How to Build Shoulder Muscles
When building a bigger chest, the shoulders are often over looked. These muscles should be isolated and built along with the chest, arms, and back to create a well-balanced physique and proportionate muscle distribution.
This article will teach you about your shoulders, how to isolate them, and how to work them out to achieve great muscle gains.
The Three Sections of Your Shoulder Muscles
Your shoulders consist of three unique parts. The front, the back, and the side shoulder muscles. Each one of these needs to undergo specific stress and strain to promote muscle development. Stressing each of these three muscle groups through exercise will give you a well-balanced, wide, and round shoulder look.
The Front Shoulder Muscles – Deltoids
The shoulder muscles that you are likely to notices the most are the deltoids. These muscles are normally worked through exercises in which weight is pushed overhead. There are a few different overhead press variations that target the deltoids and generate large gains.
The standing overhead press is the default shoulder exercise for the deltoids. This exercise requires you to start in standing position with a weight in each hand. Raise both weights to shoulder height. Either simultaneously, or alternating, raise the weights above your head. Be sure to focus on control to maximize this exercise and reduce the risk of injury.
The variation to this exercise is the seated overhead press. The seated variation is performed the same way as the standing overhead press – with the exception that you’re seated on a 90 degree bench/chair, of course. We prefer the seated variation because it eliminates the urge to use the rest of your body – the core and legs – to help lift the weights. By being seated, you eliminate your ability to assist your lift with other muscle groups.
The other exercise that is obviously great for front shoulder development is the shoulder press. Set a bench at an approximate 45 degree angle. Sit back and raise the weights straight up as if you were doing a bench press. Aim to do three sets of six to eight reps for maximum gains.
With the overhead presses, it’s important to start at a lower weight and gradually build up until you find a weight that you can lift but is still challenging to perform three sets of 6 to 8 reps. This will help reduce the chance of injury.
Working Out the Back of the Deltoids
While the front of the deltoids react to overhead presses, the back of the deltoids are stressed by drawback exercises. Many back exercises are built upon draw back techniques, which means that your back deltoids are probably undergoing a significant workout already – assuming you’re working your back consistently.
When performing a drawback exercise – whether you’re using dumbbells or resistence – focus on carefully and steadily pulling the weight straight back to your chest. Slow controlled movements will put the most stress on the muscle and generate the best results.
Working Out the Side Shoulder Muscles
The side shoulder muscles are normally the least developed because unlike the front and back shoulder muscles, they are used less frequently as secondary muscles. So, it’s extremely important to isolate these muscles and work them into your routine. We’ve found that it’s easiest to add these into chest or back day.
To work these muscles, take a much lighter weight that you would use for overhead press or a drawback exercise. Stand straight or slightly bent over and raise the weights to straight up. Complete three sets of eight to ten reps.
Additionally, many gyms have a machine that is specifically designed to target the shoulder muscles. This machine will allow you to sit down, place your arms in a 45 degree angle, and raise up on the bars that will be outside of each arm.
Our Best Tip to Ensure Shoulder Growth
The good news is that both the front and rear shoulder muscles are frequently used as secondary muscles. When you bench press, you can’t help but use your shoulders to help get the weight up and balance it on the way down. Likewise, nearly every back exercise will cause for the use of the rear shoulder muscles. Thus, it is best to work these exercises into your current routine to help achieve shoulder gains.
It’s not necessary to add countless hours to your exercise routine or a specific day just for the shoulders. Just add in these four exercises if you aren’t doing them already to your current chest or back day regime and your shoulders muscles will explode.
Be Sure to Avoid Injury
Isolating the smaller muscles, such as the shoulders, increases the risk of injury compared to the larger muscle groups. To minimize the risk of injury, start with a lesser weight and gradually build up. You will know early on if the weight is too light to challenge your muscles. All injuries are setbacks when it comes to muscle gains, so keep that in mind.
Supplements Equal Faster Gains
Quick, steady, muscle gains require proper nutrition and supplementation. If you are looking to build your shoulder muscles, there’s a good chance that you are an experienced athlete or bodybuilder and already know the advantages of supplementation.
If not, be sure to using muscle gaining supplements to enable you to accelerate and attain larger muscle gains. Our favorite supplements include whey protein, creatine, a pre-workout, and a post-workout. These four supplements together will generate next-level gains.
Broad shoulders are a desirable trait in men. For whatever reason, women notice the shoulders. But, no matter what your reason for building shoulder muscles, know that results are based on consistency. The worst thing you can do is injure yourself while training. The second worst thing you can do is over train the muscles to the point that they are unable to recover and grow.
Don’t go overboard when it comes to building shoulder muscles. With just a couple of quick adjustments and added exercises to your routine, your shoulders will be chiseled in no time.