Shoulder exercises are an essential part of any gym rat’s workout routine. Not only do they improve your upper body strength and posture, but they also add size and definition to your shoulders. However, trying to pack muscles the wrong way can add months of meaningless efforts to your journey. So on that note, in this blog, we’ll show you some of the best shoulder exercises, how to perform them, and ultimately how to get the most out of them. But before we dive deeper into the shoulder exercises, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the shoulders.
The anatomy of the shoulders
The shoulders consist of three main muscles: the front deltoid, the side deltoid, and the rear deltoid. Each of these muscles plays a crucial role in different shoulder movements. The front deltoid is responsible for lifting your arms in front of your body, the side deltoid for lifting your arms to the side, and the rear deltoid for pulling your arms back. All these muscles are targetted through different type of exercises and will have a direct impact on the look of your shoulders.
Effective shoulder exercises
Starting with lateral raises, this exercise targets the side deltoids and contribute towards the broadness of your shoulders. If you have a thing for a V-shaped physique, you can’t go wrong with this exercise. Big broad shoulders create the illusion of having a thinner waist, which of course enhances the overall appeal of the body. To perform this exercise, you must stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward. Raise the weights out to your sides until they reach shoulder level, then lower them back down.
Another incredible exercise to build bigger, broader, and fuller shoulders is the front raises. As the name suggests, the front raise targets the front delts and is an excellent exercise for strength and definition. It also makes your shoulders rounder while refining the shoulder and arm separation. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms in front of you, keeping them straight, until they’re at shoulder level, then lower them back down.
Lastly, try incorporating rear deltoid flyers in your workout too. This exercise targets the rear deltoids and is one of the most underrated exercises. It makes your shoulders look 3-dimensional, widens the look of your back and also make your triceps look bigger. To do this exercise, you simply need to sit on a bench with a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward at the waist, keeping your back straight and your arms hanging straight down. Raise your arms out to your sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the weights back down, and repeat.
All of these shoulder exercises have their place. That being said, to get the best results and to have your delts completely separated from the chest and arms, try performing all of these in a single workout routine.
Are machines better than dumbbells for shoulder exercises?
Like it is with most classical debates, both have their own benefits. Modern gym rats prefer machines because they offer more stability and support. This especially comes into play when recovering from injuries. Besides, it’s easier to target specific muscle groups through machines than it is with dumbbells. In contrast, dumbbells provide a more functional and versatile workout, allowing for a greater range of motion and the ability to work on stabilization muscles. Overall, maintaining proper form is more challenging with free weights than it is with machines. That being said, at the end of the day, it all comes down to one’s preferences.
Shoulder exercises without weights
If you want to improve strength and stability in your shoulders without hitting the gym, you can count on bodyweight exercises such as pike push-ups, dips, and planks. The good thing about these exercises is that they will not just target your shoulders but also other areas of your body. However, because they’re not as focused on the target muscles as some of the other exercises mentioned above, progress will be slow. Nevertheless, they’re still incredible exercises if you want to push yourself past your limits.
How to get more out of shoulder exercises?
To get more our of your shoulder exercises, it’s essential that you don’t let your muscles get comfortable with the weights you’re lifting. You can do that by gradually increasing the intensity or difficulty of your workouts. This phenomena is also known as progressive overload.
Moreover, if you are not currently using a preworkout, it may be worthwhile to incorporate one into your routine. According to research, preworkouts can improve muscle endurance and explosiveness, which can lead to better performance in the gym. Recently, SD Matrix has introduced a top-quality preworkout called ABE, which has a refreshing bubblegum flavor and is packed with powerful ingredients like caffeine, beta-alanine, and creatine that are sure to boost your workout.
Lastly, you can also take supplements such as Matrix Black, Epistane or RAD-140. All these supplements are incredible mass-builders and will help you squeeze more out of your time in the gym. They all work by increasing testosterone levels and therefore will give you results in weeks that most other supplements won’t give you in months.
Conclusion: shoulder exercises
Conclusively, shoulder exercises are an incredible to tool to not only build fuller, rounder, and wider shoulders but also to enhance the overall aesthetics of your body. Few male aesthetics come close to the sight of a noticeable shoulder and arm separation. But for that, you’ll have to understand the anatomy of the shoulders and target each of the three main muscles. You can do that through dumbbells, machines or even bodyweight exercises such as pike push-ups, dips, and planks. Lastly, to get the most out of shoulder exercises, it’s important to incorporate progressive overload. With consistent effort and the right approach, you can achieve your desired shoulder look and improve overall upper body strength.