Bodybuilding is a sport of illusion. The athletes you see on stage aren’t as big as they appear. Symmetry holds a significant importance in bodybuilding for this very reason. Your shoulders determine your structure and shape your V-taper.
Broad shoulders are seen as a symbol of strength and authority. Look around your gym and you’ll see many people with big biceps and chest but slouching shoulders. You need to train your shoulders from every angle to ensure an overall development.
Your shoulders are made of three heads; front, medial and posterior deltoids. You need to be following a training program which focuses on developing all three heads.
1. Military Presses
There is no going around this exercise. Military presses are a compound exercise which helps in building muscle mass while increasing your overall strength. You should start your shoulder workouts with this exercise.
Many people make the mistake of using momentum while performing this exercise. It’s called military press for a reason, you need to be completely disciplined and not use a jerk or momentum. Use moderate weights and have a complete range of motion.
2. Side Lateral Raises
The roundness of the shoulders is achieved with side lateral raises. Performing this exercise with strict form can add size and definition to your shoulder caps. You can try the cable variation of this exercise for a deeper and more intense pump.
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Start by keeping the dumbbells at your side with a slight bend in your elbows. Lift your arms so they are parallel to the floor. Keep the movement slow and deliberate. Avoid using momentum or bending and bringing the dumbbells in front of your thighs.
3. Arnold Presses
Arnold himself was the man behind this exercise. You need to hit your shoulders from all the angles for a balanced growth and Arnold Presses do just that. Only a few other shoulder exercises can work your shoulders like this exercise can.
Hold the dumbells with a supinated grip in front of your shoulders. As you elevate the dumbbells, rotate your hands so your palms are facing outwards at the top of the movement. Return to the starting position while slowly rotating the dumbbells.
4. Bent Over Rear Delt Raises
Rear delts are a genetically weak muscle group for most people. Not training them can make matters worse as your stronger shoulder heads might take over while you train your rear delts.
Since you can’t directly see your rear delts while training them, it can be a little hard to establish a mind-muscle connection. Use moderate dumbbells and keep a slight bend in your elbows throughout the exercise.
Shrugs target the trapezius muscle (traps). A solid pair of shoulders can never be deemed complete without developed traps. You can perform shrugs with dumbbells or a barbell. Dumbbells can offer you a better contraction while the barbell can help you lift more weights.
Always have a full range of motion while performing this exercise. Drop your ego while you’re performing this exercise. Moving your shoulders an inch won’t do anything for you. Try touching your ears with your shoulders, hold at the top of the movement and squeeze the hell out of your traps.
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