Shoulder Workouts & Techniques For Boulder Shoulders!

Summer is coming fellas and the time is now to get that V taper in place and get the rounder O shape out!

The path to get this shape is and always will be to nail your chest, bis, tris, back and ab workouts…but what about your shoulder workouts?

I feel like I talk to guys all the time that tell me about all of the chest and biceps work they’ve been doing…every day…every week…well, you get the point.  I don’t often hear though about guys getting too excited about their shoulder workouts and if they are, then it seems like I hear a lot of the typical “lateral raises, shoulder presses, front raises and repeat” type of workouts.

If this sounds like you then you’re in luck since we’ll be in the next few paragraphs taking your puny shoulder caps and throwing a plate of armor on top of them, capping them off better than a scoop of pre-workout in your morning coffee (not that I’ve done such things…I eat my pre-workout).  Here we go, so get ready to take your shoulders and blow them up in time for summer.

Fix Your Current Movements.

First of all, the above-mentioned moves are great for your shoulders, but they are not the ONLY moves that should fill your shoulder workouts.  The goal here is to add some new moves and ideas to what you have going on so that you can spark new growth and shock your shoulders into results.  Even in my earlier years of working out, even though I loved hitting shoulders I often had a tough time programming enough work to fill an entire hour, so I would just up the sets and reps of the few moves I DID know to do.  Now I get to make sure that you don’t have to go through that…you’ll just know what to do because of my beginner mistakes.

We are going to add some different tools and more effective techniques to your shoulder workouts, because just like any other muscle group…there is a lot of potential in what can be done to blast your shoulders in a more effective way.

Droop your wrists.  When doing raises (rear delt raises, lateral raises, front raises etc) I cue my clients just as my fitness friend Gunnar Peterson advised to do in his book “The Workout”: act as if you are pouring water out of a pitcher and imagine what that looks and feels like.  You would do this with an elevated upper arm, elbow and forearm while the wrist hung a bit below.

I will even have clients when doing raise variations, wear lifting straps specifically so they can “lift with their wrists” rather than gripping tightly and lifting with their hand, which can lead to you feeling it in your triceps.  Droop your wrists and raise your shoulder activation.

Add More Creative Movements.

Jump out of your little bodybuilding-based box please.  The days of squeezing the piss out of 5lb dumbbells and “feeling” every rep in order to increase activation are not dead…but they have new company.

To be in shape for not just your mirror, but for life…you should be aiming to not only reach the cosmetic goals that you have set, but also your athletic goals…so let’s start by mixing up your shoulder workouts with these moves:

TRX Reverse Fly:
This move is exactly as it sounds, it is a reverse fly done on a TRX Training system.  If you are not familiar with these then you should definitely add these guys to your shoulder workouts.  Moves like this create an element of instability as well as competition, which takes your focus off of the cosmetic goals and hits the shoulders due to you fighting to hit your overall rep number.

Renegade Row:
This move is one of my personal favorites since it hits SO many muscle groups, and one of those muscle groups is your shoulders.  Once again, instability is factored in here forcing you to use your core while holding yourself on one shoulder (front delt) and rowing essentially with the other shoulder (rear delt).  The instability causes you to have to engage your lateral delt in order to stay firmly positioned during the move.

Wide Grip Upright Row (Power Pull):
This move is often somewhat done in a more controlled manner as an upright row, but this more ballistic (explosive) version is great for developing power as well as a better set of shoulders both cosmetically and performance-wise.  I like to add these in since once again you are using multiple muscle groups in order to achieve maximal explosion.  This format also enables you to use greater amounts of weight which is what every guy wants to hear when building muscle and strength.

Heavy Kettlebell Swings:
This is a fairly common move to hear about, but maybe not so common to you meatheads that fool yourself into thinking that it won't pack the muscle onto your frame.  Used the correct way, a kettlebell swing can be one of the most dynamic moves in your shoulder workouts or workouts in general as it will not only give you a muscular challenge but a cardiovascular one as well.

Let's Put It All Together.

So let's put it all together, and we will use both the more traditional moves that we all know and love along with these more athletic moves that you may not have thought of...and I dare you to take this and use it as your next "Shoulder Day" blasting:

Superset:

TRX Reverse Fly w/

4 sets of 20

Behind the Neck Shoulder Press

4 sets of 15/12/12/10 (Increase Weight Each Set the Reps Decrease)

Triset:

DB Rear Delt Raise w/

4 sets of 15

Cable/Band Lateral Delt Raise w/

4 sets of 15

Power Pull

4 sets of 20/15/15/10 (Increase Weight Each Set the Reps Decrease)

Superset:

Renegade Row w/

4 sets of 12 EACH

Heavy Kettlebell Swing

4 sets of 20/15/15/10 (Increase Weight Each Set the Reps Decrease)

 

Arnold Press

5 sets of 15/12/12/10/8

 

This shoulder workout is an awesome blend of both more traditional moves that ARE great, and some other forms of tension, instability and functionality in order to not only blast your shoulders best for the mirror, but for your overall athletic performance.

You fellas give this shoulder blasting a try and integrate some of these moves and methods into your future shoulder workouts as well.  Hit me with any questions below and let me know when you are ready to take your ENTIRE workout regimen to the next level!

 

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