Don’t be one of the many who neglect their shoulders.
Take a walk around your local gym, and really study people’s physiques. Pay particular attention to people’s shoulder muscles. Do you notice how a lot of gym-goers have nice muscular arms and backs, but their shoulders look weak?
As someone approaches you, their arms and shoulders look decent. But as soon as they pass you by, their rear shoulders look underdeveloped.
That’s because shoulders are one of the most neglected muscle groups on the human body. Sure, you’ll catch guys pumping iron really hard while doing curls for those peaked-out biceps. Or, they’re loading lots of weights onto the leg press machine in order to impress everyone. But when you actually look at most people’s shoulders, you’ll see that they’re usually pretty lacking, musculature-wise.
Well here’s four killer shoulder routines that can really pump up those deltoids, and keep them pumped.
#1 Rope Face Pulls
Most people sadly neglect their posterior (rear) deltoid muscles. When the mid and frontal shoulder muscles are developed, and the rear ones aren’t, this can give a lopsided look that you just don’t want.
To perform rope face pulls, stand facing a cable pull station or a cable pull that is attached to a Smith machine. Adjust the pull station lock-set so that it is approximately on the same height as your shoulders, and attach a rope pull to the end of the cable.
Grasp the rope pull in an overhand grip so that the knuckles of each hand are facing each other. Lift the rope so that it is roughly equal in height to your nose.
Exhale and pull the rope towards your nose, and widen your grip as it approaches your face. You should concentrate on contracting your rear deltoids. Slowly return the rope pull to the starting position while inhaling, then repeat.
Do 10 – 12 reps for 4 sets in total.
# 2 Bent-Over Rear Delt Flys
This is another exercise that attacks the rear delts. Start this exercise by standing straight up, and grasp a dumbbell (kettlebells can substitute for these) in each hand so that your palms are facing inwards.
Squat down and lean forward while maintaining the natural arch of your back. Your upper body should almost be almost parallel with the floor, and your head should be facing downwards. Let your arms fall naturally down in front of you so that they are perpendicular to the floor. This is the starting position.
Brace your torso and focus on keeping it stationary as you lift the weights upwards and back. Keep a slight bend in your elbows and be careful not to swing your body as you perform these exercises. Also, be sure to exhale while you are lifting the weights back, and inhale as your bring your hands back downwards to the starting position.
Perform 4 sets of 8 – 10 reps.
# 3 Seated Military Presses
This exercise focuses on the mid and frontal deltoid region.
Begin by firmly seating yourself on a shoulder press bench (or within Smith machine rack). Reach up and grasp the barbell so that your palms are facing upwards. Keep your hands approximately slightly farther apart than shoulder-width. This is your starting position.
Brace your body in the seat and lift the weight off of the rack, so that your arms are straight with a slight bend at the elbows. Inhale as you bring the bar down towards your back, until it touches your shoulders.
Exhale, and press the bar back upwards to the starting position.
Perform 10 – 12 reps for a total of 3 sets.
# 4 Standing Lateral Raises
Finish off your mid and front delts with these shoulder-blasting exercises.
Stand with your back straight, and grasp a couple of dumbbells or kettlebells so that your palms are facing inwards. This is your starting position.
Gradually lift your arms out on a parallel plane with your body, and exhale as you contract your shoulders. Pause for one second, and then inhale as you return the weights to your sides in slow, controlled motion.
Do 10 – 12 reps for 4 sets in total.
So don’t neglect your deltoid muscles (especially the rear ones). Arm yourself with these shoulder building and strengthening exercises and rep your way to fuller, well-toned shoulders.