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Shoulder Workout Routine for Bigger Gains

This article gives you an insight on the science behind shoulder workouts. A short shoulder workout routine is rounded up here in 5 exercises which give a wholesome segregated emphasis on each delt (anterior, lateral and posterior), traps and rotator cuffs.

Shoulder Workout Routine for Bigger Gains

A balanced physique needs well-defined shoulders with well-developed heads – Anterior Head, Lateral Head and Posterior Head; also known as front delt, middle delt and rear delt. However, the biggest mistake people make is to not to focus on the development of all three heads of the shoulder anatomy. This leads to disproportionate muscle growth which falls short of the 3 dimensional look which you are actually aiming at.

It is evident that all three heads will be activated through nearly all of the shoulder exercises but to emphasize each head with substantial growth, visible cuts, you have to use specific exercises and pay attention to the way you perform them. Here are 5 exercises targeting mass and symmetry of the shoulder muscles when done together.

However, in this routine we are going to put more emphasis on the posterior and lateral heads of the shoulder which are often left out, this is because the anterior deltoid is already very active in exercises like bench press. Front head gets enough movement through several other pressing movements so we need to focus more on other two heads along with it. Also, in this routine, it is kept in mind that four rotator cuffs are important muscles that shouldn’t be neglected as they help stabilize the shoulder.

1. Overhead Press

This workout emphasizes front and lateral deltoids. It is an essential compound movement when it comes to shoulder training. This is due to its ability to easily overload it with weight and target all deltoid heads. Anterior delt is the most involved muscle head here. If you do it in standing position, it involves core musculature and serratus anterior muscle.

2. Lateral Raise

This is the most commonly performed exercise in the gym and targets the lateral deltoids. This workout is highly recommended for lateral shoulder development. Other two heads and upper traps have a moderate involvement here. This is one of the most common exercises so it needs the perfect form to derive the best activation of the targeted muscles. When you lift the weights to your side, the activation of each portion of the delt depends on the extent to which it is in a direct line of force opposing gravity (without any shoulder rotation).

3. Reverse Pec Deck

This exercise involves more force on the posterior head or rear delts. Their development is important for balanced growth of the shoulder and long term health. However, various other secondary muscles will be involved here, the focus remains on the rear delt. This workout on the machine has different grip variations. Mostly, neutral grip is advised to begin with.

4. Lying Face Pulls

This exercise is one of the best exercises for isolating rear delt. However, this exercise will target similar muscles as the traditional standing face pulls will, it will lessen the involvement of the traps (upper traps to be more specific). This exercise is beneficial for people who have overactive upper traps which will tend to overpower the rear delts in many movements. Performing face pulls laying down, hence, puts more focus on rear delts, ensuring less involvement of upper traps.

5. Standing or Kneeling Face Pulls

The upper traps are more active during standing exercises since they work as a postural muscle. It is a point of good consideration that traditional face pulls like standing and kneeling face pulls have their own special benefits when it comes to strengthening the rotator cuffs and postural muscles. It is strongly advised that you must incorporate them in your routine and do a few sets of each variation.

About The Author

Rajul Tiwari

Rajul Tiwari is the Editor-in-Chief at bodyandstrenth.com and has 18 years of experience in media, content, publishing and education. She has worked with media houses like Daini.. Read More..


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