5 Smacking Ways To Have Boulder Shoulders

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Upright rows are very effective in toning the shoulders

The deltoid muscles present in the shoulder region are quintessential for all the arm movements that we do in our daily routine, and therefore, it is quintessential that one activates these muscles with a targeted training program.

Primarily, working with free weights is the go-to exercise to building strong and muscular shoulders as they tone a host of other stabilisation muscles along with the target muscle group.

Moreover, while training the shoulders, ensure that you include enough variety in your training programs to activate all the three heads of the deltoid muscles for maximum efficiency.

Nevertheless, always remember to perform a proper warm-up before the training program to flex the muscles and improve the blood circulation.

Also, have a balanced diet that is a rich source of lean protein as it is vital for muscle building and recovery.

Without further ado, let us look closer at the five exercises that one could add to their training program to build strong and muscular shoulders.
#1 Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is an intermediate-level exercise that is ideal for targeting all the three heads of the deltoid muscles.

Step 1: Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart or sit on a flat bench with a straight back.

Secure dumbbells in both the hands and place them in front of the chest region such that the palms are facing towards the body.

Step 2: Raise the dumbbells while simultaneously rotating your wrists until the arms are in a fully extended position.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.
Important tip:

Ensure that you keep your elbows close to the body throughout the duration of the exercise. People with lower back problems must exercise caution while performing the standing variation of this exercise.
#2 Side Lateral Raise

Along with toning all the three heads of the deltoid muscles, the side lateral raise also activates the trapezoid muscles present in the upper back region.

Instructions:
Step 1: Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Secure the dumbbells in both the hands and place them on the side, parallel to the body. The palms should be facing the body in this position.

Step 2: With a straight torso, raise the dumbbells to the side with slightly bent elbows until they are in line with the shoulders. In this position, the dumbbells must be parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Hold for a moment and return to the initial position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.
Important tip: Always follow a proper form while performing this exercise. Do not use momentum to lower the weights as it could lead to a serious rotator cuff injury.

#3 Upright Barbell Row
The upright barbell row is a compound exercise that not only targets the three heads of the deltoids but also activates the traps.

Additionally, the upright barbell row activates the biceps, triceps and the muscles found in the forearm region.

Instructions:
Step 1: Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Secure the barbell with both the hands and hold it in front of the hips such that the palms are facing towards the body. Ensure that the distance between the palms is approximately equal to the width of the shoulders.
Step 2:

With a stationary torso, raise the barbell until it is in front of the chest region, just below the shoulders. In this position, the elbows must be positioned higher than the forearms.
Step 3: Hold for a moment and return to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of times.

Important tip: For a more targeted training experience, perform the exercise while using a cable machine.

#4 Bent-Over Rear Deltoid Raise
The bent-over rear deltoid raise is an isolation exercise that primarily targets the shoulders while also working on the trapezoid muscles.
Instructions:

Step 1: Stand straight with your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Secure the dumbbells in both the arms and place them on the side, parallel to the body. With a straight torso, bend forward using your hips and slightly bend your knees.

Step 2: Gradually raise the dumbbells to the side until the upper arms are parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Pause for a second and return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise for the recommended number of times.
Important tip: Follow a proper form and do not use momentum to raise or lower the dumbbells as it could lead to a serious rotator cuff injury. People with a history of back problems must exercise caution while performing the bent-over rear deltoid raise.

#5 Seated Barbell Military Press
The seated barbell military press is an intermediate-level exercise that primarily tones the shoulder muscles. Other target muscles include the biceps, triceps and the muscles in the forearm region.

Instructions:
Step 1: Sit on a flat bench with a straight back. Plant your feet firmly on the ground and secure the barbell with a grip that is slightly wider than the distance between the shoulders. Position it overhead with fully extended arms such that the palms are facing away from the body.

Step 2: Slowly lower the barbell until it is just below the chin region. In this position, the upper arms must be parallel to the floor.

Step 3: Hold the position for a second and return to the starting position.
Repeat the exercise for the recommended number repetitions.

Important tip: Beginners are advised to perform this exercise with the help of a spotter.

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