Shoulder Workouts: What Works Best?
Shoulder workouts target the three muscle heads located in the group called the deltoids (or sometimes “delts”), consisting of the anterior (front), posterior (back), and lateral (side) heads. All of the deltoid heads must be worked out properly in order to increase their strength, size, and endurance. Here are five very effective shoulder workouts that you should consider adding to your training regimen.
1) Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The seated dumbbell press is a fundamental exercise that is found in most well-rounded shoulder workouts. This exercise targets all three deltoid heads while also training your trapezius (“traps”), latissimus dorsi (“lats”), and triceps muscles as well. Abdominal muscles even get into the action due to their major role as a core stabilizer.
2) Standing Barbell Military Press
The barbell military press is on the list of important shoulder workouts which involve all deltoid muscle heads. To perform it, you press the barbell directly overhead from shoulder height until your elbows are almost fully locked out. But to prevent injuries, do not lock your elbows completely upon finishing the press. This exercise is known as a compound lift, which means it trains several major muscle groups simultaneously. Start off with relatively light weight until you get used to this shoulder workout, and always have someone spot you to keep you safe.
3) Arnold Dumbbell Shoulder Press
This exercise is lesser known among shoulder workouts, but is extremely effective. Arnold Schwarzenegger developed this workout in order to put even more emphasis on the shoulder muscle heads. It is similar to a classic dumbbell shoulder press, but with the palms facing towards you at the start. As the weights are pressed upwards, the hands/wrists are twisted 180 degrees so the palms face away from the body upon completion of the press.
4) Front Raises
Front raises usually involve relatively low weight and a high number of repetitions. This shoulder workout primarily assists with development of the front (anterior) deltoid head, and is an isolation exercise, meaning it focuses mostly on a single muscle. Dumbbells are most commonly used for this workout, but a barbell can also be used.
5) Lateral Raises
Adding lateral raises to your shoulder workouts will help you to fully develop your deltoids. This movement mainly targets the side of the deltoid group (lateral head). Clear some space around you while performing this exercise, because you’ll need to fully extend your arms from your sides to a perpendicular position in the shape of the letter T – which is why this exercise is sometimes called a T-raise. Like the front raise, this movement should also be done with relatively low weight or even elastic exercise bands, to accommodate a higher number of repetitions.