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Try This Full Shoulder Workout (Perfect for Post-Injury)

If you had problems with your shoulders recently, this workout will benefit you immensely.

Check out this full shoulder workout designed by Jeff Cavaliere.

Jeff Cavaliere was the head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years and is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.

This workout is designed for anyone who wants to get a great workout for their shoulders, even if recently you have come out of an injury in the area. Jeff Cavaliere is going old school in today’s workout, taking viewers back in time for a shoulder workout. Having shared personal details about his injuries, including a torn bicep and shoulder labrum, Jeff aims to demonstrate how he continues to train effectively.

And for that, you don’t need to simply stop working out and waiting for your muscles to get back to normal. You can try this full shoulder workout for yourself.

Note: see with your doctor or physical therapist if this workout is good for you in case you are returning from an injury.

Full Shoulder Workout (Perfect for Post-Injury)

Jeff Cavaliere has a comprehensive shoulder workout designed to help you build bigger shoulders in under 40 minutes. The workout begins with an efficient warm-up, utilizing a shoulder warm-up matrix with a single weight plate for halos, Plate 8’s, and locked-in overhead presses using the scoop press.

The first exercise is a pressing variation, with Jeff opting for the single-arm overhead press with a dumbbell to accommodate his torn biceps and compromised shoulder joint. Being on his feet allows for more freedom of movement, and push pressing towards the end adds forced tension for greater muscle building stimulus.

Following the press, Jeff incorporates a cable side lateral to target the middle and rear delts. He emphasizes the importance of partial range of motion reps after reaching failure to intensify the set. Moving to strict lateral raises, Jeff focuses on the middle delts and often trains shirtless in the mirror for visual feedback to ensure proper muscle engagement.

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The focus shifts to the middle and rear delts with the high pull, described as the anti-upright row for better engagement and shoulder joint safety. Hip huggers, another dumbbell shoulder exercise, follow, emphasizing driving the arms backward into extension for rear delt activation.

The shoulder workout concludes with a corrective exercise for the rotator cuff using banded external rotations. Jeff advises focusing on high-quality reps rather than a specific rep count.

In summary, the full shoulder workout includes:

  • Shoulder Matrix Warmup with Plate
  • Single Arm Overhead Press – 3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Cable Lateral Raises – 3 sets of 6-10 reps (followed by partial reps)
  • Strict Dumbbell Lateral Raises – 2 sets of 10-12 reps (followed by partial reps)
  • Dumbbell High Pulls – 2-3 sets of 6-10 reps
  • Dumbbell Hip Huggers – 2 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Banded External Rotation for Rotator Cuff – 2-3 sets of 15 reps

And that is it. Want to know exactly how to perform each of the exercises mentioned above? Then watch the full video featuring Jeff Cavaliere below.

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Training the shoulders to make them bigger can be challenging for a few reasons:

  1. Genetics: The size and shape of your shoulders are largely determined by your genetics. Some people may have a genetic predisposition for broader shoulders, while others may have narrower shoulders. This can make it more difficult to achieve significant gains in shoulder size through training.
  2. Shoulder anatomy: The shoulders are a complex joint that is made up of multiple muscles, tendons, and bones. Because of their complexity, it can be challenging to target all of the shoulder muscles effectively with traditional strength training exercises. For example, the anterior deltoids may be easily stimulated with overhead pressing movements, but the lateral deltoids and rear deltoids may require more targeted exercises to effectively stimulate growth.
  3. Overtraining: The shoulders are often worked indirectly through other upper body exercises, such as bench presses and rows. This means that they can be easily overtrained if not given enough rest and recovery time. Overtraining can lead to injury and can also prevent muscle growth.
  4. Lack of progressive overload: Progressive overload is the gradual increase of stress placed on the muscles over time, which is necessary for muscle growth. If you are not progressively increasing the weight, sets, or reps of your shoulder exercises over time, your muscles may not be receiving enough stimulus to grow.

