Perhaps you are familiar with that little bundle of muscle at the top of your arm between your neck and your elbow. Most people call this very important muscle group simply the shoulder, but the group of muscles that make up your deltoids are highly complex and desperately worthy of your attention in the gym and in your everyday life. In this article we're simply going to remind you of something you probably already know, but it remains vitally important!
Today, we are proud to introduce you to "Athlean-X", the brand behind some of the best workout videos on that planet. Between his markers and his videos, this guy is absolutely one of the best athletic trainers and physical therapists on the planet. His no-nonsense approach is refreshing, due to the fact that he gets right to the point. In his perfect shoulder workout video, he describes the following:
The perfect shoulder workout should consist of exercises for your front delts, middle delts and rear delts (not necessarily in that order!). That said, even that doesn’t make the shoulder workout complete. In order to round out your shoulders with a well rounded workout you need to fill in the gaps of what is lacking on those popular shoulder exercises. That is what we do in this video.
If you look at the four main exercises that people do in their shoulders workout you will see barbell or dumbbell overhead press, side lateral raises, front delt raises and maybe even dips. Take a close look into each of these classic movements and you will see one thing in common. That is, each of these exercises is lacking either a stretch position of the shoulder or doesn’t take the muscle through it’s full available range of motion.
This is a problem when it comes to developing a complete set of impressive shoulders. Just because you are going through a full range of motion on the exercises that you are doing it does not mean that you are taking a muscle through its full range of motion. For instance, all shoulder exercises are performed by changing the angle of the arm at the shoulder. Because the shoulder is a three dimensional ball and socket joint, you have a great deal of motion available to you on your shoulder exercises.
That said, we often overlook the fact that the shoulder joint is not just this ball and socket. Because the socket is technically the shoulder blade, you have to consider all of the other muscles that are connected to these bones that then play an important role in shoulder training. Not just that, but hypertophy should never be the only goal of your shoulder workouts. In order to be complete like an athlete you are going to have to incorporate some movements that train the explosiveness of the entire shoulder girdle and let you train all of these muscles together.
The solution to this problem is to not forego the popular mass building shoulder exercises or even the lighter ones geared at mass but add to them, and overlook no element of complete training. Here is how to construct the perfect shoulder workout with that in mind.
Warmup with Overhead Banded Press - 2 sets of 15 with 3 second holds each rep.
OHP or Handstand pushups - 4 sets of 12,8,6,6 reps
Finish with one set of dumbbell and band overhead presses for neuromuscular re-education x 15 reps
Delt Stretch Tri-Set (21’s) - 2-3 sets of 7 reps in each direction for rear, middle and front delts
Make sure you perform these in the order of rear to front to account for fatigue.
DB Cheat Laterals - 3 sets to failure on each arm
Immediately into a DB Push Press to failure on each arm
Cable or Banded Face Pulls - 3 sets of 15
Perform these with a mindset of 15 sets of 1 to ensure highest quality of every rep.
When you put this together in the format as I’m suggesting here, you not only now hit the shoulders through their full range of motion but you hit every area of the shoulders as well. The drop down allows for the lesser intense exercise to be more taxing since it was just preceded by a more difficult compound lift.
This is just one example of how to apply science to your shoulder workouts. If you want to train like an athlete you want to put science back in every workout you do. You can do that with the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs available at the link below and get started right away on building a ripped, muscular, athletic body.
We want to personally thank you for taking the time to read this article and pay renewed attention to your delts. These are truly important muscles and one part of a great physique that we are all working towards. Please be sure to follow us on Instagram and connect with us on Facebook. Keep lifting!