Yes there are guys who want big arms and Mondays are always designated as “International Chest Day” but what truly makes someone stand out when he’s walking around is a pair of boulder shoulders. Wide and thick delts make a powerful statement in a tank top or a suit jacket. Obviously I get psyched when delt day comes around and this is my favorite shoulder session.
Seated Dumbbell Press – I like to have the seat at a slight angle or if I use an adjustable bench I use the highest incline I can without going completely upright. This helps me isolate the front delts while relieving pressure off of my spine. Have you ever noticed that many of the shoulder press machines in many gyms have a slight angle to the back pad? This is why. Try this for yourself and if you don’t like it, stick with the upright version. After two light warm up sets, I like to do four heavy sets of six to eight reps with two minutes between sets.
Superset: Front Barbell Raise & Upright Row – Obviously the front raises will isolate the front head of the delts while the upright row will target the side head as well as the traps. If you’d rather focus on the rear delts, take a wider grip on the bar for the upright rows. I do one warm up set of each movement with only the bar and follow up with three supersets of 10-12 reps each with 90 seconds rest between supersets.
Seated Lateral Raise – I like doing lateral raises seated because I feel standing allows me to incorporate more momentum into the exercise. I’ve already gone heavy and went through supersets so I never try to set records in terms of weight here. My only focus is to target and squeeze the muscle. Make sure when you lift the weights that you have a slight bend in your elbows and you raise your pinkies higher than your thumbs when the weights are at their peak. Otherwise, the front delts will be more involved. One warm up set of 20 precedes three sets of eight to ten reps with only 60 seconds between sets.
High Cable Rope Pull – Using the rope allows me to separate the ends and bring the handles back to get a deeper contraction of the muscle. Make sure you stand far enough away from the weight stack so you have constant tension of the cable. Pull the rope high towards your face and keep your elbows high while doing so. If your elbows drift low, the lats will become involved in the exercise. Like the lateral raises, I can care less what the pin is set on in the stack. One warm up set of 20, then perform three sets of 12-15 reps with 60 seconds rest between sets.
Dumbbell Shrugs – We finish off this awesome shoulder session with some trap work. I go straight to the heaviest set of dumbbells I can find and I start shrugging. I go until I know I’m about to drop the weight, rack them, go to the next lighter pair in line and pick up where I left off. This process continues until I reach 100 reps. If you need to use straps to improve your grip, then go for it but I don’t because I feel this helps my grip strength as well.
If you try this, I hope you like it as much as I do. Next time, I’ll share my favorite chest workout.
About the Author
Roger “ROCK” Lockridge is a writer whose work has been seen all over the world. He is most known as a writer for Iron Man Magazine and Bodybuilding.com. In 2009, he was named Bodybuilding.com Male Writer of the Year which along with the Female award is the highest award for writers in the bodybuilding/fitness world.
Roger is also known for his work against child abuse and domestic violence and he was featured as a part of the domestic violence documentary “30” as the only child survivor and the only male survivor in the film.