One of the most common goals people want to achieve when they enter the gym is to get that classic v-taper, if you are unfamiliar with a v-taper is, let me explain it to you is small at the waist and wide within the shoulders. So, if your goal is to build big boulder shoulders, you need to consider your body shape and train them with properly with the shoulder workout.
Having big wide shoulders has been considered an attraction for centuries, long before gymnastics and bodybuilding. A body with wide shoulders and a slim waist will not only make you feel healthier, but it will also boost your self-confidence.
Researchers believe that the v-tape physique is attractive because it reflects masculinity and strength and studies have shown that women are more likely to be attracted to men with a muscular upper and lower extremities.
Testosterone and broad shoulders
Obviously, having a broad shoulder muscle is a male factor. Testosterone causes our shoulders to grow wider, research and studies have found that men have more testosterone than women making them to develop a more v-tapered body. Find out how to increase testosterone naturally.
To create width, we want to improve primarily the medial part of the shoulder. Most people have extremely advanced front shoulders as a result of a lot of compound exercises such as the bench press. That means the middle deltoids are being neglected and it’s the medial deltoid that is responsible for creating a broad shoulder look.
There are some exercises that can help create different parts of the shoulders that allow you to maintain a natural V-shape. I will walk you through all the step-by-step best shoulder workout to help you build a range width east to west and a big wide shoulder.
Anatomy of the shoulders
The shoulders consist of three (3) sets of distinct fibers, the anterior(front) deltoid arising from the clavicle collar bone which encloses on the humerus, the lateral (side) deltoid arising above the scapular shoulder girdle inserting on the humerus, the posterior or rear deltoid inserts a little further back of the scapular still inserting on the humerus.
The shoulder joint is a ball and the joint socket has a very high flexibility which means that the muscles in which it operates can perform a wide range of different functions.
The first actions involved are:
The anterior deltoid is responsible for shoulder flexion eg when you raise the arm upwards.
The main function of the lateral deltoid is for shoulder abduction i.e. when you raise the arms to the sides.
The posterior deltoid functions as horizontal shoulder grip i.e. when moving the arms horizontally
The shoulder joint is also acted on by four muscles of the rotator cuff muscles that work as a shoulder stabilizes and internal / external rotators so they may not contribute too much to the shape of the shoulder as in aesthetics but keeping the rotator muscles strong can help promote training Longevity.
Starting with compound movement is the best bang for your buck, compound movement makes you work on more than one muscle at a time, , it gives you the need to go heavy and going heavy makes you stronger, getting stronger builds more muscle (find out how to get stronger).
Starting with compound movement at the beginning of your workout helps to break down those fibers needed for growth.
With the best shoulder workout, you will know how to develop the shoulder heads properly , the anterior, the medial and the posterior so you can get those boulder shoulders and have that classic v-taper, let’s kick right off.
The best shoulder workout
1. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Doing the dumbbell shoulder press seated allows you to lift heavier than the standing position.
Why is that? Your stabilizing muscles do not need to work hard to support your torso because they are supported by a bench, which means that your shoulder muscles are enabled to push as hard as possible to move and handle weights.
How to do it
- Sit on a straight bench with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height with your palms facing away from you.
- Keep your chest up and brace your core.
- Press the weights directly upwards until your arms are straight and the weights slightly touching over your head.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position under control, pause, and start the next rep.
2. Standing barbell overhead press
The muscles worked: Anterior, medial and posterior head of the deltoid.
This is one best shoulder workout that works all heads of the shoulder and also work the core too, when standing and pressing the weight overhead its actually going to raise your center of gravity, so it’s going to require a lot more balance on the core, also you can go really heavy with it, for that total shoulder development.
How to do it
- Grab the barbell and pull it to the front ches.t
- Keep your chest up and brace your core.
- Press the weights directly upwards until your arms are straight as you press up you want to press on the palms of the hands to get the full contraction.
- Then slowly lower the weights back to your under control, pause, and start the next rep.
3. Dumbbell lateral raise
The muscles worked: Middle head deltoid
Secondary muscle: Front / rear deltoids, traps
This shoulder exercise is great for isolating the middle deltoid head, one thing to always know is the anterior or the front deltoid is the secondary muscle group worked in any kind of a pressing motion usually for the chest and the posterior deltoid or the rear deltoid is the secondary muscle group in any kind of pulling exercise for the back.
Now, the middle head of the deltoid is not a secondary muscle group that works anything, so you always have to isolate it properly. The dumbbell lateral raise is a great choice for that.
How to do the dumbbell lateral raise
- Grab a pair of dumbbells not too heavy so that you be able to perform this exercise correctly.
- Hold the dumbbells in both hands and raise your hands up leading with the elbows, one mistake people make is to raise with their hands what will happen is that the elbows will drop and that will put pressure on the front deltoid but if you lead with your elbows it’s going to drop the palms and with the thumbs slightly turned downwards it’s going to help isolate the medial head that much more.
4. Arnold Dumbbell Press
This is one of Arnold’s best shoulder workout and played a major role in improving Arnold’s delts.
