The Ultimate Shoulder Blasting Exercise

Hit your delts hard with half-half, full dumbbell presses for boulder shoulders.

Any discussion about how to cut a traditional masculine image may be put to rest with a reference back to the action stars of yesteryear (think George Reeves to John Wayne).  Whether the star-filled out his wool shirt with manual labor brawn or his blazer was augmented with artificial shoulder pads, the image of the broad-shouldered leading man remains consistent.

There is just something about big, wide shoulders that intrigues women and inspires men. Big shoulders do not just have an aesthetic appeal.  Shoulder strength is a crucial component for any movement that requires upper body power.

The sheer functionality of building strong shoulders means that shoulder training is a crucial component of the workout program for cage fighters, strongmen, doormen, rugged outdoorsmen, redneck Romeos, and even pumped-up cons on the jailhouse yard.

One of my favorite exercises for broad shoulders that strike fear in the hearts of men and lust in the hearts of women is the half-half full dumbbell press.

With this movement, focus on controlling the negative and exploding on the positive. This really stresses the deltoids and greatly increases time under tension.

  • Start off on a seated military bench
  • Rest the dumbbells on your shoulders
  • Push the weight halfway up
  • Return to the starting position
  • Push the weight halfway up again
  • Return to the starting position
  • Now push the weight all the way up
  • Return to starting position

Important note: This move could also be performed with a barbell.

We were lucky enough to have 4-time figure Olympian IFBB Pro, Allison Frahn, demonstrate the movement for us. Check it out and give it a try next time you work your delts.


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