Build Massive Shoulders


Many people feel that no matter how diligently they work their shoulders or intensely they never seem to grow or respond. Others also feel that training your shoulders is either boring or a waste of time or certain parts of your delts are not worth training, because they are worked as a secondary muscle enough.

However, I feel that shoulder workouts can be a great deal of fun and they can be very productive for growth and once developed look awesome in and out of a shirt.

The Shoulders

Massive Shoulders

As we know your shoulder has three sides to it the front, rear, and side. The question is which part do you hit to get the broad shoulders or frame you have always wanted and what exercise to use. For me, my shoulders have always grown very well but for other people a little more effort may be required. I got my large shoulders and frame from mostly working the front of my shoulders hard. I stayed mainly with one standard exercise, the military press.

As a compound movement it works excellent to add on size and I believe it cannot be substituted for anything else, (apart from maybe behind neck press). I did around 4-5 sets of military press for about 12 reps and my shoulders exploded. Then again this is me. You may respond to lower reps or something of that nature. As I do 12 reps, I look forward to the ‘I know it’s working’ burning sensation that some of us love.

Depending on how hard I worked them, I may or may not have sore delts the day after my workout. You may be wondering what I did for the other area’s of my shoulder. I would also do 2 sets of lateral raises for 8-10 reps and for my rear delts I would do lateral raises lying down. There can be alternates for these exercises such as the Arnold press, behind the neck press (not recommended, as it can cause shoulder pain), bent over lateral raises, some say upright rowing or rowing with elbows in or front lateral raises.

Why Shoulders Matter?

Shoulders are very important on the road to building a perfect body. For those in bodybuilding, when you hit a double back bicep pose do they look amazing, but for those that aren’t, great shoulders look great just standing there, without you having to flex. It is the one muscle group, like a big neck that tells people instantly that you train and are not the average bloke. Also in my opinion when you side delts grow in proportion to your biceps it makes your biceps and arms appear more defined and large.

Performing Exercises

Military Press
Use a barbell or two dumbbells and have your knuckles face the ceiling as you raise the barbell or dumbbells to your shoulders. Then with control raise the bar above you head until your arms are almost fully extended then lower it back down and repeat. If you avoid locking the bar out, it keeps tension on your shoulder and make set much harder.

Lateral Raises
Grab two dumbbells and hold them at your side with your knuckles facing the ground. Raise your arms to about shoulder height keeping them almost straight. Maybe go a little above your shoulders try a couple of variations. I prefer to bend my knees slightly, bend my arms slightly and bend forward as this allows a heavier weight and stricter style, without stress on my elbow joints.

Lying Lateral Raises
Once again use two dumbbells and lay face down on your bench. Start with the dumbbells hanging then raise your arms, which should be close to straight, so they are about parallel to your shoulders.

Arnold Press
Once again two dumbbells are required. Start at your shoulders once again like military. Hold them with knuckles facing upward; however, your palms should be facing you. As you push towards the ceiling twist your arms so your palms face forward.

Behind Neck Shoulder Press
Put a barbell over your head and lower it so it touches the back of your neck. Press it upwards like military then lower it down behind your neck. You could always try to make a combination of Military Press and Behind the Neck Press like in Rocky when he switches every rep. However, a word of caution with this exercise, some people believe it injures your rotator cuff so be careful if you even want to try it. If you want to go heavy, stock to the military press.

Bent-Over Lateral Raises
Bend over like when you are rowing so you are parallel to the floor. Use two dumbbells and raise them in the same way as Lying Lateral Raises. Doing this works your rear delts much harder.

Close grip barbell Upright Rows
Preferably using a barbell (E-Z bar for comfort) hold it at waist level and raise it to about shoulder height or just below shoulder height. Your elbows should end up being slightly higher than your shoulders.

Don’t over train your shoulders, stick to 2-3 shoulder exercises per workout. Don’t ego train weights, that are too heavy. Damaged shoulders can take months to heal, so always lift strictly and with good technique and work your way up the weights.

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Mark S   |.
I like military press. It is a basic, honest compound exercise that should work
for most. I'm told that upright rows are bad for the joints, though, and lat
raises are really isolation exercises. The key exercise that is missing from
the above list is the barbell shrug - absolutely essential for trapezius
lewi   |.
dumbell military press, heavy shrugs after your chest exercies. happy days
Jim   |.
Barbell/dumbbell military presses, finish off with Arnold presses or Sandow
presses. Oh yeah, stand up while you're doing 'em; seated militarys are one
notch above riding the machines. If it ain't functional, it's beach muscle.
Abdal Ahmed   |.
Hello, i've been training for about 1 1/2 years and people tell me that i'm
quite wide. I'm 19, 5ft 7in and weigh round about 11st 7pounds. Do you think
being wide is a good thing and why?

Thanks. hope to hear from you soon.
Andy   |.
i feel a bit unsure about do the behind neck press as i have read articles which
have said it is bad for your rotator cuffs
Dan Smith  - PT/Fitness manager   |.
yeah i would be carful Andy they can like most exercises done incorrectly hinder
your progress, rotator cuffs damage like the rest of you body but unlike the
rest of you body dont repair easily, bringing the bar infront of your head
instead of behind is far more benificial but watch your back doesnt bend ;)
Vinny   |.

when i train shoulders i alternate between 12 rep set workouts and 6 rep
set workouts. typically i start with dumbell presses, then in any order lat
raises, bent over raises and upright rows and tend to finish with a barbell
military press.

is this overtraining?!
Aristo   |.
How can doing this get the neck in shape? I think i am neck is getting very
uneven as i work out. Any methods to make sure the neck grows and also make it
even ?
Abdulrahman Al-raie   |.
how can we build muscles the fastest way? please put much more pictures.
Dan Smith  - PT/Fitness manager   |.
Abdulrahman Al-raie there is no fast way, no quick fix, no special formula (well
within reason) be prepared to eat 5 good sized healthy meals a day train 4-5
days a week and use your rest days as REST, drink a good amount of water to as
your muscles are over 70% water and being dry will make you look thinner, leave
any cardiovascular training to a seperate day or atleast 8 hours after your hard
weight session. Sorry but its not as easy as "fastest way" but do what i
said and you should see gains in 4-6 weeks.
raffy faca  - pinoy muscle machine   |.

in my shoulder exercise,,,

i do 15 sets for my shoulder,,,

lateral 3 x 10,
side lateral raise 3 x 10,
military press 3 x 10,
front raise
3x 10,
upright rowing 3x 10,

is this overtraning?
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