One of the best ways to improve the look of your upper body is to build a huge set of deltoids. Seems simple enough, right? Well, the reason most guys don’t get very far is that they just don’t know how to train them. They might think they training the right way when in reality they are over-training some parts of the deltoids and under-training other parts. As a result, they end up with bad posture and chronic pain.
Since we want all you broscience readers to succeed, we’ve put together a list of the 10 most important tips for building huge shoulders. Incorporate these into your routine and you will notice a huge difference in your appearance.
Tip 1) Train like a Powerlifter
A lot of guys avoid doing the clean and press because it looks hard or they don’t have the right equipment for it in their gym. If that’s the case 1) toughen up and 2) find a new gym. The clean and press is easily the most criminally underused exercise in the gym. They allow you to hit every part of the deltoid and train them in a way they aren’t used to. Next time you go to the gym start your session out with a few sets of clean and press in the 6-8 rep range and you will be very happy with the results.
Tip 2) Reduce the Tempo
Typically when we go to the gym and see a guy training shoulders he seems to be in a rush to get through each set as quickly as possible. Each rep is quick, uncontrolled and sloppy. It’s no surprise then that the shoulders end up looking the same as they always have.
The problem with training at a fast tempo is that it results in using momentum to help boost the weight up. You know the feeling, when you bounce the weight off the lowpoint and use that to help propel you through the positive portion. Instead, slow down the pace of each rep and make sure they are controlled. Your deltoids will thank you later.
Tip 3 ) Increase the Volume
Your shoulder are used to taking a beating. They get used on chest day, back day, etc. In fact, they are probably some of the most durable muscles in your body. As a result, it’s definitely ok to hit them with more volume. Feel free to work them twice a week – preferably separated into different workouts. For example, train front and side deltoids with your chest workout (Since they are being targeted by the chest exercises anyway) and train rear deltoids on back day. This will give you the opportunity to emphasize the rear deltoids some more unlike the typical lifter who just focuses on front and side deltoids.
Tip 4) Boost your Testosterone Levels
Your shoulders are muscles. Just like any other muscle in your body, it takes more than just lifting to make them grow. They also need a balanced, nutritious diet, plenty of rest and of course high testosterone levels. Now, lifting weights is a great way to boost your testosterone levels but if you really want to speed up your progress you should look at other ways to increase testosterone production.
We aren’t saying you should run out and take steroids. Those are dangerous, illegal and come with some undesirable side-effects. Instead, improve your lifestyle by getting more sleep, eating a better diet and of course taking a testosterone booster. Don’t worry if you aren’t sure where to start – there are tons of products out there and it can be overwhelming. To make things easier for you we’ve put together a list of some of the best products out there, so click here to check out our testosterone booster page.
Tip 5) Use the Shoulders, No the Triceps
Most guys who do shoulder press tend to feel it more in the shoulders. That’s because they focus too much on simply moving the weight with their arms. Instead, if you are using a barbell visualize yourself pushing your arms together and trying to bend the bar. This will result in an increased emphasis on the shoulder muscles and better gains as a result. Similarly, if you are using dumbbells push them inwards as you reach the top of the exercise.
Tip 6) Stop Doing Upright Rows
Forget about all the huge guys you know that do upright rows – chances are they have a little something “extra” helping them out if you catch our meaning. The upright row puts a ton of stress on your wrists and shoulders with minimal benefit over other shoulder exercises. Any gains you make doing upright rows will result in pain and discomfort down the road – it’s simply not worth it.
Tip 7) Develop The Upper Back Muscles
Don’t just train chest and shoulders – train the entire upper body including the back. Having a strong upper back not only looks aesthetic – it will reduce your risk of injury and create a solid foundation from which to build up your shoulders. Obviously training upper back isn’t as exciting as benching and curling, but at the end of the day we are all here to improve our appearance and if training upper back will help us do that we shouldn’t neglect it.
Tip 8) Tilt Your Dumbbells
This is one of the easiest tricks to improving the effectiveness of your lateral raises. Obviously side raises are a popular exercise and one of the best for targeting the side deltoids. However, most people don’t do them effectively. Instead of keeping your palms facing downwards tilt your wrists a bit. This will help focus the exercise on the target muscles and will require far less weight to get a good pump.
Tip 9) Move from the Elbows
One of the reasons so many shoulder exercises are ineffective is that people use their arms to lift instead of the shoulders. Next time you do any shoulder exercise, instead of initiating the lift from the wrist focus on lifting with your elbows. Pretend you are a puppet and there are strings hanging from your elbows. Someone has pulled the strings and so you need to lift the arms up. If you visualize this while doing the lift you will feel the shoulders getting worked rather than the arms or wrists.