16 laws of shoulder training


Do you know the shortest way to the broad and muscular shoulders? By observing these 16 shoulder training laws, you will be on the right track.

Author: Bill Geiger

Some people believe that the strength training has become unreasonably complex. They follow the simple principle of "lift up and conquer" and do not bother too much with the choice of exercises. While gravity moves in space, everything is in order – this is their principled position.

I have a different opinion. I believe that to a certain extent, bodybuilding is a mental process. To pump up the muscles, you have to connect the brain, otherwise you can puff under the bar for years, not getting the desired result.

How to get the most out of training the shoulder girdle? Begin with 16 key rules that optimize muscle growth and strength and at the same time reduce the risk of injury. You will find that strength training really makes you include your head, although you also have to lift weights.

1. Start with the press above your head

A time-tested approach is the beginning of the training of the target group with multi-joint movement, while the tanks are still full of fuel. Also known as compound exercises, multi-joint movements involve a large amount of muscle mass, because two or more joints work simultaneously. Bench press is the most famous multi-joint exercise for the shoulder girdle, involving in the process all three heads of deltoid muscles, as well as triceps and other auxiliary muscles.

Value has not only the right choice of exercise, but also a competent approach to the choice of working weight. You must get to the muscle failure for 6-8 repetitions. This is the lower threshold of the range of muscular hypertrophy, the upper one is at the level of 12 repeats.

16 laws of shoulder training

Although in the sitting and standing position you perform the same movement, there is a significant difference between these exercises. Standing you can create an extra effort, coming from the knees and hips. This option, known as an army press, usually allows you to lift more weight or do more repetitions than bench press.

The bench press is considered preferable from the point of view of isolating the target musculature, since it is much more difficult to use the impulse from the lower body. As a consequence, you will have to sacrifice a little weight, repetitions, or both.

In a well-planned training of the muscles of the shoulder girdle, there is room for every variant of the press above your head. Do not fall in love with one exercise, because you need the advantages of each.

3. At first free weight, then – simulators

A barbell or dumbbell above the head is harder than the programmed bench press in the simulator. It increases the activity of the muscles of the stabilizers to the detriment of (albeit insignificant) the working weight, the number of repetitions or both at the same time. But there is an important difference. At the beginning of the workout, until fatigue has accumulated, you need an increased load. In this respect, doing a head-to-head press with free weight is the best way to start a workout. Save the exercises in the simulators for later, when due to fatigue it will be difficult to balance the shell above your head, and at the end of the session you will be able to direct all efforts to lifting the working weight, rather than to stabilize it.

16 laws of shoulder training

4. Be careful with the press due to the head of very heavy weight

There is a great temptation to train deltoid muscles with maximum working weight and do approaches with a small number of repetitions, as in bench press days or squats. However, in the case of a bench press due to a head, such a strategy may turn out to be erroneous. At the lowest point, when the bar is located behind the head, the muscles of the shoulder girdle are in the weakest anatomical position, and the large weight significantly increases the risk of stretching. This is said by the bodybuilder amater and the doctor of sports medicine Guillermo Escalante, who is also a professor of kinesiology at the University of California at San Bernadino.

When working with very heavy weight, he recommends using a chest press. When working with an average weight, Escalante gives a green light to the bench press because of the head.

5. Vertical traction: another multiarticular motion

Multi-joint exercises for the shoulder girdle do not end with pressures above the head; Vertical traction is another representative of this category. While you are using a not too wide grip, the upper part of the arm is located along the trunk, which makes vertical traction an excellent exercise for deltoid muscles. As with the dilution of the hands in the sides, there is a slight reduction of the shoulders during the upward movement, thanks to which the trapezius muscles also receive their portion of load. Vertical thrust can be done after the press above the head or in the final phase of training for the final burning out of the muscles.

16 laws of shoulder training

6. Perform isolation exercises after heavy weight movements

Single-joint exercises turn off the auxiliary muscle groups, and you can focus on each head of the deltoid muscle. To aim at one head, you have to act in a certain plane, in which the front, middle or back deltas work most intensively. In this case, you should bend your hands slightly at the elbow joints. Angle of bending can not change during movement – elbows should be fixed in one position throughout the entire approach.

In single-joint exercises, move toward the upper limit of the repetition range for muscle hypertrophy, choosing a weight with which you can finish at least 8, and preferably 10-12 repetitions in each approach. This is not an exercise in which you should lift a very large weight, since in this way you put a considerable load on the elbow joints. With single-joint movements, you carefully work out every bunch of deltoid muscle, training to the point of exhaustion in the name of powerful muscle pumping.

7. Front lifts for the front head

16 laws of shoulder training

Raising a straightened arm in front of your body, you aim at the anterior head of the deltoid muscles. You can carry out movement by sitting or standing, with one hand or with two hands simultaneously. You can also use different projectiles, including dumbbells, barbells, expanders or cable trainers. The front deltas also participate in the multi-joint press above the head (and in the bench press for the pectoral muscles, especially on the inclined bench). One-joint movement should be performed after compound exercises.

8. Raising hands to the sides for the middle head

One-joint movement, in which you raise your right arms to the sides, is aimed at the middle beam of deltoid muscles. Note, I do not use the terms lateral or medial deltas – two non-existent muscles, which are often confused with medium deltas. The movement is carried out in the lateral (to the side) plane, and therefore the exercise is often called lateral arm lifts. Of course, all this is semantics, but it helps to make sure that you are well aware of what is at stake.

