Shoulders often define the body. They can give the illusion of a smaller waist leading to the V taper. Your shoulders are not like your chest or back so they need to be trained accordingly. Here are 4 tips to supercharge your should session.
Shoulders respond great to high volume, high rep workouts. Due to a larger number of type I muscle fibers, training with higher repetitions and lower loads is preferential. This ensures you get the most bang for your buck and will grow nice caps on your shoulders.
2: Short Rest Periods
Due to the muscle fiber type and high reps being preferential for growth, short rest periods tie in with this perfectly.
High reps create a lot of lactic acid in the muscle and flood the muscle with other valuable fluids. This is known as a pump. Fluid forces the fascia to expand and adapt – creating a larger muscle. Long rest periods allow this fluid to disperse and the pump ends. Keep rest periods to around 30 seconds and embrace the burn.
3: Isometric Contractions
This sounds complex but it’s really just when the muscle tenses without changing length. A great way to maximise isometric contractions is at the end of a giant set. This ensures the muscle is pumped full of blood and other fluids. A great exercise is side raises. After performing shoulder press, side raises, and front raises, take a weight appropriate for 12-18 reps and hold it out to the side at the top of the rep. You should look like a ‘T’. This will contract a muscle that’s already full of blood and not allow the blood to leave resulting in a massive pump and a swelling of the muscle size. Hold for approximately 20 seconds.
4: Prioritize Lateral and Posterior Heads
This may sound strange but if you think about it, the anterior (front) of the shoulder gets hammered on chest day. Bench press, dumbbell press, incline press, flys, and push ups all hit the anterior head whilst leaving the lateral and posterior heads fresh.
Prioritize movements such as military press, behind the neck press (if your should mobility allows it), side raises with cables and dumbbells, rear delt movements with machines, cables, and dumbbells. Don’t be afraid to hit the same exercise multiple times in your routine. I will often hit lateral raises in a super set and then again by themselves. Do the unconventional and make them grow!