To effectively train the shoulders and promote muscle growth, it is important to incorporate a variety of exercises that target all three heads of the deltoids, as well as the rotator cuff and trapezius muscles. It is also important to allow for adequate rest and recovery time between workouts and to progressively increase the intensity of your workouts over time.

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Should You Workout Your Shoulders Every Day?

No, it is not recommended to work out your shoulders every day. The shoulders are a complex joint that is involved in many upper body movements, and they require time to recover and adapt to the stress placed on them during exercise. Overtraining the shoulders can lead to muscle fatigue, decreased strength, and an increased risk of injury.

The frequency of shoulder workouts depends on several factors, including your fitness level, training experience, and workout intensity. Generally, it is recommended to allow at least 48 hours of rest between shoulder workouts to allow for adequate recovery time.

If you are a beginner, you may benefit from working out your shoulders once or twice a week, gradually increasing the frequency as your fitness level improves. If you are an advanced lifter, you may be able to train your shoulders more frequently, but it is still important to allow for adequate recovery time and to avoid overtraining.

Ultimately, the frequency of your shoulder workouts should be based on your individual fitness goals, training experience, and recovery abilities. It is important to listen to your body and adjust your workout frequency and intensity as needed to avoid injury and promote muscle growth.

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Why Is It Important to Have Strong Shoulders?

Having strong shoulders is important for several reasons, as they play a crucial role in overall physical function and athletic performance. Here are some key reasons why shoulder strength is essential:

  1. Upper Body Function: Strong shoulders are essential for performing various daily activities and movements involving the upper body, such as lifting, pushing, pulling, and reaching. Whether you’re carrying groceries, lifting a heavy object, or even just performing tasks at work, strong shoulders provide stability and power for these actions.
  2. Injury Prevention: Strengthening the muscles surrounding the shoulder joints can help prevent injuries. Weak shoulders are more susceptible to strain, overuse injuries, and dislocations, especially during repetitive motions or heavy lifting. Building strength in the shoulder muscles can reduce the risk of such injuries and enhance joint stability.
  3. Posture and Alignment: Well-developed shoulder muscles contribute to good posture and alignment. They help maintain proper shoulder and spine alignment, reducing the risk of developing rounded shoulders or a forward head posture, which can lead to chronic pain and musculoskeletal issues.
  4. Athletic Performance: In sports and physical activities, strong shoulders are crucial for optimal performance. Whether you’re playing basketball, swimming, tennis, or weightlifting, shoulder strength is vital for generating power, stability, and control during movements.
  5. Upper Body Aesthetics: Well-developed shoulders contribute to a balanced and aesthetically pleasing physique. They enhance the appearance of the upper body, creating a more sculpted and defined look.
  6. Functional Training: Strong shoulders are a foundation for functional training, which focuses on movements that mimic real-life activities. Functional exercises that involve the shoulders improve overall functional capacity and make daily tasks easier to perform.
  7. Enhancing Other Exercises: Strong shoulders also support and enhance performance in other exercises like bench presses, pull-ups, and overhead presses. They act as a stabilizer and synergist for these movements, allowing you to lift heavier weights and progress in your training.
  8. Overall Strength and Core Stability: The shoulders are connected to the core muscles through various muscle chains. Developing shoulder strength contributes to overall body strength and stability, as it’s part of the interconnected network of muscles that support each other during movements.
  9. Long-Term Joint Health: A well-rounded shoulder strength program can improve joint health and longevity. Strengthening the muscles around the shoulder joint helps maintain joint integrity and may reduce the risk of degenerative conditions like osteoarthritis.

In conclusion, strong shoulders are crucial for daily functional activities, injury prevention, athletic performance, and overall upper body aesthetics and strength. Incorporating shoulder-specific exercises into your fitness routine can lead to numerous benefits and contribute to a healthier and more functional body.

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