There are a lot of people who think that they're getting nowhere with their current shoulder workouts. Even worse, some people often feel like working their shoulders is boring and a waste of time since lots of exercises already work the delts as a secondary muscle.
However, shoulder workouts can actually be a lot of fun as well as a positive thing when it comes to overall growth. And I know that not every person is the same and not every workout will be as effective when used by different bodybuilders. But I do suggest trying different things out in order to find what works best for YOU.
Basics of Shoulders
When it comes to shoulders, you have three different angles to choose from in order to achieve the broad-shouldered frame you desire. And these three different angles are the front, rear, and side. That's easy enough, but the question now becomes what side you hit the hardest to achieve maximum growth.
For me personally (and many others I'm assuming), working the front of the shoulders is the quickest way to fast growth. So if you want large shoulders with a coinciding frame you should do lots of military presses for a tough workout aimed at the front of your shoulders. It mainly works as a compound movement and is valuable for adding size.
It's hard to find an alternative when it comes to the military press. Doing 4-5 sets for close to 12 reps does the trick for me…although, some people might respond better to lower reps and heavier weight. Once your front delts have exploded with growth, you'll want to work the remaining areas to develop a well-rounded look.
For the other remaining areas of my shoulder, I finished 2 sets of lateral raises with 10 reps. For my rear delts, I finished lateral raises lying down. Some other choices you have for these exercises are the Arnold press, bent-over lateral raises, behind the neck press, upright rows, and lateral raises.
Why Shoulders are Important
When you're in the process of building the perfect body, shoulders play an important role. You want those shoulders looking awesome when you go into a double-back bicep pose or when you're just simply walking around the beach. It also helps when your side delts are in balance with your biceps so that your arms look larger and more defined. When you're posing, it is important that you're body is exactly the way you want. In a double-back bicep pose, you should expect to see a nice flow go through your body.
In order to build excellent shoulders that will look great on stage as well as everywhere else, you'll need to do a variety of exercise. So I've listed some of the best exercises below for achieving big, well-defined shoulders.
Excellent Shoulder Exercises
Use a barbell or dumbbells with your knuckles facing the ceiling as you put the barbell or dumbbells to your shoulders. Raise the bar above your head almost fully extending your arms, then lower it back down.
Using two dumbbells with your knuckles facing the ground, raise your arms around shoulder height; keep them as straight as you can. You can try going a tad higher as an alternative.
Lying Lateral Raises
Using two dumbbells again, lay on your stomach on a bench with your arms hanging down. Raise your arms until the dumbbells are as parallel to your shoulders as possible.
Hold two dumbbells with your knuckles facing up like in military press, but have your palms face you. As you push up to the ceiling, add a twist to your arms so your palms are now facing away.
Behind The Neck Press
Grab the barbell and hold it over your head then lower it so it touches the back of your neck. Press it like you would military and lower back down behind your neck. You might want to try a combination of military and behind the neck presses for amazing growth. Keep in mind though that some people think it causes injury to your rotator cuff by switching every rep.
Bent-Over Lateral Raises
Bend over parallel to the floor like you are rowing. Raise two dumbbells in the same way as Lying Lateral Raises.
Use your barbell and hold it at your waste, then raise it to as close to shoulder height as you can. Elbows should go above your shoulders in this exercise.
Bent-Over Rows (Elbows tucked in)
Bend your body parallel to the floor and pull the weight to your chest; remember to tuck your elbows in.
By Jeremy Olson