As well as frontal ascents, hand-sideways can be performed sitting or standing, with one hand or with both hands simultaneously. Usually the exercise is performed with dumbbells, expanders or in a rope simulator, although I've seen bodybuilders trying to lift the bar with one hand to the side. To put it bluntly, this version is not too common.

In the upper part of the trajectory, the shoulders are located on the sides of the trunk, which in many respects repeats their position in the lower phase of the bench press because of the head. Therefore, both exercises are aimed mainly at the middle heads of the deltoid muscles.

Raising your arms to the sides from a position in the slope, you aim at the posterior deltoid muscles. This movement is similar in many respects – albeit not identical – to multi-joint traction movements, which, among other things, work on the rear deltas. Regardless of whether you are moving standing (in the slope) or sitting, or even in the simulator, sitting facing him, the trajectory remains unchanged. One of the advantages of working in the simulator for pectoral muscles is the fixation of the hands with a slight flexion in the elbow joints throughout the entire approach. In contrast to this version of the exercise, dilutions in the rope simulator provide an opportunity to unbend the arms in the elbows, which turns the exercise for the rear deltas into motion for the triceps.

16 laws of shoulder training

10. Do not unbend elbows during single-articular ascents

What makes single-joint exercises the best insulating movements, is the fixation of elbows in the position of slight bending during the whole approach. It's worth starting to unbend your hands, as you immediately include the triceps in the equation, and this reduces the effectiveness of the isolation to which you aspire. In the movement like lateral ascents and backward dilutions of hands in the simulator, many athletes mistakenly straighten their elbows at the end of the exercise to 180 °, and then bend them to 90 ° in the descending phase. Often the fault is the use of too much weight. On the other hand, most athletes admit this error unconsciously, so it's good to have a trained pair of eyes that will follow you from the side. Having learned about your technical mistakes, you can avoid wasting time because of improper performance of the exercise.

11. Make sure that the head of the deltoid muscles receives the same load

Nowhere is the asymmetric development striking so – and is not so critical – as in the shoulder girdle. Usually guys who focus on the development of the muscles of the chest, achieve disproportionately high development of the anterior deltas. This beam participates in all chest movements, while the middle head is most heavily loaded during the press above the head. If you neglect your back exercises, your rear deltas will look small compared to the ones in the comparison. This is not only noticeable in the mirror, but also threatens with the health problems of the rotator cuff of the shoulder.

When it comes to single-joint exercises, first perform movements for the lagging area (after compound presses), while there is still enough energy in the fuel tanks. Or think about doing the second one-articular movement for this group. If your deltoid muscles are developed relatively proportionally, you can arbitrarily change the order of the exercise from training to training in order to achieve the most balanced development of muscles. If you always work out a certain zone of the latter, over time it will start to lag behind other muscle groups.

16 laws of shoulder training

12. Rotating cuff craves for your love

Everyone wants to have muscular shoulders, but no one wants to train the rotator cuff of the shoulder. Indeed, why do this, if you can not even see it! Well, rotators (a group of four muscle belts) help to stabilize the shoulder joint. If you are training deltas (and breast muscles, for that matter), but ignoring rotational muscles, the balance of forces between the two muscle groups can be severely impaired. This increases the risk of injury to the rotator cuff of the shoulder. We know that training to avoid injuries is not very cool, but various rotational exercises are key to the health of the shoulder cuff, especially for bodybuilders with a long experience.

13. Be attentive to anxious pain symptoms

16 laws of shoulder training

Pain in the shoulders is almost inevitable for bodybuilders with experience that perform repetitive movements. Depending on the intensity of the pain syndrome, think about how to move to training with other equipment. For example, the use of dumbbells instead of a bar in press above the head allows the shoulder joints to work in a more natural and, possibly, painless range of movements. Constant pain can become a serious problem, the severity of which varies from inflammation to injury and tendonitis of the rotator cuff of the shoulder. Do not underestimate the danger of such injuries. Rest, ice packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (which treat inflammation, but do not always eliminate its causes) will help. In a word, it is better to learn about exercises for the rotator cuff itself, than to hear about them from your treating doctor.

14. Do not think about the exaggeration

Many bodybuilders put the shags in the end of the training of the shoulders, and that is the reason. The upper tufts of the trapezius muscles receive a serious load during the press above the head and the raising of the hands to the sides. In this regard, most of you completion of training with single-joint shags to work on the upper trapezoid seems an obvious choice. However, note that the middle and lower bunches of trapezius muscles do not receive adequate load, and therefore it is better to train them on the day of the back.

15. Bring a variety in shoulder training

As your body adapts to training stimuli, the effectiveness of training decreases. At a certain moment, the efforts expended do not give the desired result, and you begin to stamp on the spot. This often happens in 6-8 weeks of training for the same program. Think about how to make shoulder training cyclical, moving from light to moderate and heavy loads, or alternating in your training program various exercises that are generally similar, but differ in nuances. Different movements train the muscles at different angles and open up great opportunities for muscle growth in the long run.

16. Watch for the separation of workouts for different parts of the body

Proper planning of the training split is of great importance. If you do not train your breasts and triceps in one day with deltoid muscles, divide these workouts with at least two days of rest to avoid overtraining. If you train them in one day, just start with the largest muscle group (chest) and move down (shoulders, then triceps).

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