The truth is that the average bodybuilder doesn’t have a clue how their shoulder muscles actually work. Unlike the biceps or triceps, the shoulder muscles are a complex muscle group. By far the most common injury associated with the shoulder are rotator cuff injuries. The rotator cuff is the group of muscles that stabilize the shoulder. Shoulder cuff injuries tend to result from excessive lifting sets, attempting to lift more weight than you can handle, and from poorly developed opposing back muscles.
Here are a few tips for an effective shoulder workout exercise that will maximize muscle gains and minimize the chance of injury:
- Balance the training of your upper body. This means that every shoulder pressing exercise should be accompanied by at least one set of rowing. By balancing your pressing sets with complementary rowing sets you will actually help balance the muscles of the shoulder girdle.
- Limit your lifting sets to no more than 6. Too many sets of a given exercise can actually cause your muscle tissue to deteriorate rather than develop. In other words, you may actually reverse your muscle gains with too much exercise.
- Take 6 or 7 deep breaths between individual sets. This usually amounts to about 60 seconds between sets and gives your muscles just the time they need to recover before moving on to the next set.
- Do at least 2 light weight shoulder workouts per month. Light weight workouts increase your muscle stamina and endurance and this reduces the chances of your ligaments snapping during a heavy weight workout.
- Rotate your shoulder exercises every single time your workout. This means each shoulder workout should be in a different order than the previous workout. Rotating your shoulder exercises causes your muscles to inadvertently work harder which means improved muscular development.
In addition to following these basic tips, don’t forget to also eat a balanced diet and sleep at least 8 hours per day. Without enough sleep or food your muscles will be starved of energy and rest which will in turn limit or reverse your muscle gains.