The rotational nature of these exercises provides a greater range of motion leading to a greater degree of muscle fiber breakdown and repair
As always, start with a small amount of weight first to learn. Emphasize rotation slowly and steadily.
This exercise is great for working the anterior and medial head of the deltoid.
How to do the Arnold dumbbell press
- Start light until you master the form.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arm bent, so your palms are facing you just like in a biceps curl.
- Now, instead of pushing straight up, spread your arms to each side laterally, then press your arms up and twist your hands so your palms face forwards.
- Make this move harder by starting with your elbows slightly raised so your upper arms are parallel with the floor. This ensures there is tension on the shoulders even at the bottom of the lift.
5. Dumbbell Bent-Over Reverse Fly
Of all the three shoulder heads, the posterior deltoid is very small and weak (and very stubborn!).
They need direct training.
Another good exercise for building rear delts is the Dumbbell Bent-Over Reverse Fly. It’s one of the best shoulder workout for building a complete set of shoulders.
Strengthening the rear delts by using the dumbbell bent-over reverse fly can lead to improved posture and a higher level of strength in other lifts.
How to do the dumbbell bent-over reverse fly
- While sitting or standing, grab the dumbbell firmly using a neutral grip.
- Use a square shape, with your feet separated by shoulder width.
- Keep a neutral neck position, and make sure the dumbbells are under your chest and your elbows are bent.
- Raise your arms to the side until they are level with the ground.
- Squeeze your upper back muscles and hold them for a moment.
- lower the dumbbells back to the starting position in a controlled manner and then start the next rep.
6. Upright rows
The muscles worked: The anterior deltoid, the medial deltoid, and the posterior deltoid
This great compound movement designed for complete shoulder development, will work for all deltoids heads and traps.
How to do the upright rows
- Grab the barbell or dumbbells and let it hang in front of you at the length of your arms. The palms should be facing your body.
- Standing upright, adjust your grip so that your hands are about line with the thighs.
- Breathe in and brace the abdominals, keep your back straight and keep your chest up.
- Lift the bar straight up towards the chin, leading with the elbows and keep the bar close to the body, pause at the top of the lift. Note: your arms should not be higher than your shoulders.
- Return the barbell back to its original position, breathe in as you lower.
know that this shoulder workout will be done with different hand grip that will emphasize a different part of the deltoid, going really wide with the grip and pulling up it’s going to almost mimic a lateral raise and put more emphasis on the medial head of the deltoid.
Bringing it close more in the neutral grip which is shoulder width, it’s going to hit all three heads of the deltoids and also the traps. Going close bringing it up it’s going to work the anterior deltoid, a little bit of posterior and the traps as well.
Note: If you have shoulder problems, it is best to avoid this activity. Shrugs and lateral raises can be used to replace it.
If you have shoulder pain and still want to do this exercise, just set a limit on your range of motion and bring weight to your lower chest.
The Best Shoulder workout Tool for You?
Go through the full range
Moving your muscles to full range of motion will involve more muscle fibers than partial repetition or cheating repetition (when pressure moves weight). When the fibers you fatigue, the faster you muscle grow.
Never extend your elbows During single-Joint shoulder Exercise
Fully extending the elbows is a mistake for many beginners especially when it comes to movements that involves the middle and rear delts.
It is best to keep the elbows locked in a slightly bent position during movements like the lateral raises and rear-delt flyes, when you lock the elbows it ensures that the only joint in motion is the shoulder.
But when you start closing and opening up at the elbows, the triceps becomes part of the movement reducing the isolation effectiveness and turning it to a multi-joint exercise, that’s great if you are training the triceps but not great for the shoulders.
Start paying attention to what your elbows do during movement. To lower the involvement of the triceps, lock a very slight bend in your elbows and hold it throughout the entire set.
Focus on heavy compound shoulder exercises
Begin to emphasize on heavy compound exercises at a low rep range to 70-80% of 1RM (one-rep max), you will see a significant increase in deltoid size and strength.
Start your shoulder exercise routines with a compound exercise, or multi-joint exercises like Overhead Press or Arnold Press, and then “finish off with 1=2 isolation exercises.
Hit the medial delts more
For the delt medial to work properly, you need to use isolation exercises, this will keep your delts under tension that will fully stimulate the lateral part if you want to look wide.
Train the Delts Twice over the course of your Training split
One simple strategy is to simply train your delts twice over the course of your split. Extra work, done for 6-8 weeks, can help encourage greater growth.
The main problem here is constructing your training routine so that the delts are not getting overworked, planning your split might be a lit bit trickier because exercises like dips and close-grip bench presses also recruit the front delts too.
Make sure you plan it in such a way that you allow at least 8 hours of recovery before hitting the target muscle again to give it time to grow.
Shoulder workout at least twice a week is nearly optimal for maximum shoulder development shoulder development.
The Mistakes of Shoulder workout
Neglecting the posterior deltoids
This is a very common mistake. The posterior deltoid is not a showy-off muscle and, therefore, tends to be overlooked. However, if you have plans to compete in bodybuilding, or just want to look good from the back in general, training the rear deltoids is very important. This muscle can really make your physique to stand out contributing to building a good v-taper.
