If I asked you about growing shoulders I bet the first exercise that comes to your head is some sort of shoulder press. Am I right? It is correct that presses are a great mass builder for your shoulders but they are not the only tool to build great shoulders. I think many people lack side delts and rear delts, including myself. Side delts are really what gives your body great width and gives you a V-taper. I mean the whole point of bodybuilding is to have a flowing physique with broad shoulders and a small waist. Also rear delts give the finishing look and will give you the 3D effect, making your shoulders pop!
Before I go any further my advice to you before any exercise including shoulders is to warm up. I know just from talking to people in the gym, or even family and friends that shoulder injuries are extremely common. Whether it comes from just picking up weights that are too heavy or doing a sudden movement, the pain and aggravation that you will indure after is seriously not worth it. Take 5 minutes and either warm up with a band or with some light weights first before you fully get into motion. You can even just warm up in the movement you are going to do, just do a couple sets and get the muscle used to the motion you are going to carry on doing!
Start off with your weakest part of your delt so that you can build well developed shoulders. What I find is that when you train like this, you are less likely to cheat also the heavier movements. Therefore you should in theory make greater muscle gains as you will train your muscles efficiently. Anyways rear delts are fairly easy to train. Do some reverse fly movements with different grips and some rows and you will be well on your way. Either on cables or dumbbells whichever you prefer. In my opinion higher volume really helps you build a better mind muscle connection with your delts but pick the volume which you find most effective. You can change it up and do some drop sets and you can try and lift some heavier weights when performing rows.
Side delts again you don’t need to complicate things. Side raises and upright rows, lots of them. Again whether you like cables or dumbbells upto you, whichever feels better. I prefer to use dumbells because I can really hold then movement and cause extra tension, but cables are great because they cause tension throughout the whole movement so again there is no right or wrong. Pick some weights up and go at it! On a side note, don’t use dumb heavy weights for side delts because you will basically just be flapping about. Use good weights that you can control and really get the benefit of these movements to create that V taper.
So finally we move onto everybody’s favourite. The dumbbell press. This is where we want to show how macho we really are. Let me break it down for some of you, if you get really heavy weights and press them 2 inches up and down you are basically doing nothing. So do me a favour, protect your joints, pick up decent weights and really use them to stress tension on the delts and make them grow. Also front raises are a really awesome exercise to focus tension on the front of your shoulders. A decent amount of volume will really get those shoulder engorged with blood and create growth. Drop sets on shoulders is a must! No pain no gain.
Try out the workout below and let us know how you got on. Would love to know how you guys managed or what you did different. This is a typical workout I would do. Weights are obviously what you can handle. Use dumbbells or cables/bars, whichever you like or have access to!
Reverse fly – 3 sets of 20
Bent over row to shoulder – 3 sets of 15
Side raises- 4 sets of 15
Upright row – 3 sets of 12
Shoulder press – 4 sets of 10
Shoulder raise - 3 sets of 15