A couple of months back I injured my shoulder. Ever since I’ve been on a muscle building quest to get my shoulders stronger and more developed than they have ever been. One of the more common problem areas that people (bodybuilders) face when working out are the shoulders. While most exercises that involve the arms and many chest exercises for that matter will help to build some muscles in this area, you may need to ensure that you’re also doing a set of exercises that target the shoulders specifically. Just make sure you’re cautious as excessive amounts of exercise in this area can lead to serious injury. With that said, the front delt is one the most over-worked muscles for many aspiring bodybuilders and athletes – and they don’t even realize it. But that’s an article for another day.
5 Shoulder Exercises to Boost Muscle Mass
Perhaps one of the best choices you have for your shoulder exercises will be the traditional military press. As you may be aware, this is a great way to effectively add definition to the shoulders. Professional bodybuilders often have this as part of their training program because of how effective it is.
Clean and Press
This is done by raising a barbell from the floor and then drawing it to the upper chest. Then take the weight and lift it directly overhead, stopping once you have it fully extended, without locking your elbows. Then you lower the weight down to chest level and raise it again to the extended height. You can then repeat as desired.
Another shoulder exercise to consider when building mass will be the dumbbell shoulder press. This is an exercise routine that can be used effectively to build muscles in your shoulders, just be sure to avoid going too heavy with the weights to soon.
You€™ll begin with a dumbbell in each hand then place your arms at their respective side. Then bring the left dumbbell up to shoulder height and raise it straight up above your head. This will result in an extended arm, without a locked elbow. You will then bring the dumbbell slowly down to shoulder height and back to your side. Then repeat the steps for the right arm. Switch evenly between both arms for even definition.
I remember when I first started doing these, I was 17 and thumbing through an old bodybuilding magazine from the 70s with an aritcle on Sergio Oliva’s shoulder training. I noticed that he was very fond of a certain exercise that developed the delts quite nicely. Can you guess what it was? That’s right, it was Single-arm side cable laterals. Now I know the name is a mouthful, but the actual exercise is simple and super legit!
I personally like to stand when I do these, but they can be performed sitting as well. You’re going to want your arm beside you holding onto a handle attached to a floor-level pulley. Keep your other hand on your hip. Now, while keeping your arm straight, lift it up in an arc in one smooth motion until your hand is just above your head and repeat.
Note: Be sure to lower your arm in a controlled manner
Upright Barbell Row
I dig these for a couple of reasons. The first being that they the trapezius well and the second reason is they create nice separation between the deltoids and pectorals.
In order to get the most out of the upright barbell row, you’ll want to stand holding a barbell with an overhand grip and your hands a few inches apart. With the bar hanging straight down in front of you, lift it straight up until it just about touches your chin. You’re going to want to keep the bar close to your body throughout this exercise.
Note: Focus on keeping your back straight and your traps contracting as you do this movement.
While doing your shoulder exercises, it’s important that you pay attention the amount of weight you are using at all times. Areas like the medial deltoid can be fragile in those who have undeveloped shoulders and injury to them can cause stress to your shoulder joints. Because of this, you do need to focus on building your foundation and choosing shoulder exercises that will provide you with the maximum amount of benefits possible before jumping into more hardcore styles of lifting.
Overall, you’re going to find that there are quite a few exercise routines that you can choose from to build up your shoulder muscles. Be sure you go with comfort and clean execution during your lifts. Avoid overexerting your muscles to prevent injury. If you aren€™t sure of where to begin, you can always speak to a local qualified personal trainer to guide you in your exercise routine.
Keep training hard,
-David “Hittin Shoulders Today” McCready
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