Best Shoulder Workout

Best Shoulder Workout

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Shouder Workout

Big shoulders are one of the most standout features of a strong, muscular physique.

Build strength and look like an action hero with today’s post on the best moves for increasing your deltoids. From the best shoulder workouts, to the best individual lifts, we’ll cover everything you need to know to try our workouts, or build your own routines. Let’s begin.

Building Shoulder Muscles

Your shoulders are comprised of three major muscles known as deltoids, and here’s what they look like:

Comprised of three major bones, the shoulder region is where your collar bone (clavicle), shoulder blade (scapula), and arm (humerus) all together, surrounded and supported by a vast number of complex tendons, ligaments and most importantly for many of your muscles. The shoulder joint is a term that is used for many different parts of the actual shoulder area.

If you work on performing barbell shrugs to develop your traps, and focus your form on a balanced dumbbell raise will keep the muscle group intact and help protect your shoulders when you bench-press and perform other athletic moves.

Sit Less, Move More

One of the best things you can do to make your shoulder workout and your overall health better is to spend less time each day sitting down.

There are many ways to accomplish this — switching to a standing desk, getting up every 30 minutes to take a break, and/or scheduling standing or walking meetings are a few ways to break up the prolonged amount of sitting each of us do every day at work.

Why is this standing activity particularly important for your delts? From a shoulder standpoint, sitting forces people into two very bad positions — rounded shoulders and a forward head. Your spine is also central to your overall health because your entire nervous system runs through it like a superhighway. Sitting puts a lot of strain on the spine and it also creates a lot of stiffness and tightness in many of the muscles that comprise the shoulder joint(s). Over time your posture will reflect your sitting habits and as your spine is affected over time, your health is likely to decline. Some studies even say that your posture can affect your confidence.

Dedicate your time to mobilizing the shoulder area through a combination of stretching and yoga before you workout.

Even if you’re at work, you can keep a band in your desk. Give the band pull-apart a try because it will strengthen those weak postural muscles in your back and will loosen up your shoulders before you start moving heavier weights around.

best shoulder workout

Classic Shoulder Workout Routine

When it’s time to build, here’s the killer workout your delts need for major growth. Sometimes the best shoulder workout, is the classic. These moves have been favorites of Mr. Olympia winners for years and while exercise technology is always evolving, sometimes the tried and true are the gold standard.

EXCERCISE SETS REPS
Smith Machine Overhead Press 4 5-6*
Arnold Press 4 10,8,6,6
Barbell Upright Row 3 8-10
Dumbbell Lateral Raise 3 8-12
– superset with –
Dumbbell Bent- Over Lateral Raise 4 10-12

 

Military Press

Start conservative with the amount of weight you use and focus on using your shoulders—not your legs—to lift the bar. At the peak of the lift, your bar should be locked out above and slightly behind your head. Aim for four sets of eight repetitions. Try this workout below with a focus on the military press and you’ll be increasing your strength in no time with this classic military workout.

Standing or Seated Military Press: Warm up and 3 sets of 4 – 6 reps

Dumbbell Side Lateral: 3 sets of 4 – 6 reps or 6 – 8 reps

Rear Dumbbell Raise: 3 sets of 4 – 6 reps or 6 – 8 reps if you can’t maintain proper form with 4 – 6

Optional (if you feel like you have some juice left): Dumbbell Front Raise: 3 sets of 4 – 6 reps or 6 – 8 reps if you can’t maintain proper form with 4 – 6.

Shoulder workout

Shoulder Workouts with a Glide board

Using your body weight on a glide board can be a great way to build strength and elongated, chiseled muscularity. Here are a combination of exercises you should consider trying out.

Shoulder Press

  • Lying face down on the glideboard, knees bent and grasp the press-up bars with your hands, elbows bent.
  • While sliding the glideboard up by extending your arms (pushing yourself up) and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • While you breathe outwards while pushing and breathe in while returning to starting position.

Upright Row

  • While sitting on the top end of the glideboard, hold the handles above your knees, arms extended and palms facing down.
  • While sliding the glideboard up by pulling the handles up towards your shoulders and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your back straight for the whole motion.

Upright Row with Hyperextension

  • While sitting on the glide board and hold the handles down above your ankles, arms and legs extended, palms facing down.
  • Slide the glide board up by pulling the handles up and towards your shoulders while raising your back and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Exhale while lifting yourself and breathe in while lowering yourself back down.

Lateral Deltoid Raise

  • Lie down with your back to the glideboard, knees bent and hold the handles down near your hips, arms fully extended, palms facing each other.
  • While sliding the glideboard up, pull the handles outwardly towards the level of your shoulders and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms fully extended throughout (or keep a small bend in your elbows constant).

