1 – Press at the Start and Finish of Your Routine
Overhead shoulder press or the military press are an exercise that everyone should start their shoulder routine off on. These exercises involve compound movements which is the most effective way to put on the most muscle as fast as possible.
Many people end up doing high weight and low repetitions on this exercise, again for mass gains which makes sense. If you really want to develop those shoulders and see the most definition, you should do presses to finish off your routine as well.
At the beginning of your routine, start off doing the shoulder press on a machine if possible. Doing the exercise on the machine stabilizes the weight for you, which allows you to lift more weight overall. This will help you pack on all that extra muscle.
To finish off your routine, grab the dumbbells and decrease the weight significantly, while increasing repetitions. Ideally you want to be shooting for 15 repetitions or so per set, so choose the appropriate weight to do so.
This will give your shoulders an extra burn to finish out your workout while working those important secondary stabilizing muscles as well. Keeping the weight stable is difficult to do when you are running low on energy, so again make sure you aren’t going to heavy here.
2- Add More Laterals to Your Routine to Balance the Shoulder
Most people picture well rounded shoulders when they envision the perfect shoulder. Lat raises are the perfect exercise to get those rounded shoulders, as it targets that inner shoulder muscle hence its name.
Lat raises primary focus on the lateral deltoids, but also work the anterior, posterior and traps as well. The anterior deltoids are the shoulder muscles that get the most attention through the shoulder press, so make sure your entire shoulder is getting worked to avoid bad posture with rolled shoulders.
When doing lateral raises, make sure that your shoulders are controlling the movement, and that you aren’t relying on momentum. If you are, the exercise will focus more on the stabilizing muscles along the spine, as opposed to the shoulder itself.
3- Give More Attention to Your Rear Deltoids
The rear deltoid is the most neglected part of the shoulder, and is a muscle group many people just don’t focus on period. The muscle group is relatively small, and thus cannot lift much weight.
Rear deltoid exercises aren’t going to make you look good in the gym because you aren’t going to be lifting heavy, but they are essential to shoulder health.
Many weightlifters have shoulder problems, many of which stem from lack of development of the rear deltoids.
There aren’t many exercises out there that focus specifically on the rear deltoids, however there are a couple exercises you can do to improve their size and strength.
One exercise is reverse flys, which is done on a machine. You can find these machines at most gyms.
Another exercise to do is bent over dumbbell lat raises. This is done by using the bench as a guide, and setting it in an upright position like you would do when performing an incline bench press. Stand behind the bench, and put your fore head at the top as a guide.
You should be working your rear deltoids once per week until you notice that they catch up to the rest of your shoulder.
4-Don’t Worry About Focusing on Anterior Deltoid Workouts
The anterior deltoid, or front of the shoulder is the part of the shoulder that sees the most work. This is not just the case in shoulder routines, but in exercise in general. Exercises like the bench press, military press, pushups and many other combination exercises just tend to involve the front of the shoulder more so than the rear.
This causes the front of the shoulder in most people to become much more developed than the middle or back, so when it comes to your shoulder routine you can lay off of the exercises that focus on the front of the shoulder for awhile.
Focus mainly on side and rear raises until your middle and rear shoulder catch up in size to your front head. Your anterior deltoids will get plenty of work on other days so don’t worry about focusing on them when it comes to shoulder exercises specifically.