Sacrificing form for heavy weights
Another issue that many people do not have is to give up proper form to move more weights in shoulder movements.
Not only can this be dangerous, but it is usually not a very bad idea. Besides, if you use more weight in an effort to please other bodybuilders, I assure you that no one cares.
You may be asked how much you squat or deadlift, but I have never heard anyone ask someone else how much that person uses for lateral raises or dumbbell rear delt flyes.
Failure to Warm Up
It is very important for your overall mobility and muscle health! If you do not warm your shoulders using a variety of internal / external movements, you put yourself at risk for joint pain (or worse) – and there is nothing stopping your body from progressing towards big delts like severe joint pain. Work on those rotator cuff muscles, and keep your shoulders painless and ready for battle.
Over emphasizing on Front Delts
When doing overhead presses your front delts work more, they are also secondary movers during chest and triceps workouts such as dips and presses.
In addition to a lot of shoulder, chest and tri compound lifts if you are performing the front raises, you are likely overworking your front Delts.
Nutrition for the best shoulder workout
Every article on the best shoulder workout will be considered useless if you don’t follow a well proper balanced nutrition.
Proper nutrition is important, if you want to see the best results from a training program,
What kind of nutrients you provide is an important factor in producing the type of results you want; be it strength or size, this includes knowing what kind of food you can eat to get the best results without getting body fat.
And not just hopping on a high-protein diet, day after day, is the only ingredient for building big shoulders, you will need a sufficient amount of resources and energy such as proteins, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals to help achieve full growth.
There are no short cuts, special additions, or hidden tricks. It takes hard work and patience. But it’s totally worth it.
Therefore, the basic nutrients needed to achieve the full amount of growth are;
These are made up of amino-acids, which provide the building blocks of muscle, which are essential for growth, and are also used by the body to build, repair and maintain muscle tissue.
Examples include milk, eggs, fish and meat.
Carbohydrates are another important source of energy for your body. Your digestive system converts carbohydrates into sugars (blood sugar) and your body uses this sugar to get energy from your cells, tissues and organs.
When trying to build muscle, here is how to make healthy carbohydrates work in a balanced diet;
aim for whole fruits and vegetables without added sugar.
whole grains are better sources than refined grains and other important, nutritious foods such as vitamin B.
Stick to low-fat dairy products; Milk, cheese, yoghurt and other dairy products are good sources of calcium and protein as well as many other vitamins and minerals.
Good carbs for building muscle include; Foods of oats, fruits, yams, vegetables, whole grains, brown rice.
Fat is a type of nutrient; it is a necessary part of our diet. Fats provide the body with energy and help the body absorb vitamins.
It is beneficial because it helps maintain high levels of energy, providing lubrication between joints, regulates body temperature and assists digestion and exercise, all of which are essential for improving performance when trying to build muscle.
the most common guideline is to drink an 8-oz glass of water per day (approximately 2 liters per day).
When it comes to nutrition for bodybuilding, vitamins play a vital role in the synthesis of hemoglobin, maintaining bone health, energy production, and adequate physical activity.
They help by repairing muscle tissue during exercise recovery.
Minerals are one of the many micronutrients that are mostly over-looked compared to their distant relatives, such as proteins, carbs and fats. Finding the right amount of minerals is essential for building a healthy bone.
Supplements for the best shoulder workout
There are many bodybuilding companies that sell ineffective supplements, so it’s best to avoid those companies and buy supplements that really work. The best bodybuilding supplement is;
- Protein powder
- Omega 3-fish oil
- L- glutamine
Creatine monohydrate is a highly researched supplement in the sports supplement world and is one of the leading bodybuilding supplements that has been effective in recent years to increase muscle size, strength and size.
It is a natural component found in muscle cells, aids in energy production during high intensity lifting or vigorous exercise, and works by increasing the number of muscle cells that make them bigger.
Hundreds of creatine supplement studies have found that it will help you build muscle and strength, improve anaerobic endurance, and reduce muscle tension and damage. It is safe, cheap and very effective.
Whey protein powder
This is one of the best bodybuilding supplements. As a result of high strength training, bodybuilders aim to take in more protein than normal. Taking whey protein powder helps meet the daily dietary requirements that are essential to your recovery from exercise. It can easily fit into your diet, and it is easy to prepare.
Omega 3-fish oil
Fish oil is oil found in the tissues of oily fish. The use of fish oil can be found in the fish itself or in the addition of fish oil and it is very effective for bodybuilding.
L – glutamine
L-glutamine is a very effective supplement that should be present in the bodybuilder regime. It is amino acid found naturally in the body, this glutamine plays an important role in protein synthesis and muscle maintenance and reduces muscle tissue damage.
Wide shoulders are attractive because they can make your frame look more balanced by widening the appearance of the upper body. Having a well-developed shoulder indicates strength, broad shoulders make a man. With the best shoulder workout you can build the shoulders that Arnold will be proud of.
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