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Look Good, Move Well, Be Strong: Perfect Shoulder Workout to Hit All 3 Heads (Sets and Reps)

Build boulder shoulders.

Check out this awesome shoulder workout from Jeff at Athlean X.

“If you are looking for a boulder shoulder workout to get bigger delts, then you’ve come to the right place. In this video, I am going to show you a workout to get bigger shoulders by hitting all three heads – the front delt, middle delt, and rear delt. I am not only going to show you what exercises to do, but I am going to give you the sets and reps too so you have a game plan for big delts.”

Source: Swolverine

“In order to get big delts, you need to target all three heads to create a rounded, full looking shoulder. That means effectively targeting each one through exercise selection and performance. That means getting a full contraction as well as achieving stretch on the individual muscles too.”

“To begin this workout for big shoulders, we need to start pressing and start pressing heavy. Grab a pair of dumbbells and perform the seesaw press; pressing one dumbbell up overhead and lowering the other at the same time. You want to imagine yourself not just letting the weight lower on its own, but to actively pull it down. If you want to, you can substitute the seesaw press with a heavy barbell overhead press or even a landmine press. Any of these options are a great choice and are perfectly fine to overload the delts in a pressing motion.”

“Grab a weight that will allow you to fail in the 8-10 rep range for your first set. On your second set, you will be using a weight that causes failure in the 6-8 rep range. On sets 3 and 4, you will use the same weight, utilizing rest-pause to achieve your target reps if need be. Immediately finishing sets 3 and 4, you will drop a single dumbbell and perform over & backs to failure. If you chose the OHP, you will be performing a push press. Decided to do the landmine press? Great, just perform a landmine thruster as your burnout.”

Shoulder-exercisesSource: Photos courtesy of CrossFit Inc

“Next up, we have to target the middle delt in our boulder shoulder workout and the exercise we are going to utilize here is the cable lateral row. The alternative option to perform here is the side lying lateral raise, done with simply a bench and a dumbbell. These exercises are great options in any shoulder workout because the nature of the movements places the middle and rear delts on stretch. We know that in order to achieve maximum muscle activation, taking a muscle through full stretch into full contraction is key.”

“For this exercise you will be performing 3 sets of 8-10 reps on each side.”

“The third spot of this workout for big shoulders is reserved for targeting the middle and rear delts together with a heavier weight option. This exercise selection is the hip hugger. It is important to note that you want to bring your elbows back behind and away from your body. Too often, when I see this exercise performed, people end up doing a regular shrug. Shrugging the weight up isn’t going to hit the delts effectively, in fact, you’d be targeting your traps instead. If you do the hip huggers correctly, you are going to light up those rear and middle delts.”

“You will be doing this exercise for 3 sets of 6-8 reps.”

“Now, to create a full, rounded, boulder looking shoulder, you NEED to hit the rear delts. Too often we focus on the fullness of the front and middle delts whilst forgetting about the smaller muscle head on the backside. If we are going to hit this muscle, then what better way to do it than with my favorite exercise; the facepull?!”

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“The key here is to make sure that you are getting those elbows and hands as far back as we can to not only achieve the maximum amount of external rotation, but to take the muscle through to its fully contracted state.”

“The facepull is done for 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.”

“Last but not least in our workout for bigger shoulders, you are going to perform either the incline stretch front raise or the cable stretch front raise. Either option here is great for putting the front delt on stretch prior to achieving its contracted position. With the dumbbells, you are allowing gravity and the weight of the dumbbells to pull your arms into extension behind your body. In the case of the cables, they too are pulling your arms back behind your body into extension.”

“Either option you choose, you are doing them for 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps.”


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