Shoulder Exercises for Size & Symmetry
Well-developed shoulders are the key to achieving a balanced physique and getting that broad shoulder look everyone is striving for. Apart from adding definition to your overall physique, shoulder exercises also help with relieving pain, preventing injuries, and strengthening your posture.
No training program is complete without the right shoulder movements and in this article, we are going to cover the top 4 shoulder exercises for size & symmetry.
But first, let’s look at their anatomy.
The shoulder muscles consist of the deltoids and rotator cuff groups. The deltoids are large and strong muscles that can be seen on the outside of the body. They are divided into three main parts: front deltoid, middle deltoid, and rear deltoid.
Their main function is to provide the foundation for arm rotation and prevent any shoulder injuries. They also contribute towards building the V-taper physique which is referred to as the ultimate aesthetic physique.
Sidenote: It’s highly likely that your training routine consists of a lot of incline pressing movements such as a bench press or incline dumbbell press. If you are performing them correctly, your front deltoid is already well-developed.
Therefore, you should mainly focus on training the weaker parts of your shoulders (middle and rear deltoids). We’ll show you how to train them properly later in this article.
Rotator Cuff Group consists of a small group of muscles found within the shoulder joint itself. It’s responsible for stabilising and controlling the shoulder movement. The muscles in the rotator cuff group are very flexible as they allow the shoulder to move in almost any range of motion.
Because of their flexibility and the fact that they are often unknowingly overlooked, the rotator cuff muscles are one of the main causes of increased shoulder instability leading to injury.
Understanding the main parts of the shoulders and their function is crucial for achieving a well-rounded, aesthetic physique.
Now that you can visualise how the muscles in your shoulders work, let’s describe the 4 top shoulder exercises that contribute to building symmetrical body and should be part of any training routine.
Top 4 Shoulder Exercises for Size & Symmetry
#1 Standing Overhead Press
The shoulder press is an essential compound movement that works your whole body. It’s a fantastic exercise for building muscle mass and strengthening the shoulders due to its ability to easily overload it with weights.
Because it’s so effective, the standing overhead press is the only exercise primarily focused on working the front deltoid that we are going to mention in this article.
It’s also worth noting that in order to add more variety to your training routine, you can always do other variations of shoulder press (such as seated dumbbell press).
Another variation is the Arnold dumbbell press that adds rotation to the classic movement and hits all main three shoulder muscles at once.
Technique: Stand with the bar on your front shoulders while keeping your legs straight. Then, press the bar over your head and hold for one second. Lower the bar back to your shoulders. Repeat.
#2 Dumbbell Lateral Raises
This is a great single-joint movement for the middle delts. To maximise the shoulder activation, this exercise requires a strong posture and a proper form.
Therefore, be prepared to sacrifice some weights in order to perform the exercise correctly and prevent any potential injuries.
Technique: With a dumbbell in each hand, lean forward while keeping your back flat and knees bent. Raise the dumbbells up and make sure that you are slightly externally rotating your shoulders. Take a brief pause at the top before lowering the dumbbells back into starting position.
Sidenote: Not sure how to perform this exercise? Why not consult a qualified personal trainer? Delta Fitness is a place where personal training is genuinely personal. We are based in East London, 10 minutes from Canary Wharf Estate. Check out our client results.
#3 Reverse Machine Flyes
The machine rear delt fly is an exercise targeting mainly the rear head of the shoulder muscle. It’s a great burnout movement that is also very easy to learn and master. This exercise can be performed on the machine chest fly, facing the opposite direction.
Technique: Make sure your seat is at the right height (it should be at the same level as your shoulders; not too high or too low). Find a grip that works for you and push the shoulders forward while bringing your arms out.
Hold for a second and then slowly return to the starting position. Focus on maintaining the fixed position of your shoulders.
#4 Face Pull
The standing face pull is an isolation exercise that’s especially effective when it comes to targeting your rear deltoids and traps. Besides making your shoulders look more round, it also improves shoulder mobility, offsets your posture and contributes to a stronger bench press.
Technique: Put the rope attachments in a position above your head and grasp the handles with both hands. Step back until your arms are fully extended and lean back slightly. Pull the handles of the attachment straight towards your forehead. Perform slow and controlled movements.
So there you have it – these are our top 4 shoulder exercises for size & symmetry. If you do them correctly, you’ll be able to achieve better shoulder development, improve your posture and maximise strength when performing other types of essential movements. Just keep in mind that mastering the technique for all of them takes time and practice, and you’ll be on the right track to reaching your fitness goals!
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