Having a pair of strong and symmetrical shoulders is crucial in building a balanced V-shaped torso, as they create the illusion that your waist line is narrower. Strong and developed shoulders will also help you in performing other exercises, because they are involved in almost every compound movement aimed at upper body development.
The deltoids consist of three heads (front, medial and rear head), and if you want to avoid their underdevelopment you need to pay ample attention to all three of them. Underdeveloped shoulders do not only reflect negatively on the overall aesthetics of your physique. As they are involved in many of your upper body exercises (the bench press for example), weak shoulders can also hinder the development of your chest and back muscles.
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In this article I’m providing you with a four week program that will help you fix or avoid the problem with weak shoulders. The program has been created by combining the powerlifting and bodybuilding workout techniques and relies on progressive overload.
But first, let’s see the anatomy of the deltoids:
As I’ve already mentioned, the delts have three heads. Each of these heads performs a different function and can be hit with different exercises.
For example, the side delts are involved in abduction of the shoulders i.e. in side raising of your arms. We are going to work the lateral head with lateral raises and wide grip upright rows.
The rear delts are involved in lateral movement away from the midline of the body in a horizontal plane; moving the upper arm away from the chest with the elbows out to the sides. This is also known as transverse abduction of the shoulders. There are several exercises that hit this head. The incline rear lateral rise, cable face-pull are just some of them.
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The front delts move your arms straight in front of you and over your head. This head is best hit with the front rise, the overhead press and upright rows.
Now, let’s see a Four Week Shoulder Protocol
Muscle size and strength are a result of several processes. They are determined by the loads you are using, metabolic stress and microtrauma of the muscle fibers.
Squats, deadlifst, bench press and overhead press exercises in this workout protocol utilizes different number of sets and reps in the exercises for every week. All the other exercises are performed with the same number of sets and reps, but are done using drop sets, giant sets and rest-pause training. Use straight bar when performing bench presses, squats or deadlifts.
Barbell Bench Press: 3 sets x 12 reps
Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press: 3 sets x 15–20 reps
Pullup: 4 sets x 8–10 reps
Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets x 20 reps
Face-pull: 3 sets x 20 reps
Triceps Pushdown: 3 sets, 20 reps
Wide-grip Pushup: 1 set, 100 reps
Barbell or Dumbbell Romanian Deadlift: 3 sets x 8–12 reps
Walking Lunge: 3 sets x 8 reps for each leg
Wide-grip Barbell Shrug: 3 sets x 20 reps
Rear Lateral Raise: 3 sets x 10-12 reps
Lat Pulldown: 4 sets x 15–20 reps
Barbell Curl: 1 sets, 100 reps
DAY 3 – REST
Barbell Overhead Press: 5 sets x 5 reps
Wide-grip Pushup: 3 sets x 20 reps
Seated Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise: 3 sets x 10 reps
Seated Dumbbell Internal/External Rotation: 3 sets x 10 reps
Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 3 sets x 10 reps
Seated Dumbbell Front Raise: 3 sets x 10 reps
Seated Row : 6 sets x 2–20 reps
Deadlift: 6 sets x 3 reps
Barbell Romanian Deadlift: 3 sets x 20 reps
Leg Curl: 3 sets x 20 reps
triset with Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets, 20 reps and Pullup: 4 sets x 5 reps
Back Extension (weighted): 3 sets x 12–20 reps
Lying Incline Dumbbell Rear Lateral: 1 set x 50 reps
Use this workout routine for at least 4 weeks, and you will start seeing the results in no time! Remember, tho… U always need to have a good warm up before training, especially when it comes to the shoulders, because the delts are the most exposed muscles to injuries!