You've seen them before. Your standard muscle building shoulder moves from overhead presses to lateral raises. In fact, I would bet that you have been using them as your primary, muscle building fallbacks for years. And while they have served you well in your quest for sexy, toned shoulders, too much of a good thing can bring your gains to a screeching halt. Our goal? Add eye-catching shape to your delt caps through new moves guaranteed to confuse and stimulate.
To combat repetitive stimulation muscle fatigue, we are going beyond the basic moves. While the shoulder is often seen as one muscle, it actually consists of three parts or heads. The front or anterior head moves your arm up and allows for inward rotation. The side or lateral head draws the arm out and away from your body. Finally, the rear or posterior head moves your arm backward and rotates it outward. Naturally, these muscles work in unison to move your arm. In order to see significant growth and development, you have to hit all three heads. So, let's shake things up and start including some new exercises to your traditional shoulder workouts.
The following five exercises can be performed at the gym or at home simply with a set or two of dumbbells. For most, 10-25 lb weights will be perfect. I would encourage you to lift as heavy as you safely can and when you start to lose form, you have reached 'failure'. Like any muscle group, growth occurs during your rest periods so be sure not to over train your shoulders. I suggest adding this workout into your program once a week and not training your shoulders more than three times in any given week.
Single Arm DB Clean and Press
Targeted Muscles: Anterior, Lateral and Posterior Deltoids (Quads/Glutes supporting)
From a squatting position in which the chest is lifted and straight, hold a dumbbell straight down between your legs with one hand. With an explosive movement, rise to a standing position and swing the weight up to your shoulder. Settle into a small squat as you stand. Then continue with controlled momentum and extend the weight overhead. As the weight achieves the top of your reach, bring your body to a full stand. Reverse the movement to bring the weight down and complete one rep.
Julie's Tip: This is an explosive movement that requires as much from your lower body as it does from your upper body. Sit deeply into the squat at the bottom of the movement and use your legs to explode upward.
Delt Skier Kickbacks
Target Muscles: Posterior & Anterior Deltoids
Begin standing, with your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at your hips, keeping your back straight. Hold dumbbells with each hand out in front of your shoulders keeping your arms straight - a soft bend in your elbows is fine. Using your rear delts, draw the weights back, arcing past your hips, keeping your hands close to your sides. Maintaining a controlled pace, bring the weights forward using your anterior delts in the same arc motion.
Julie's Tip: Be sure not to let momentum take over! This movement is not a swing, but rather a controlled pull and push.
Rear Delt Pull Across
Target Muscles: Posterior & Anterior Deltoids
With the core engaged, stand tall holding two dumbbells. Begin holding one arm straight down and the other straight across your body at a 45-degree angle. You will be using the lateral delt head to hold your arm at shoulder level throughout this movement. Engage your rear delt head to draw the elbow backwards and pull your shoulder blade back. Push forward to extend the arm back to a 45-degree angle across the front of the body at shoulder level.
Julie's Tip: Standing tall, with your chest lifted as you slowly draw your arm across your body. Never let allow your arm to fall below horizontal.
Full Range Lateral Raises
Target Muscles: Lateral and Anterior Deltoids
Begin with dumbbells in your hands and hold them down, just in front of the quads. With arms slightly bent, lift the weights out to the side twisting hands forward as you pass through horizontal. Proceed on bringing the weights directly over head, turning them to meet at the top of the movement. Be sure to keep your abs tight and chest lifted. In a controlled manner, bring the weights back to your starting position.
Julie's Tip: Think about completing a full 360 degrees with your arms and allow your wrists to rotate as you pass through horizontal.
Bent Over Rear Delt Raises
Target Muscles: Posterior Deltoids
Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. While keeping the core engaged, lean forward so that your chest is at a 45-degree angle. Maintain a straight, strong back stance and hold a pair of dumbbells down slightly in front of your knees. Extend both arms out and up to horizontal keeping a soft bend in the elbow. Pause for a moment and give an extra squeeze with the shoulder blades.
Julie's Tip: Be careful that your back does not round or arch significantly here. Keep your abs pulled in and tight
NO NONSENSE SUPPLEMENTS FOR SEXY SHOULDERS
Building sexy shoulders is not about exercise alone. Exercise makes it possible, good nutrition makes it probable, and the targeted supplements listed below make it optimal.
Basic (building focus while losing fat)
Next Steps (off season muscle building)