Time To Grow The Shoulders!
You workout, you eat and you sleep. The shoulders getting destroyed but it doesn't seem to grow. You're doing endless sets and you feel all the pain but you don't see any gains. Didn't someone say "No pain no gain"?
It must not be true because if it was, every one in the gym would have boulders for shoulders.
It doesn't have to rocket science and it certainly isn't a puzzle. Anyone can get bigger shoulders with the right training.
It can be rocket science though if you injure your self! It is no joke because if you hurt your self, you will slow down 100% and you won't training your best for a long time.
The shoulder is a very complicated muscle and joint. It's not even held by bones. It's actually in place with ligaments, tendons and muscles.
It's range of motion is incredible but it's risk of injury is also very high. It can be either your best muscle or your worst. Many exercise programs can raise the risk of injuries and many are unaware what they can do to prevent injuries until it happens.
We don't want to wait for injuries to happen, it'll be too late by then. Shoulder injuries can take a long time to heal depending on the injury.
A stronger shoulder will help your all of your lifts improve. It provides strength and stability that you need for most of your exercises.
In this article I'll show you mistakes that you can make in the gym that will promote a shoulder injury and how to fix it to avoid the risks. Then I'll give a program that will grow your shoulders and reduce the risk for injuries.
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Bench pressing bodybuilding style. This way of bench pressing will put your shoulders in complete danger. With this technique, you're flaring your elbows out towards your upper body so you can activate more of your chest muscles.
This is one of the most vulnerable positions for the shoulders and when your pressing heavy, you should expect an injury sooner or later.
So instead of flaring your elbows out, keep it tucked in towards your ribs. Not only will your shoulders be in a safe place but you will be able to press more weight.
Letting shoulder imbalances take over. If you are doing more pushing exercises than pulling, you will have a muscle imbalance where your anterior (front) muscles are stronger than your (back) posterior muscles. The shoulders are made up of 3 distinct muscles: posterior (back), anterior (front) and lateral (sides).
When you're pushing, your anterior will come into play, and pulling will involve the posterior. Commonly, people focus on the front because that's what they can see. This leads to one of the most common injuries. And that's also why you'll find shoulders rolling forward while relaxed, as the back muscles are empowered by the front muscles.
Just because you can't see your back it doesn't mean it doesn't exist and it should be ignored. Focus your training on pulling exercises like back rows and rear shoulder raises. Many people would recommend doing more pulling exercises than pushing to make sure the shoulders don't have a muscle imbalance.
Doing certain exercises even in perfect form can be extremely dangerous for your shoulders.
Many bodybuilders do behind the neck presses to activate more muscles in the shoulders. This can be the biggest mistake you can make as this puts your shoulders in a vulnerable position.
Anything behind the neck will increase your risk, such as pull-ups or pull downs. Upright rows can be risky as well. Even if you don't feel any pain now, as you get stronger you will be more and more vulnerable to injuries.
If you already have a shoulder injure, avoid these exercises as they can worsen your situation. Stop doing them completely if you feel any pain at all.
As a pre caution, you should replace the exercises with safe ones that are great for you. Don't do it because someone else bigger and stronger is doing it.
Many people realize how precious their shoulders can be after an injury.
Many of them continue lifting and making the same mistakes as they did before. You can never be too thankful for health shoulders as they are a part of almost every lift.
They stabilize and give strength and power for most pushing and pulling exercises. To make the most out of your program now and for the future, start acting now and making the necessary changes to keep your shoulders as healthy as they should be.
You don't want to learn the hard way, but you also want to get them bigger right? Do it right the first time so you find yourself regretting a simple mistake that caused you to slow down your progress for weeks, months or even years.
These following tips should be considered and applied right away to your shoulder program.
Nothing can be more golden and valuable than learning how to warm up properly.
No matter how great you think your program is, or who you got your program from, you need to warm up and you need to do it right. You should never walk in the gym and lifting heavy right away or you will never get the best results.
To workout a muscle, it needs to contract and activated as much as possible. WIthout blood flowing to the muscle, or not enough blood, will cause your muscles to be less used and you will find little or no progress.
What kind of warm ups should you do?
