Shoulders can be a very impressive body part if brought out correctly. Nice broad shoulders attract the ladies and ladies, when you have nice shoulders it attracts the men as well.
Anatomy of the Shoulder Muscles
The shoulders consist of a front, middle and rear deltoid area as well as the rotator cuff area. It is important to work all these areas equally so as to not cause an imbalance in the shoulder. If you work the front delts too much the rear delts won't be able to do thheir job. You can have pain in your collarbone as a result or several other issues with the shoulder. Many people neglect the rear delts when training. Do so at your own peril!
The rotator cuff needs to be kept loose. I personally use the Rotater to accomplish this. This fantastic device is the best way to maintain rotator cuff health and avoid future injury to the area. It is designed to specifically stretch and strengthen the rotaror cuff region of the shoulders.
The Shoulder Shredding Workout
Now that you understand how the shoulders are put together, let's take a look at the shoulder shredding workout.
|A1. Side Laterals||3||12-15|
|A2. Front Laterals||3||12-15|
|Bench Rear Delt Row||3||12-15|
|Cable Bent Laterals||3||12-15|
|Upright Row (wide grip)||4||12-15|
The Shoulder Shredding Workout Explained
We start with some moderately heavy overhead presses. Do these with strict form (check out Mark Rippetoe discussing form here). This exercise will focus on your anterior deltoids. As you lift, count the repetitions on each set. When you can complete 15 repetitions on all 4 sets it is time to increase the load.
We move from overhead press into the Arnold Press. Be sure to keep the dumbbells close to each other and have them remain so throughout the entire motion. Resist the urge to separate them from one another. Again, attempt to get 15 repetitions on every set before increasing the load.
Next up is a superset of side laterals and front laterals. This one is going to burn. You perform a set of side laterals and immediately follow up with a set of front laterals before taking a rest period.
The Bench Rear Delt row is a favorite movement of mine. You can get away with a pretty light weight and still really push the muscle. A great description of the Bench Rear Delt row is here. Be careful with range of motion. Most people go too high on this exercise. You want to stop as soon as the elbows are just slightly above the shoulders.
Cable Bent Laterals are now performed using the cable rack. You assume the bent lateral position with the cables crossed over one another and perform the motion exactly like a bent over lateral with dumbbells. The difference here is that the cables will keep the muscle under constant tension, making this a much more difficult exercise to complete.
We now move to an upright row with a wide grip. Grasp the barbell with a shoulder width grip. As you lift the bar upwards, force your elbows to lead. As you lift the bar allow your elbows to flex. The wider grip will help protect your rotator cuff.
We finish off with a movement that will build up your traps. The Barbell Shrug can be done with as heavy a weight as you can handle for 15 repetitions. You will let your arms hang as you hold the barbell and you will shrug your shoulders up towards your ears. When you reach the top really squeeze hard and then slowly lower the weight.
Intensity is a Must
When you train any body part the intensity you use is extremely important. Push yourself to the max. If you want to see some growth don't phone in your workouts. The shoulders are no different. Push through the burn and work hard. Give it everything you've got.
By being consistent and giving this workout plan a chance to work you will find that your shoulders change in a matter of weeks. Give it a chance and let me know what you think.