I frequently get asked about what exercises are best for a shoulder muscles workout. One of the most defining aspects of a muscular physique is broad, wide shoulders. Broad shoulders are very important in a proportionate, muscular frame. They are the pinnacle, or top, of the “V” that so many guys are after. And let’s face it, no one want weak, narrow shoulders. I will be addressing the shoulder muscles workout in a 3 part series, breaking down each muscle description, as well as weight training exercises you can use to get great results in building up your shoulder mass.
The first muscle in this series that we’re going to address is the anterior deltoid. If this doesn’t sound familiar to you, don’t worry, a lot of people don’t know the specific muscles that makeup the shoulder muscle group, and I’ve designed this article as an introduction and review on the best methods to getting huge shoulders.
The anterior deltoid is the muscle on the front-side of your shoulder. These are often the muscles in the shoulder group that get the most indirect workout. A lot of your natural, daily motions involve the anterior deltoid since it’s responsible for lifting your arms in front of you. Also, this muscle gets an indirect workout from one of the most common weight lifting exercises, the bench press. Some direct weight lifting exercises that target the anterior deltoid are front dumbbell raises, front cable raises, and barbell presses. All three are guaranteed to blast your anterior deltoids and are a great addition to your shoulder muscles workout. Take a look below for technique in performing each of these exercises. As always, start off with light weight to perfect your form before increasing resistance. Remember, slow, well-formed repetitions are ALWAYS more effective than fast, sloppy repetitions.
To begin this exercise, take ahold of equally-weighted dumbbells in each of your hands. Stand upright with your back straight and your feet about shoulder-width apart. With your hands down at your side, palms facing inward towards your legs, slowly lift one arm up at a time in a forward motion while keeping your elbow slightly bent. Think of it as a pendulum swinging forward, and stop when your arm is parallel to the ground. Now slowly return your arm back to your side using the opposite motion, and begin with the other arm. Alternate arms until you reach 10-12 reps of each arm.
This exercise is very similar to dumbbell raises, but instead of dumbbells you use a cable machine. A lot of people find the motion with a cable machine to be much smoother than free weights, so it’s entirely up to your discretion.
Barbell Presses (aka Military Presses) :
This exercise can be performed either while standing or while sitting on a bench. To begin, either stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, or sit on a bench with your back upright. Grip a barbell a little wider than shoulder-width, and bring it up just under your chin. Slowly press the weight straight upward above your head, stopping just short of fully extending your arms (you want to avoid locking your elbows to prevent an elbow injury). Once you reach the top of your motion, slowly lower the barbell back down to just below your chin and repeat. Aim for 10 to 12 repetitions per set.
This is a good starting point for your shoulder muscles workout, and be sure to check back for parts II and III of this article to find out how you can really shock your shoulder muscles and experience some great muscle gains. However, don’t wait, hit the gym today and try this shoulder muscles workout and feel the burn!
Check out Part II of this article, where I discuss the medial deltoids (side shoulder muscle), and give you a few tips and exercises to get wide and huge!