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Full Shoulder Workouts for Mass and Definition

Shoulder Workouts

Training shoulders is often neglected in our workout routines. We either incorporate shoulder exercises in arm workouts or just rush a shoulder workout as it seems insignificant. However, training deltoids are extremely effective for building upper-body mass. Here are a few tips and top movements to build lean muscle mass, and have sculpted shoulders this summer! Just starting your mass-building journey? Or perhaps you’re looking for some middle-delt definition? This article will guide you through everything you need.

General Workout Tips for Shoulders

1) Always begin your sessions with the toughest exercises, as you generally can push more weight at the start, due to no muscle fatigue. Try to incorporate movements that involve multiple joints, to stimulate the entire area at its fullest.

2) Use dumbbells instead of a machine or bar: At the beginning of your workout, using dumbbells instead of a bar or machines can increase the intensity of the workout. This is because dumbbells require more balance, control and stability while performing the movement. That way, you will incorporate multiple joints and muscles.

3) Reverse-pyramid weight: Instead of doing the heavy lifting in the last set, begin with the heaviest weight. Perform a second set with the heavy weight, then, drop the weight by around 5 points for the last two sets.

4) Work out rear delts first: As your front and middle delts are stimulated in chest day, it is common to find that rear delts are always the weakest. Therefore, it is suggested that you begin your workout with exercises targeting rear delts, as you can power through with the most energy.

Shoulder Workouts to Build Mass

To put all of this to practice, here is a suggested workout to build serious delt mass:

1) Dumbbell Shoulder Press:

4 sets of 8 reps with 2 minutes rest between each set.

2) Barbell Upright Row:

4 sets of 6 reps, 2 minutes rest between each set.

3) Dumbbell side lateral raise:

4 sets of 8 reps, 1 minute rest between each set.

4) Seated bent-over delt raise (rear)

4 sets of 6 reps, 1 minute rest between each set.

Once you’ve gained mass and hit a plateau, you have to intensify your workout, or change up the routine to start defining the muscles. Remember, performing the same workout constantly is never a good idea! Here is a simple workout to start defining your delts, while maintaining your muscle mass!

Increase Intensity to Get Defined Shoulders

1)Dumbbell side lateral raise:

4 sets of 10 reps, 1 minute rest between each set.

2) Seated bent-over delt raise:

4 sets of 10 reps, 1 minute rest between each set.

3) Upright cable row:

3 sets of 10 reps, 1 minute rest in between each set.

4) Reverse machine flyes:

4 sets of 12 reps, 1 minute rest in between each set.

5) Barbell push press:

4 sets of 8 reps, 2 minutes rest in between each set.

How to build your middle-delts:

So, we’ve looked at mass building and defining, but how about targeting a specific area? Making your shoulders look wider requires you to build your middle delt mass, to broaden your upper body and make your waist appear smaller. In order to target your middle-delts, you need to adjust your exercise routine, by using different movements and angles to target the area. Here’s a sample routine to target your middle delts:

Targeting Middle Deltoids

1) Shoulder press: Use a barbell with a heavy weight.

4 sets of 8 reps, with 2 minutes rest in between.

2) Upright barbell row: Keep your hands shoulder-width apart on the bar.

4 sets of 8 reps, with 1 minute rest between each set.

3) One arm lateral raise: Use a dumbbell.

4 sets of 8 reps with one minute rest in between.

4) Side lateral raise: Use dumbbells

4 sets of 10 reps with one minute rest in between each set.

How to build your front-delts:

If you already train chest, your front delts are probably already activated and well-developed. However, you may not get the full definition that you are looking for. In order to train your front delts, here are the movements that make those shoulders burn!

1) Arnold dumbbell press:

4 sets of 10 reps, 2 minutes rest in between.

2) Front two-dumbbell raise:

4 sets of 10 reps, 1 minute rest in between.

3) Front cable raise:

3 sets of 10 reps, 30 second rest in between.

So, there you have it! Remember, the goal is to start with heavy weights, in order to pre-exhaust your delts before your triceps and biceps. If your arms are fatigued at the start of the workout, it can really limit your shoulder workout.

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