Your shoulders are one of the most important body parts, as they allow you to train basically every other part of your upper body.
For this reason, making them functional and keeping them injury-free is an important task on your muscular development to do list.
So if you want to improve your shoulder size, strength, and shape then keep reading…Ballistic is here to help you build boulder shoulders!
To understand exactly what the shoulders are doing, let us have a look at their superficial and deep anatomy.
The main muscles of the shoulders are the deltoids, which are made up of 3 heads:1. The anterior (front) deltoid
2. The medial (side) deltoid
3. The posterior (back) deltoid
Each of these serves a variety of functions that allow various ranges of motion – overhead, lateral, front and back.
However, this big range of motion can make the shoulder joint unstable and thus, vulnerable to injury.
How do you Stabilize Shoulders?
Luckily, our bodies were designed like what seems to be a very adaptive machine with components for high performance!
The shoulders are in fact, very well reinforced with stabilizing muscles, but those muscles can often become weaker due to a lack of exercise and lack of natural movements like climbing.
There are 4 muscles that stabilize the shoulder and are referred to as “the rotator cuff”.
These are namely:
- The infraspinatus - this is the main rotator cuff muscle that allows you to extend and rotate the shoulder.
- Supraspinatus - this second rotator cuff muscle allows you to lift your arm and also, keeps the shoulder joint in place.
- Teres minor - this is a small muscle, but important for the external rotation of the arm, away from the body.
- Subscapularis - the subscap keeps your upper arm and shoulder blades tight and also helps with arm rotation.
The following exercises will help strengthen the rotator cuff:
- Resistance band external rotation
- Resistance band internal rotation
- Active hanging
- Passive hanging
All of these movements will help stabilize your shoulders and thus, have a greater output on the strength exercises for the deltoids, safely.
As we already mentioned, the deltoids work with a variety of other upper body muscle groups.
The main muscle groups that work in synergy with the shoulders are the chest and the triceps.
These usually work together to help you complete complex exercises, such as:
- Bench Press
- Overhead Shoulder Press
For this reason, when it comes to getting better, stronger shoulders, you should mostly rely on compound, free-weight movements, instead of isolated exercises.
Compound movements will allow you to engage synergistic muscle groups to ultimately lift a bigger load, while placing the focus on the desired area (i.e. the triceps and upper chest will help stabilize you during an overhead press, but the shoulders will do most of the lift).
Here are 5 of some of the best deltoid-building exercises:
- Overhead Presses (these are king, especially for the front deltoids)
- Dumbbell Lateral Raises
- Cable Lateral Raises
- Upright Rows (cable and barbell)
- Hang Cleans (Olympic power movement)
Overhead Shoulder Press
When you combine powerful, compound, and isolated deltoid movements, with precise, focused rotator cuff work, you will inevitably set yourself up for stronger shoulders long term.
Also, pushing more blood into the delts during your workout will enhance their shape and definition. Delts can make or break the physique you have, so taking a solid pre like BALLISTIC Supps BIG BOY will help make them pop!
Take Home Message
The shoulders play a major role in your upper body training, which is the main reason why you should pay specific attention to their development.
Before establishing a foundation of heavy overhead presses and lateral movements, first focus on your rotator cuff and what you can do to strengthen it.
Only then, should you move into the more solid exercises that will allow you to develop overall strength and build those boulder shoulders you need for an aesthetic physique.
By Lewis Ashby C.S.C.S.