best Shoulder Exercises


The chest muscles are made up of the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is the bigger of the two and spans most of the clavicle and sternum and attaches to the upper arm. It has several important functions at the shoulder: flexion, adduction (towards body), and medial (inward) rotation. The pectoralis minor is a thin triangular muscle that lies beneath the pectoralis major and is responsible for similar functions. Your chest is helpful in contact sports that require a lot of pushing such as football and rugby.



Seated Barbell Press (also know as the "Military Press")
This is a basic shoulder exercise that works the anterior (front) delts and the triceps. It also works the upper chest and upper back as secondary muscles. 


Sitting on an upright bench. Grab the barbell with a wider then shoulder width grip. Push the barbell directly upward until it is at arms length above your shoulders. Lower the barbell back to starting position. Repeat.

This exercise can be done lowing the barbell to the front or behind the head. But some people find that the behind the head version places more stress on the shoulder joints.





Seated Dumbbell Press

This exercise works the entire deltoid area and the triceps. Secondary stress is placed on the upper chest and upper back muscles.





Sit on an upright bench. Grab 2 dumbbells and pull them to your shoulders. The palms of your hands should be facing forwards during the exercise. Keep your feet shoulder width apart.

Keeping your elbows directly under the dumbbells press them upwards until they are at arms length above your head. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Side Lateral Raises

This exercise works the medial (side) deltoids. Secondary stress is applied to the front deltoids and the forearms.





Grab 2 light dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbells just in front of your body with the palms of your hands facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
Using your deltoid strength, raise the dumbbells out to the sides and upwards in a semicircular arc until they are just above shoulder level. Hold this position for a second to maximize the peak contraction in the deltoids. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat.
Tip - to really isolate your deltoids you can do this exercise seated on a bench. This will eliminate any body motion.


Some would argue that the one-arm bent-over lateral raise — allowing you to focus all your effort on one side at a time — is superior to the two-armed version. We disagree. The unilateral version increases the ability to cheat, allowing you to rotate more at the waist when repping. Doing both arms at the same time cuts down on that kind of momentum, putting more pressure on your rear delts to carry the load.


Main Area Targeted: rear deltoids









Strengths: The bent-over raise is versatile and can be performed either standing or seated at the end of a flat bench leaning over your knees. And the use of dumbbells means other muscles come into play for stabilization — which may not mean a heck of a lot for your rear delts but does help create a more functional physique overall.

How-To: With a dumbbell in each hand and your chest up, back flat, knees slightly bent and eyes fixed on a point on the floor just ahead of you, bend over at the hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang directly beneath you with your elbows fixed in a slightly bent position. From there, powerfully raise the dumbbells up and out to your sides in an arc until your upper arms are about parallel with the floor. Pause at the top for a squeeze, then lower the dumbbells back along the same path, stopping just before your arms go fully perpendicular to the floor, and start the next rep.


In bodybuilding circles, you’ll come across your fair share of people who hate the Smith machine. Passionately so. To them, it represents a crime against weightlifting, taking a trusty barbell and putting it on a track. It’s like training wheels for the gym.

We agree in one sense — trading out all your free-weight barbell moves for the Smith versions would give you a less-effective workout overall. But then again, the Smith, when used judiciously, can help you gain strength, beat sticking points, learn body control in relative safety and, in the case of the upright row, even improve (gasp!) on the typical barbell version.

Main Areas Targeted: anterior, middle and rear deltoids; trapezius










Strengths: The upright row is often thought of mostly as a middle-delt exercise, but research has revealed that the wide-grip row engages the rear delts to some extent, as well. While you may assume a barbell or dumbbell upright row might be preferable — free weights get all the love — using the Smith machine in this case helps reduce unwanted stress on the back and shoulder joints because the bar is a bit out in front of you instead of in contact with your torso.

How-To: With your feet hip-width apart, stand upright, holding the bar of a Smith machine in front of your thighs with an overhand grip a few inches outside shoulder width. Twist the bar to release it from the safety latches and let your arms hang straight, maintaining a slight bend in your knees and a tight core. Flex your shoulders to pull the bar straight up toward your chin, keeping the bar close to your body throughout. In the top position, your elbows will be high and pointing out to your sides. Hold that spot for a second before slowly lowering to the start position. 



It sounds like an item on the to-do list of an aging Hollywood starlet, but the face pull in this case is actually for a different type of sculpting — creating pronounced, striated rear delts. Uniquely, it’s a multi-joint rear-delt exercise, setting it apart from other rear-delt-specific moves.

Main Areas Targeted: rear deltoids, middle trapezius Strengths: The benefit of the face pull (and what makes it superior to traditional bent-over dumbbell and cable raises) is the fact that it calls the middle traps into play and incorporates some leverage, allowing you to handle more weight overall. This additional muscle overload leads directly to growth.









How-To: Put a rope attachment on a pulldown station, and make sure you select a heavy enough weight to counterbalance your weight. Stand in front of the pulley and grasp each end of the rope with an overhand grip so your palms are facing each other, then lift your elbows up to shoulder level and to the sides. Now place one foot on the kneepad, which in this case helps anchor you better than keeping both feet on the floor. To start, lean back so your body forms a 45-degree angle to the floor and, keeping your elbows elevated, pull the rope back toward your face until your hands are alongside your ears. Squeeze, then reverse to the start, not letting the weight stack touch down between reps.


Thanks for reading 

Some would argue that the one-arm bent-over lateral raise — allowing you to focus all your effort on one side at a time — is superior to the two-armed version. We disagree. The unilateral version increases the ability to cheat, allowing you to rotate more at the waist when repping. Doing both arms at the same time cuts down on that kind of momentum, putting more pressure on your rear delts to carry the load.

Main Area Targeted: rear deltoids

Strengths: The bent-over raise is versatile and can be performed either standing or seated at the end of a flat bench leaning over your knees. And the use of dumbbells means other muscles come into play for stabilization — which may not mean a heck of a lot for your rear delts but does help create a more functional physique overall.

How-To: With a dumbbell in each hand and your chest up, back flat, knees slightly bent and eyes fixed on a point on the floor just ahead of you, bend over at the hips until your torso is nearly parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbells hang directly beneath you with your elbows fixed in a slightly bent position. From there, powerfully raise the dumbbells up and out to your sides in an arc until your upper arms are about parallel with the floor. Pause at the top for a squeeze, then lower the dumbbells back along the same path, stopping just before your arms go fully perpendicular to the floor, and start the next rep. - See more at: http://www.muscleandperformance.com/article/10-shoulder-exercises-9359#sthash.p8QzSG9d.dpuf
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