Shoulders are big, powerful and built to carry a heavy load. They are also fragile, prone to wear and can simply give out.
A good shoulder workout regimen will not only help to prevent such injuries, but it will also avail the ability to build strong and powerful shoulders.
Shoulder Exercise Considerations
When you’re starting a shoulder exercise routine, especially for fitness novices, it’s important to remember that the shoulders are unlike any other muscle group or part of the body.
All the power of the chest and shoulders cannot be harnessed without the shoulders, and a bad shoulder can render an arm useless.
A muscle, a joint and little bit of everything, so building bigger and stronger shoulders has a few guidelines for success.
The shoulders are very much like the larger major muscle groups of the body, such as the chest or the glutes.
They can handle heavy loads and push some serious weight. They’re also very much like certain smaller-yet-mighty muscles like the biceps or the calves.
These muscles, like the shoulders, are usually considered part of the supporting cast but have the potential to become surprisingly strong.
While shoulders can handle considerable poundage, it is through the building process, like that of the biceps, that makes them strong enough to handle those heavier routines.
Tearing a rotator cuff or suffering a bicep tear is much more likely than suffering an injury to your chest or back, for example.
Shoulders are unique in purpose and design due in large part to the unique range of motion they are capable of.
While this is an impressive attribute of the shoulders, it is also undoubtedly a vulnerability.
This specific range of motion means that shoulders are susceptible to pulls, strains and tears.
What’s that mean for your routine?
You must be very attentive to your form and aware of any points of stress or discomfort.
Now that we’re informed and aware, it is time to start building bigger, stronger and better shoulders and this shoulder routine promises to get the job done.
THE COLOSSAL SHOULDERS COMPLEX
Perform each of these movements for 30 seconds without rest periods. 6 movements constitutes one round, resting 1 minute between rounds (3 to 5 rounds).
It is important not to exceed 5 rounds during this routine as the shoulders can be strained by overexertion.
It is also important to remember your form during these routines and that may mean using lighter weights.
Finally, be mindful of hearing words like “raises” or “extensions” because these will often be movement where lighter poundage is intended because of vulnerable lifting positions.
Be safe, lift hard and let’s get started…
1. Seated bent-over lower-trap Y raise
From a seated position, take two dumbbells in hand and rest your chest on your knees letting your arms naturally hang.
Now locking your elbows, raise your arms shoulder high and so you arms form a “Y’ shape.
Don’t let your arms drop but control the weight as you lower your arms.
(This lift is often shown being done in a standing position, which I strongly discourage. For starters, this movement can be a strain on the lower back and secondly, it isn’t designed as a core movement, it is a shoulder exercise.)
2. Seated bent-over overhand-grip reverse fly
From a seated position take two dumbbells in hand and rest your chest on your knees. Rotate your hands so the back of your palms are facing outward.
Raise dumbbells to range of motions pulling your shoulder together.
Keep your arms below your shoulders throughout the movement.
3. Seated lateral raise
From a seated position take two dumbbells in hand, and sit erect with your back straight. Rotate your palms inward and raise dumbbells shoulder high, palms facing the floor.
Again, don’t allow your arms to fall but control the dumbbells as you lower them back to your side.
4. Seated front raise
From a seated position take two dumbbells in hand, and sit erect with your back straight.
Lock your elbows, raise the dumbbells directly in front of you shoulder high and keep your palms facing downward.
Again, controlling the dumbbells return to your starting position.
5. Seated modified upright row
From a seated position take two dumbbells in hand and lean slightly forward.
With your arms hanging naturally at your side, gently thrust your elbows upward raising your shoulders, then allow dumbbells to fall and then repeat elbow thrust.
6. Seated Cuban press
This movement is an extension of the seated modified upright row.
From a seated position take two dumbbells in hand and with your arms hanging naturally at your side, gently thrust your elbows upward raising your shoulders then proceed to lift the dumbbells to your shoulders with palms facing outward.
Press the dumbbells above your head then lower weights rotating your hands back as you control the weight to a resting position with your arms at your side.
Shoulder Routine Tips
This program is designed to be performed without rest during the rounds, so you will want to choose a weight that you can handle from exercises 1 through 6.
Generally, the most difficult lifts are either 1 or 2 so selecting a weight you can handle for those exercises will be the right dumbbells for the entire routine.
This complex is focused on adding detail to those delts and improving the strength and stamina of the smaller postural and stabilizer muscle groups.
Most of us will find 8 to 12-pound dumbbells more than enough to accomplish the mission – getting bigger stronger shoulders.