Min menu


Hot Articles

Shoulder Training Tips & Building Boulder Shoulders Strong and Healthy Shoulders

If you want some big, bad ass boulder shoulders that make you look like you're wearing a pair of Road Warrior-like studded football pads underneath your shirt, well, this isn't the article you should be reading. Sorry. However, if you want to correct a few muscle imbalances you may have created before you knew better, or if you want to fortify the integrity of your shoulder joints and maybe even improve your posture, then this might be just the article you need.

We all know people who were really into bodybuilding at one time in their lives but eventually dropped out after a few years of hardcore lifting. Why? In many cases, these guys developed so many nagging injuries they eventually just gave up on training. Injuries to the shoulders top the list. It doesn't have to be that way, of course. Proper care and feeding of your "caps" can keep them healthy through years of hard training. After all, you can't build cannonball delts if you're injured.

Here are a few exercises to get your shoulders stronger, healthier, and yes, maybe even a little bigger.
Execution Tips and Targeted Muscles

W Shoulder Press  3-4 – Reps: 6-8  – Tempo  3-2-1-1 Rest 10

You will blast the supraspinatus and lateral head of the shoulder with this movement. Stay focused on the proper starting and finishing points for each rep. Prioritize the proper form over the weight load and use a controlled tempo with no less than a three-second lowering phase to reduce shearing forces on the joint. Retract and depress the scapula before starting the set and maintain this position throughout.

Keep a five-degree elbow bend throughout the entire rep to avoid cheating yourself out of benefits. The elbows will come in contact with the lats on the bottom of the movement to indicate the stopping point. Raise the load using a circular motion which should take one or two seconds to reach the top. Smashing the dumbbells together on top of the rep to hear the satisfying clanging sound is not a good idea. A training partner to support proper form, range of motion completion and to provide feedback during the set is very helpful.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press  Sets: 4   –   Reps: 8-10

Prioritize a proper range of motion by touching the dumbbell to the shoulder in the bottom position and achieve a complete stop for one to two seconds. Maintain an externally rotated position during the entire rep. This movement will train the anterior deltoid (front) and medial deltoid (middle).

Bent-Over High Position Shoulder Raise Sets: 3-4 – Reps: 6-8  – Tempo  3-2-1-1 Rest 90

The lower part of the dumbbell should be even with ear. This technique will be more challenging than other positions, but remember the objective is to target the rear deltoid, not to handle the most arbitrary weight load. Fight the temptation to swing the weights up, as this reduces the training benefits. A similar movement can be executed while face down on a 30 degree bench which is the right move when struggling during the bent over position.

Raise the dumbbells to a high position on top of the rep which should be three to four inches higher than the head. It is easy to lose this distance as fatigue sets in. A training partner can help to support the proper form by providing feedback during the set using their hands as targets for the dumbbells to touch at the top of each rep.  Advanced trainees can consider a two to three second pause on top of each rep to maximize muscle fiber recruitment.

 Dumbbell Rear-Delt Raises  Sets: 3-4 – Reps: 6-8  – Tempo  3-2-1-1 Rest 10

The rear-delts are the area of the shoulders in which most people fail to engage fully into their workouts. When looking at the shoulders from the side these are the muscle which makes the shoulder still look 3D as the rear head of the delt can look like a separate muscle if trained correctly.