132 Views

Your Shoulder Training Sucks: 2 Workouts For Better Delts AddThis Sharing Buttons Share to Facebook

Brad Borland presents a list of deltoid training dos and don’ts that will help you to improve your shoulder building results. Included are beginner and intermediate workouts.

Brad Borland is a strength & conditioning specialist, cancer survivor and the founder of WorkoutLab.

Do you need more mass, strength and power in your deltoids overall? Would you like to fill out that t-shirt and possess wide, commanding shoulders that convey a powerful physique without a word spoken? The more important question is: Do your shoulders suck?

Many trainers fall into the trap of not treating their shoulders with due respect when it comes to flowing a comprehensive program replete with a proper perspective of the right moves done the right way. Chest, back and arms are pummeled with big heavy and compound exercises while shoulders are thrown a few presses and lateral raises before heading out the door.

How your shoulders fit

Even though this article focuses on shoulder training, they’re part of a bigger picture. Strong, smartly-built shoulders aid in function as well. For example, overhead pressing movements, when done with proper form and technique, help stabilize the entire shoulder girdle and build balance into bench presses, rows and pull-ups. Think of your shoulders as the hinge to a door for all upper body movements. Without a strong essential joint, your shoulders could develop into a weak point if not already.

Another important factor to consider is how your shoulder routine fits into your overall program. You may think of your shoulder workouts as just another body part to train on its very own day or combined with another body part. To really improve on your entire shoulder complex you need to start thinking of your shoulder training in all aspects: range of motion, technique, power, strength, hypertrophy and efficiency.

Let’s dissect these aspects a little, delve into a few dos and don’ts and build a better set of shoulders.

Shoulder training don’ts

Don’t overhead press too much weight. This can spell certain injury and joint strain sidelining you from most, if not, all upper body work for a while. Use a weight you can handle with control on both the concentric (raising) and eccentric (lowering) parts of the movement. Too much weight may impress your buddies but the reality is that it won’t produce much in the way of bigger shoulders.

Don’t use a short or limited range of motion. Related to the above, presses seem to be a victim of this no-no as well. Short, choppy reps may allow you to lift more weight but won’t do much for building muscle. The less a muscle stretches the less it will contract.

Don’t cheat during any type of lateral raise. You’ve seen it plenty of times; someone is trying to perform a set of side laterals and start to rock their upper body back and forth, heaving the weight up. They may even lift up on their toes at the top of the movement.

Don’t overdo the presses. Barbell, dumbbell, Hammer, Smith and machine presses are all great exercises to stimulate overall growth in the shoulders but overdoing it will cause overtraining and reverse gains quickly. Too many presses in any single routine is a big don’t since your front delts get so much work from bench work to begin with.

Kettlebell swings

Add in some dynamic moves. Everything from hang cleans, clean and presses, snatches to push presses can easily fit into any shoulder routine

Shoulder training dos

Do use a manageable weight. By now this is a no-brainer. Use a weight that you can control throughout the entire range of motion – not just after you lockout on a press, for example. Total control is also important to prevent injury and develop real stability not only in your shoulder joints but also throughout your body namely your midsection.

Do swallow your pride and use a full range of motion. Shoulder press from below your chin all the way overhead to near lockout, side laterals from either your side or from the front all the way up to shoulder level with control and perform upright rows without short and choppy bouncing reps. Full range of motion, controlled reps and complete contractions.

Do focus on posterior exercises. A big trend in training is to train the front (anterior) and middle (medial) deltoid heads ad nauseam. The rear (posterior) deltoids get neglected and forgotten. This not only weakens the strength of your posterior chain but will also pull your shoulders forward creating a convex, hollow chest rounding your back. Use posterior delt exercises to help pull your shoulders back and create a well-rounded and balanced shoulder area.

Do add in some dynamic moves. It’s easy to think of power as it relates to the bigger body parts such as chest, back and legs but shoulders seem to take a backseat. Everything from hang cleans, clean and presses, snatches to push presses can easily fit into any shoulder routine to add some full-body power and strength all the while adding performance to your overall physique. This spells more muscle too.

I would be remised if I didn’t list a typical shoulder routine. This may look a little familiar as you look over the brief routine below. If it does, pay close attention to the notes and see where you can do better so your shoulders suck no more.