Front Deltoid Raise

  • While seated on the glide board, keep your knees slightly bent and hold the handles down below your buttocks, arms extended and palms facing back.
  • Sliding the glide board up by pulling the handles forward until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms at full extension throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Wide Grip Front Deltoid Raise

  • While sitting on the glide board, knees slightly bent and hold the handles down below your buttocks, arms extended and palms facing back.
  • While sliding the glide board up by pulling the handles forward and outward until your arms are parallel to the floor and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keeping your arms fully extended throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Front Deltoid Raise with Grip

  • While sitting on the glideboard, keep your knees slightly bent and hold the handles down below your buttocks, arms extended and palms facing forward.
  • While sliding the glideboard up by pulling the handles forward until your arms are parallel to the floor and keep allowing yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms fully extended throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Lying Front Deltoid Raise

  • With your back on the glideboard, knees bent, hold the handles down near your hips, arms fully extended, palms facing down.glideboard, knees bent, hold the handles down near your hips, arms fully extended, palms facing down.
  • Slide the glideboard up by pulling the handles up until your arms are perpendicular to the floor and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms fully extended throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Front Deltoid Raise with Leg Curl

  • While sliding the glideboard, hold the handles down near your thighs, arms extended, palms facing back and ankles attached to the wing attachment.
  • While sliding the glideboard up by pulling the handles straight up in front of you while curling your legs and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms fully extended throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Shoulder Extension

  • While you sit on the very top end of glideboard, hold the handles above your knees, arms extended and palms facing down.
  • Slide the glideboard up by pulling the handles straight back until your arms are perpendicular to the floor and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms fully extended throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Shoulder Extension with Leg Curl

  • Sit on the top end of the glideboard and hold the handles near your knees, arms extended, palms facing down and ankles attached to the wing attachment.
  • Slide the glideboard forward by pulling the handles straight back until your arms are perpendicular to the floor while curling your legs and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your arms fully extended throughout (or keep the small bend in your elbows constant).

Lateral Arm Pull

  • Sit facing the side on your glideboard, holding one handle with the hand opposite to it, arms extended and palm facing down.
  • Slide the glideboard up, pulling the handle straight back while keeping it at the same height off the floor and allow yourself back down after a short pause.
  • Keep your back straight throughout.

shoulder workouts

Best Shoulder Workout Circuits

Sometimes there’s no better way to start the work week than with a circuit. The best shoulder workout targets each of your shoulders’ angles with lifts to the front, side and rear. This workout is geared towards achieving a 3-dimensional look in your shoulders. You’ll target front, rear and side delts with these 4 moves. You want to aim for 3-4 rounds of the circuit, to be completed within 30 minutes. (Not including a warm-up).

Warm-up

Shoulder Circles with 5-lb. Weights

The shoulders are a delicate area and are prone to injury, so jumping straight into a hardcore circuit is not the right idea. Start by grabbing a five-pound dumbbell in each hand. Raise both dumbbells to your side and perform short shoulder circles in a forward motion. The circumference of your circles should be approximately six inches. Complete 10 full rotations, rest for 30 seconds and perform the same exercise in reverse. Perform a total of two sets (one in each direction).

 

3-D Shoulder Circuit

For those striated shoulder muscles you see on body builders, sometimes a circuit can be the best tool for sculpting and provide you with the best shoulder workout. All exercises should be performed in a continuous circuit as this will increase your stamina (and save you time).

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Start with dumbbell shoulder presses to work the whole shoulder complex with slightly more focus on the front deltoids. The key is to select a weight with which you will fail out around 12-15 repetitions.

Barbell Upright Row

Use a slightly wider than shoulder-width overhand grip to perform barbell upright rows to again stress the front deltoid. Go for the wider grip which will allow you to place more emphasis on the side deltoids rather than engaging the trap muscles in the neck. The key is to select a weight in which you will fail between 12-15 repetitions.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

The dumbbell rear delt fly will isolate the rear and side deltoids. Keep your back straight upright with your legs shoulder-width apart. Lean slightly forward, bending from the waist. Keeping your back straight, allow the dumbbells to hang down in front of your chest.

Angle your wrists with your pinky fingers just slightly higher than the thumbs. Squeeze your delts and focus on the muscles you’re using as you raise your arms straight up to the sides. The key is to select a weight in which you fail at 15 repetitions.

Front Plate Raises

Front plate raises are always a great explosive movement to finish off your front deltoids workout. Now keeping your hands in front of you, hold a barbell plate and lift forward. Now keep raising the plate to slightly above eye level (now if you can peak through the hole you have lifted the weight high enough). The key is to select a weight in which you will fail at first 15 repetitions.

Now rest for 99 seconds and perform three to four additional sets of the entire circuit.

Shouler workouts

Conclusion

Keeping your muscles guessing by constantly changing up your routine is the best way to continue your progress and avoid hitting a plateau. Remember, how you eat and value your rest time outside of the gym will play the majority role in how much you get out of these workouts. Ask yourself should you workout today, hopefully the answer is yes. For building size, aim for low rep high weight, and for sculpting, use circuits to get your body burning fat while you’re building muscle. As always, the best shoulder workout is the one that you stick to. At the end of the day, the power to change your body is in your hands, so pick it up and press it!

-Terry Asher

What do you think about the shoulder workouts? Comment below!


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Terry

Gym Junkies Founder & Editor in Chief at Gym Junkies LLC
I’m Terry and I’m here to help you achieve your fitness goals. I truly believe anyone can achieve the figure they want with the proper guidance. Through my extensive fitness blog, top fitness videos, leading workout supplements, and top selling eBooks, I have been able to help thousands of people online lose weight, tone up and get in shape. My passion is helping people all around the world change their lives for the better.
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