I recommend an easy cardio walk or light run for 3-6 minutes. This will get your heart constantly pumping blood throughout your body. Do make sure you don't have any food in your stomach or your blood will be focused on the digestion of the food.
You should start slow then slowly increasing the speed throughout the 3-6 minutes. Let's assume you are weight training and your personal trainer or doctor already said it would be safe to do so.
The Example Of A Great Shoulder Workout
Before touching any weights, you should stretch dynamically. Rotate your arms in a circle clockwise for as many times as you can then counter clock wise. Shake them out and make sure you feel ready before starting.
Start with a compound exercise to make sure all your muscles and joints are warmed up as well as your central nervous system. Since dumbbells promote more stability and balance, it's functional and should a part of any program.
If your best shoulder press is 30 pounds on each arm, then start with 10 lb's for 15-20 repetitions.
This high repetition range will make sure you send as much blood flow to the muscle as possible and it will be ready for the heavier sets.
After 30-60 seconds, move to 15 pounds for 12 repetitions.
You won't need as many repetitions since you've already done 20 for the first set. Now before your working set, it's great to isolate each of your shoulder muscle to make sure it's fully activated before your dumbbell presses. You can do side raises and front raises with 5-10 lbs for 12 repetitions for 2 sets.
By now your shoulders should be fully warmed up and all it's muscles are pumped with lots of blood. You can start going heavier for your shoulder press and you can bet that you will get the most out of them since you've already isolated your shoulders individually.
Why isolate? Well imagine your bench pressing, and after your set you feel like your shoulders are more worked out than your chest. You can do isolation for your chest like chest flies on the machine or with dumbbells. Then move on to bench press and see the difference.
Your chest should already be worked and activated so your shoulders will be taking less of the stress.
A couple sets of shoulder press while increasing the weight or the intensity slighty for each set will make sure they get worked. After this do a few more raises, and your shoulders will be sore for the next few days without requiring as many sets as you were doing before.
To further reduce the risk of injuries, do rotator cuff exercises with the lightest weight that you can find.
Stretch, stretch and do more stretching. Your muscle is naturally tight without any stretching. A tight muscle is a smaller one.
Once you begin stretching, you will have more flexibility and possible increase the size of your muscles. This is one of the most underrated things that you can do for your workouts. This kind of stretching (static) is done right after your workout so your 100% warmed up already.
If you are a beginner, keep in mind that you can probably do this workout twice a week without worrying about recovery. As you get stronger though you will find yourself draining more energy out of your body mentally and physically.
To be safe, focus on your shoulders on their own or with another muscle once a week. For best results, keep committed and persistent. Fail and learn, as it is the only way to succeed. WIthout failing, you will never know how you can succeed.
Don't lose your pride or energy when you see someone else stronger and bigger than you. Everyone starts somewhere and no one is born with rocks for shoulders.
If you want to have defined shoulders, or to make your shoulders bigger, then you should aim for a lower fat percentage.
Use this sample routine and expect results soon!
Quick note: if you plan to combine shoulders with another muscle, do the bigger muscle first.
But if your shoulders are a weak point, then focus on the shoulders before any other exercise.
Sample Routine: (30-60 seconds breaks)
Warm up 10 minutes (cardio and dynamic stretching)
Dumbbell Presses (warm up 3 sets of 12-20 repetitions and increase weight 10%-20% each time)
Side Raises (light weight but challenging) 10-12 repetitions for 2 sets
Front raises (10 -12 repetitions for 2 sets)
Dumbbell presses for 3 sets of 10 repetitions.
1 or 2 more exercises for shoulders of your choice (shoulder raises, machine presses etc)
Rotator cuff (2-3 sets of very light weight)
Warm up until you feel ready. Do not workout beyond your limit every week, you should decrease intensity on the 5th or 6th week.
Your performance will decrease if you over-train yourself. Isolate your shoulders before moving into the heavy compound exercises to maximize muscle activation.
Do what is best for you, what works for someone else might not work for you. It's better to be safe than sorry or you'll stop progressing for a long time.
Follow these simple tips for bigger and stronger shoulders. Injury prevention should never be underestimated. Don't forget you don't need to learn the hard way or you'll find yourself further behind from an injury.
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