Broad shoulders, a well-developed back and good lats combine to create the sought-after V-shape that every bodybuilder dreams of. The shoulders therefore deserve a prominent place in the training schedule of every serious bodybuilder. But how can you best train your shoulders and ensure that you get real boulder shoulders?
The deltoid muscle, or the shoulder, is made up of several muscles that are involved in moving your arm. In total, there are seven different muscle groups that make up the shoulder joint. The best known and most important muscle is the ‘large shoulder muscle’. It actually consists of three different muscles, namely the deltoid anterior (front), the deltoideus lateralis (middle) and the deltoideus medialis (back). These are the best known and most important muscles in your shoulder. To develop beautiful, large shoulder muscles, it is important that all three muscle groups are trained. In this article we will therefore discuss training the three deltoids.
The shoulder is a muscle group that you actually use in a lot of other exercises, not aimed at the shoulders. Training your shoulders is therefore not only important from an aesthetic point of view, strong shoulders also help you to perform other exercises better.
SHOULDER TRAINING: WHICH EXERCISES?
It is almost impossible to train the different shoulder muscles (front, middle and top) with one exercise with the same load. Due to the different movement options of the different muscles, they are never all loaded equally. It is therefore better to do different exercises where you always emphasize one aspect of your shoulders. Below we give you an explanation of different exercises to train all aspects of your shoulders!
The front raise is a good isolation exercise for the front of your shoulders. In press exercises, your triceps can sometimes take over part of the work of the shoulders. With the front raise, the triceps are not activated and so they cannot take over the work from the shoulders.
In principle, the front raise is a fairly simple exercise. However, that doesn’t mean it isn’t effective. On the contrary, the front raise is a good exercise to add to your routine. You can vary the execution of this exercise by performing it with dumbbells, with a barbell or in a cable station. You can perform the exercise bilaterally (both arms at the same time) or unilaterally (one at a time). So the front raise never has to get boring!
We will briefly explain the basis of this exercise on the basis of a front raise with dumbbells. You can choose whether you want to perform the exercise sitting or standing. When you perform it standing, you can ‘smuggle’ by helping a little from your legs. If you want to avoid this, you better sit down. Sit on a bench, possibly with a backrest, and grab two dumbbells. Let your arms hang by your sides with the dumbbells. You will now extend your arms in front of you until they are completely horizontal. The back of your hand points upwards. Once horizontal, slowly lower your arms back to your sides and straighten them again. Easy peasy , right?
The lateral raise, also known as the side raise, is an isolation exercise for the side of your shoulders. Like the front raise, this is a fairly simple exercise that is very effective. To create the V-shape, the lateral raise should not be missing in your schedule. With this exercise you ensure beautiful, large and round shoulder heads!
The lateral raise is also an exercise with which you can vary. With dumbbells or in a cable station, bilateral or unilateral, sitting or standing; it’s all possible with the lateral raise. Some gyms also have a lateral raise machine that you can also use for variety.
We now focus again on the performance with dumbbells. If you don’t want to smuggle too much, choose to perform the lateral raise while sitting. Sit on a bench and keep your arms with the dumbbells at your sides. Your palms are turned towards each other. You are now going to lift your arms sideways, keeping your arms straight as much as possible. The back of your hand is pointing upwards during this exercise. Raise your arms until they are at least horizontal. Now you can slowly lower them down to your body again, and then lift them up again. If you perform the exercise standing up, your arms are not at your sides in the starting position, but the dumbbells come against each other in front of your body and you raise them from there.
Perform the lateral raise regularly to create big shoulders. Vary the reps, sets, and execution of the exercise and you’ll see your shoulders grow!
BENT OVER RAISE
In this exercise, as you probably expected, you will be bent over. The focus in this exercise is on the back of the shoulders, but the trapezius and the back are also activated. By training the back of your shoulders, you ensure that your shoulders become straighter and hang less forward.
You can perform the bent-over raise standing or lying on an inclined bench. You can also do the bent-over raise in a cable station. We now explain the standing variant with dumbbells.
You grab a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Now bend your knees slightly and bend your upper body forward until your upper body is horizontal. Make sure you keep your back straight! Now raise your arms sideways as far as possible. The goal is to get your arms horizontal. Make sure to keep your arms straight while lifting. Your elbows may be slightly bent, but preferably your arms are stretched as much as possible. This is an exercise that can be performed quite explosively!
The overhead press is one of the basic exercises for the shoulders. What the bench press is to your chest, the overhead press is to your shoulders. This exercise focuses on the front of your shoulders. This exercise is great for building a lot of mass in the front of your shoulders. The overhead press can be performed with a barbell or with dumbbells. The variant with dumbbells is usually called dumbbell press or shoulder press.
The overhead press is a relatively easy exercise, but like any exercise, it’s important to do it right to avoid injury. You basically perform the overhead press standing with a barbell. If you prefer to perform it seated, it is better to choose to perform the exercise with dumbbells.
The overhead press focuses on the front and middle of your shoulders, but it also activates the top of your chest, triceps and trapezius.
Curling in the squat rack is really not done , but for this overhead press you can borrow the squat rack. Make sure the barbell is at chest height. Stand, as it were, against the barbell so that it rests on your chest. Grab the barbell slightly wider than shoulder width with an overhand grip (palms turned away from you). Your elbows point down in a straight line. Step back and put your feet shoulder width apart. Press the barbell up from your chest until your arms are fully extended above your head. Hold the barbell here for a moment and then lower it back toward your chest in a controlled motion. When pressing and lowering, make sure that you move your head back in time. A barbell on your head is not very pleasant.