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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

7 Best Shoulder Exercises


You need to hit your deltoids, upper trapezius, serratus anterior, rotator cuff muscles, and levator scapulae to truly build three-dimensional shoulders. Aside from strengthening your upper body muscles and the bones beneath them, you'll safeguard your body against injury and let's face it, you'll create an aesthetic men want to replicate and woman go crazy over.





Overhead pressing and lateral raises can only do so much to build strong, functional shoulders, so here are 7 shoulder exercises that'll improve flexibility, add size, get stronger and complete your physique.


 1 -Cable Face Pull

The bench press is one of our favorite exercises. Doing too many, however, can cause a strength imbalance, favoring your front over your back. Over time, you start to look more like a caveman than a strongman.

But there are more ways to work your back than just rows. The face pull defines the muscles in your upper back, helping improve your posture and strength, says Gene Rychlak, a record-setting powerlifter.

DO IT: Attach a rope to the high pulley of a cable station and grab an end with each hand. Back a few steps away until your arms are extended in front of you. Pull the middle of the rope toward your face. Pause, and reverse the movement back to the starting position.

2 -Cable Reverse Flye

Exercises that specifically target the rear head of the deltoid muscle pop up three times on this list, and with good reason — the rear delts don’t tend to get much attention. But for shoulders that will fill out your T-shirts, you’re gonna need rear delts that can keep pace with the meaty front and middle delts. Those latter two get additional work during chest and shoulder presses, while the rears really need ample attention of their own to thrive. For that, the reverse flye comes to the rescue, adding a dimension of muscle control and balance that the more popular reverse pec-deck flye cannot match.

How-To: Attach D-handles to the upper pulley of a cable machine. Now grasp the left-side handle in your right hand, then step over and get the right-side handle in your left before stepping to the center, equidistant from each stack. Straighten your elbows without locking them out, your palms in a neutral grip. From here, keeping your arms elevated at the level of your shoulders and elbows fixed, open your arms out to your sides, pulling each handle across to the other side by engaging your rear delts. When you reach a point at which your arms are outstretched in a “open hug” pose, reverse the motion to bring the handles back to the start position. Know that one hand will cross over the other when in front — it doesn’t matter which is high and which is low, although you can switch from set to set if you prefer.

3 -BrbellOverhead Press

Set the bar up in a squat rack or cage, and grasp it just outside shoulder width. Take the bar off the rack and hold it at shoulder level with your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze the bar and brace your abs. Press the bar overhead, pushing your head forward and shrugging your traps as the bar passes your face.

4 -
Standing Dambbell Fly
 
Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Without shrugging, use your upper body to swing the weights up a few inches. Your arms and torso will form an upside down V shape. Think of it as a lateral raise with momentum but without full range of motion.


 5 -Kettlebell Single Arm Press

Why use a kettlebell instead of a dumbbell for this movement? The shape and weight distribution of the bell pulls your shoulder into a position that increases mobility and muscle recruitment, says Pavel Tsatsouline, chairman of StrongFirst.com and the author of Kettlebell Simple & Sinister.

DO IT: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in front of your shoulder with your palm in, elbow tucked, and the weight resting on the top of your forearm. Press it straight up, rotating your arm so your palm faces forward. Do equal reps on both arms.

6 -Wide-Grip Smith-Machine Upright Row

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.

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.

 7 -Scaption and Shrug

While the "scaption" portion of the exercise targets your front deltoids, rotator cuff, and serratus anterior, the “shrug” attacks your upper traps. This provides a complete exercise for making your shoulders strong and healthy.

(For your next workout, throw on the moisture-wicking Men’s Health logo t-shirt. It’s guaranteed to be as soft as your favorite washed-a-million-times tee—right out of the package.)

DO IT: Stand holding a pair of dumbbells with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let the dumbbells hang at arm's length next to your sides, your palms facing each other and your elbows slightly bent.

Without changing the bend in your elbows, raise your arms at a 30-degree angle to your body until they’re at shoulder level. At the top of the movement, shrug your shoulders up toward your ears. Pause, then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
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