Old shoulder training program

Old Program
Shoulder Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Seated dumbbell shoulder press 3 6-8
Standing dumbbell side lateral raise 3 10
Seated reverse pec deck (rear delts) 2 10
Standing barbell or dumbbell shrug 3 6-8

Old program notes: First off, the seated presses are most likely done in half rep style and the lateral raises are performed with atrocious form. Secondly, the delts aren’t challenged enough with either enough reps or with a technical power move such as clean and press. Also, there doesn’t seem to be enough posterior work for the rear delts. As mentioned earlier, this will create an imbalance over time. There lacks an overall diversity and variance in the program.

New shoulder training program

New Program
Shoulder Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Barbell clean and press 3-4 5
Dumbbell wide upright row 3 15-20
High rope face pull 4-5 10-15
Dumbbell or trap bar shrug (up and back) 3 8

New program notes: The clean and press brings in some much-needed low rep power while the upright rows are high rep burners. The face pulls give not only the rear delts there due attention but also the upper traps as well. The shrugs are performed by lifting your shoulders up and back at roughly a 45 degree angle instead of straight up and down. This helps to contract the traps and stabilize the entire shoulder girdle. The program is balanced and has plenty of variety. Rest one minute between sets.

Intermediate non-sucky shoulder program

Intermediate Program
Shoulder Workout
Exercise Sets Reps
Superset:
Standing dumbbell lateral raise 3 20
Standing barbell push press 3 6
Superset:
TRX high pull 4 15
Kettlebell swing 4 10-15
Superset:
Dumbbell bent-over lateral raise 2 8-12
Wide-grip barbell upright row 2 8-12

Intermediate program notes: Take little to no rest during supersets and one minute after each superset. If the amount of sets is too much at first, simply reduce by one set for each move. The workout is challenging but give it time and your all-out effort and you will adapt. Perform either once or twice per week.

Get the best viral stories straight into your inbox!

Don't worry, we don't spam

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Latest Posts

Jump Around: How You Can Benefit from Plyometrics
Training
364 views
Training
364 views

Jump Around: How You Can Benefit from Plyometrics

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Don't think you can benefit from adding in plymotrics to your workout programs or…

6 Ways To Challenge Yourself with the Push Up
Training
321 views
Training
321 views

6 Ways To Challenge Yourself with the Push Up

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Push ups are a fundamental movement that anyone can benefit from doing. Make your…

5 Unorthodox Ways to Use the Trap Bar for Gains
Training
316 views
Training
316 views

5 Unorthodox Ways to Use the Trap Bar for Gains

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

The trap bar itself is unorthodox and these 5 unorthodox trap bar variations are just what you need to make some serious gains. Read on to learn…

How Your Goals Could Benefit from a Maintenance Phase
Training
304 views
Training
304 views

How Your Goals Could Benefit from a Maintenance Phase

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Have you already accomplished all of your fitness goals? Well, it may be time to transition into a complete maintenance phase. Read on to learn more! You’ve…

5 Pump-Inducing Workout Finishers You Should Try
Training
320 views
Training
320 views

5 Pump-Inducing Workout Finishers You Should Try

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Nothing compares to walking out of the gym with an amazing pump. In case…

9 Unbreakable Laws of Max Effort Training
Training
342 views
Training
342 views

9 Unbreakable Laws of Max Effort Training

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email If you're interested in max effort training than you better not break one of…

Tricep Trifecta: 3 Power Exercises For Tricep & Bench Strength
Training
358 views
Training
358 views

Tricep Trifecta: 3 Power Exercises For Tricep & Bench Strength

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Coach Myers has the answer for two weightlifting woes. This workout will get you…

Full Body Circuit: Train Legs & Arms at the Same Time!
Training
377 views
Training
377 views

Full Body Circuit: Train Legs & Arms at the Same Time!

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Most lifters love training arms & hate training legs. Get the best of both…

Get Stronger At Squats With This 12 Week Super Squat Workout
Training
401 views
Training
401 views

Get Stronger At Squats With This 12 Week Super Squat Workout

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Work your way to a bigger, more impressive squat with this 12-week program that's…

Single Leg Strength: The Leg Day Solution For Lifters With Back Issues
Training
289 views
Training
289 views

Single Leg Strength: The Leg Day Solution For Lifters With Back Issues

SPFadmin - October 19, 2017

Share to FacebookShare to TwitterShare to PinterestShare to StumbleUponShare to MoreShare to Email Leg day is unbearable for those with lower back pain. The good news is…