Transform your shoulder heads into cannonballs!
SYMMETRY AND ILLUSION
The front, or anterior, deltoid ties into the top part of your chest. It’s stressed in exercises like the front dumbbell raise, but it’s also working hard during all of your presses. Because it’s being worked during chest and shoulder routines, it tends to be overdeveloped compared to the rear and side delts.
To get what look like shoulder pads made of muscle, you’ll need to develop your side, or lateral, delts. Lateral raises with dumbbells or cables are perfect for really targeting this muscle. Always lead with the elbow when performing a lateral raise and finish the movement high up your head. The lateral head is particularly taxed during the top half of the exercise. Upright rows are another great side delt builder if you feel comfortable performing them.
The rear, or posterior, delts are often woefully neglected, probably because lifters can’t see them easily in a mirror. Properly developed, rear delts will complete the look of your shoulders and give your upper back dimension and detail. Bent over dumbbell raises with or without support and reverse cable crossovers are perfect. You can also face the opposite direction on a chest flye machine and pull outward with your rear delts. Perform face pulls, cable rows with a rope to the neck, for a great rear delt blaster.
Make an honest assessment of your shoulder balance and change your priorities if you have to. If your shoulder day is a military press followed by some lateral and rear delt raises at the end, try reversing it. Start your shoulder routine with your rear delts and end with some light dumbbell presses. In fact, don’t be afraid to leave out military presses for a while and concentrate only on your side and rear delts. Your front delts will still get plenty of work during bench and incline presses. You can always return to the military press after a hiatus.
A Sample Superset
Get a pair of light dumbbells and an incline bench. Start with some upright rows for a set of ten. Immediately lay down chest first on the incline bench and do a set of rear delt raises. Then move to lateral raises. Finish with a set of light dumbbell presses. That’s 40 reps for your shoulders done rapidly in one giant set. They should be on fire, but catch your breath and do a couple more of these giant sets. Perform this routine two times a week and slowly add weight and decrease rest time between sets.
Make these simple changes in your routine and watch your shoulders develop into what look like cannonballs from all angles.