Very few things scream “muscle” like a set of wide and big muscular shoulders. Just think of wearing a tank top and showing off a set of detailed, striated and lean shoulders. Sounds good right? The problem with shoulder training is that the workouts that are currently popular almost never factor in a few important tricks for developing wide shoulder.
Jimmy’s Top 13 Tricks For Wider Shoulders
- Stop focusing on overhead pressing and start focusing on side lateral raises. Everyone is obsessed and in love with dumbbell shoulder presses but they primarily work the front delt and not the lateral heads which give the wide and rounded look at almost everyone’s after.
- Use more dumbbells in general if you want bigger shoulders. Dumbbells allow you to work through a full range of motion and are easier on the shoulder joint then heavy pressing.
- Pre fatigue your shoulders with cavble side raises. Not only do cable side raises create tension during the whole range unlike dumbbells or barbells but by performing them before any other shoulder movement you preferentially target your lateral shoulders. More often then not you never fully target your shoulders because pressing also stresses your triceps.
- Use more isometric holds. By pausing at various ranges during the course of a side raise you cause shoulder muscle fibers to contract at a different pace then during common movements.
- Your shoulders will only get as big as your rotator cuff allow them too. Most trainers overlook this method but the structural stabilization of your shoulders allow the muscular growth to happen. If the stablization is weak then your body will limit the amount of possible muscle growth.
- Shoulders respond very well to high rep training. The best rep ranges for shoulder mass range from very low to upwards of 20 or 25. Higher reps work very well with lateral movements.I don’t advise higher then 15 reps on shoulder pressing.
- Get creative with your shoulder workouts. Due to the complex nervous system recruitment of shoulder muscle fibers you can train it on multiple days with multiple set and rep ranges. Currently I love doing a press heavy day combined with various rear delt movements followed by a second higher rep side raise dominant day.
- Stop being focused on traditional shoulder movements. Bodybuilding shoulder workouts still dominate the general public’s thought process but it shouldn’t be that way anymore. Kettlebell swings and clean and presses are fantastic shoulder mass builders while explosive medicine ball work can develop deep cuts in your shoulders.
- Partial range of motion shoulder training is a great idea. Due to the relationship between the triceps and shoulders, we often end up doing more triceps indirect work when we want to do direct shoulder work. Get around this by performing partial range of motion movements that emphasize a specific section of the movement. This will help you get definition at specific levels.
- Don’t over do the volume in your workout. Since the delts currently have 7-10 nerve innervation points(depending who you talk to) most people make the mistake and think that they need to pound away with upward of twenty sets because they don’t “feel” their shoulders. This is a faulty notion because your shoulders actually respond very well to lower volume. As a natural athlete your recovery should be your biggest focus.
- Make sure to increase your lat flexibility for better shoulder growth. The biggest knock on shoulder workouts is that pressing is too dangerous on your shoulders and pressing can be harmful. The issue is that most people don’t have proper recruitment patterns in their lats. When you lats are tight you can’t fully extend your arms overhead without tightening up your neck. Work your lats and you’ll see faster shoulder strength gains.
- Continually stretch your traps and other smaller neck muscles. For every inch your elbow goes above your shoulder your shoulder blades move every 2 inches. This creates a problem with your traps and other smaller neck muscles. If you perform a light shoulder press very slowly you’ll notice that your neck actually slightly dips down toward your shoulder. That’s a result of improper shoulder patterns. You’ll be surprised if you clean up your neck with some stretching how efficient your shoulder moves.
- Make sure your resting enough in between sets. I know it might be common knowledge but it needs to be said. Most people just don’t rest enough in between their sets and decrease the potential intensity that they can use for the follow up set. Aim to maximize each set for shoulder muscle growth.
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