What is the best shoulder workout for bodybuilding? When developing an attractive and muscular body, nothing is more vital than large, broad shoulders.
The shoulder, a complex muscular group, comprises three anterior, medial, and posterior heads, providing functionality that other large muscles cannot. In addition, the Shoulders are the only large muscle group that supports a ball and socket joint, which gives the shoulders 360-degree functionality.
Shoulder muscles help the chest during the bench press and the back during the deadlift and balance the weight for the legs during the squats. Also, it performs heavy lifting during the overhead press. Thus, the shoulders are involved in the four major compound lifts. No other large muscle group can boast such a claim.
Here is our list of shoulder exercises to create a bodybuilding workout:
The Greek mythical god Atlas, the strongest of the Titans, carried the world’s weight on his shoulders. So it would help if you had muscular shoulders, well-developed lats, and a trim waistline for a V-taper look. Unfortunately, many bodybuilding shoulder workouts are monotonous and target the medial deltoids. If you want powerful shoulders, you’ll need to work on all three heads of the deltoid muscles.
1. Rear Delt Row
Understand that rowing exercises don’t simply target the “back” but also the rear delts. Rowing twice or even three times as hard as you press is essential for maintaining healthy shoulders.
The rear delt row is an exercise that strengthens the back, shoulder, and arm muscles. This exercise targets the posterior deltoids (rear of shoulders), common areas for muscle growth enhancement.
You can use this exercise to increase your strength in the lower back area to help you with golf, tennis, rowing, and weightlifting. It can also help improve your posture and the overall appearance of your back.
2. Half-kneeling Archer Row
We debated including the half-kneeling archer row as a part of shoulder workouts for bodybuilding. To perform this exercise, crouch down with your left knee on the ground, and do this. Use both hands to hold a mild resistance band to work your glutes and abs.
This half-kneeling archer row is crucial for athletic performance in all sports; you can’t display optimal power if your midsection isn’t stable enough to transfer force from your lower body to your upper body. The half-kneeling archer row is excellent for strength, hypertrophy, and mobility. In addition, it will assist you in building up those serratus anterior muscles along the side of your ribcage, which will help improve your posture and overall aesthetics.
Additionally, the rear delt row is an excellent exercise for developing rotational power in the shoulder joint – an essential attribute for athletes who participate in sports that require powerful throwing or swinging motions.
3. Rear Delt Fly
The rear delt fly focuses on the deltoids’ posterior head. Again, there isn’t much weight you’ll need to lift for the rear delt since it’s the smallest of the three. The benefits of the rear delt fly are vast.
This exercise targets the rear deltoids, the muscles that make up the back of your shoulder. Strengthening these muscles can help improve overall shoulder function and stability. In addition, developing solid posterior deltoids can help enhance your appearance by creating a more balanced and symmetrical physique.
This exercise can also help to improve posture. Weak rear deltoids are often associated with bad posture, called kyphosis. When your shoulders hunch forward, it’s impossible to maintain good form in everyday life and weightlifting exercises. Also, this can cause chronic back pain and other problems. Strengthening the rear deltoids can help correct bad posture and reduce the risk of back pain.
4. Bent-over Reverse Fly
This variation of the lateral raise will engage your shoulders and back simultaneously. The posterior deltoid is well-served by this exercise. It also helps improve posture and core stability. The bent-over reverse fly is a relatively low-risk exercise, suitable for beginners.
The bent-over reverse fly is similar to the reverse dumbbell fly. But the main difference between a reverse dumbbell fly and a bent-over reverse fly is that you are bending down, so your back is more horizontal than vertical when performing a bent-over reverse fly. Thus this applies continuous pressure on the shoulder during the lift’s concentric, eccentric, and isometric portions, eliminating the cheating many do to get in an extra rep.
It is essential to perform the lifts correctly than perform more of them. Thus the bent-over reverse fly guarantees better form and more developed posterior deltoid muscles.
5. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
The dumbbell side lateral raise is a great exercise to include in a shoulder workout for bodybuilding. The dumbbell lateral raise primarily works your shoulder muscles, particularly the middle deltoid muscle. But it also activates other muscles, such as the biceps and the trapezius. So by doing this exercise, you’ll increase the size of your shoulder muscles and give them more shape.
First, when performing this exercise, you must ensure that your torso does not rotate back and forth when lifting the weights. That means you need to keep your chest out and shoulders pulled back. If you do it right, your waist will not move, increasing your muscle gains.
When doing the dumbbell side lateral raise, remember to look up during the last part of the lift. This way, you can activate more muscles and increase the number of reps you perform (faster muscle gains). In addition, the dumbbells allow you to target a specific muscle group, so focus on the medial deltoid as you perform this lift.
6. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The sitting dumbbell shoulder press impacts the anterior and posterior deltoid heads. Also, this pressing exercise is best done toward the end of the session. Thus this ensures that the shoulder joint is sufficiently warmed up before doing the shoulder press. The press is much more difficult when you’re exhausted from your previous exercises.
The dumbbell shoulder press is an excellent exercise for overall shoulder development. It works the front, middle and rear deltoid, and the triceps. It is also an excellent exercise for developing core strength. You can perform the dumbbell shoulder press seated or standing.
When performing the exercise seated, keep your back pressed firmly against the back of the bench. When performing the exercise, keep your core engaged in helping maintain balance. The dumbbell shoulder press improves shoulder strength and stability, joint range of motion, posture, athletic performance, and muscle mass and definition.
The push-press is an excellent exercise for the shoulder muscles because it involves both pushing and pulling motions. Also, this makes it a more complete training than exercises involving only pushing or pulling.
Push-press is a compound exercise that trains the entire body. It involves the upper and lower body, as well as the core. Also, this makes it excellent training for overall strength and fitness. Push-press is also a ballistic exercise, which involves fast, powerful movements. Thus this makes it a perfect choice for athletes who need to generate explosive power.
Finally, push-press is a relatively safe exercise. It is less likely to cause injuries than bench press or squat activities. Also, this makes it a good option for people just starting weightlifting.
The last word on a shoulder workout for bodybuilding
It would help if you used a periodization plan with any training. Also, this implies that you should keep meticulous records of your exercises and improve your workout.
It’s essential to stress progressive overload principles since the shoulders are resistant to muscular areas, particularly for naturally thin persons. The best shoulder exercises for bodybuilding will be different depending on the goal. For some, it may be to gain muscle and tone up, while others might want a more toned look with less bulk.
If you build muscles in your shoulders, try the exercises we mentioned. These should help increase strength and size if done correctly and consistently. Have any of these been helpful? What has been your experience with shoulder workouts? If you or someone you know is considering bodybuilding, share this article on Facebook or Twitter so that others can learn more about building muscle.