Shoulders of a giant

Wide shoulders, along with lots popping out like wings, a narrow waist and thick legs, serve to shape the silhouette of a body and define someone as a true weight-lifter. To build Atlas shoulders, you need to think big and lift big. Deltoids-burning front and lateral raises won’t pile on the meat. Make sure you add the following exercises to your menu.

Barbell presses

There are several variations to this basic exercise. The basic form of the exercise involves pushing a bar vertically up from your shoulders. Getting the grip right is crucial in order to place the maximum emphasis on the shoulder muscles. Variations to the shoulder barbell press include pushing the bar in front or behind the neck, seated or standing and free weight or using the Smith machine. The behind-the-neck press has had a bad reputation has many have suffered from shoulder injuries due to the stress placed on the shoulder girdle whilst pressing in this position. Yet many others have attributed their shoulder development to this exercise. If you are wary of injury, stick to the front press. While doing the shoulder press standing up strongly recruit the core muscles, you will not be able to lift as heavy. Stick to the seated press if all you want is to focus exclusively on developing Atlas shoulders.

Dumbell press

This is one of the best exercises for the shoulders. Because there is no bar to get in the way of your face or neck, the position that you will take when pressing while truly be a natural movement. Furthermore, like all dumbbell exercises, you will have to balance the weight while pressing it upwards. This may not be a great move though if you are at the end of your workout and feeling very tired. In this case we can recommend a machine exercise where all you have to think about is pushing without having to worry about keeping the weight balanced.

Dumbell presses further add a twist to your shoulder workout missing completely from a barbell press: you don’t just push up with the dumbbells but also bring them together at the top of the movement. This small motion further contracts your deltoids and traps. Dumbell exercises are for the skilled and clever trainer who seeks quality versus quantity.

Upright rows

What is great with this exercise is that it is completely different to all other pressing moves. If your triceps are tired, if you’ve just completed a chest or triceps workout or simply if your triceps are too powerful and taking over the pressing movement, the upright row is your solutions.

This exercise is performed standing and raising 2 dumbells, a barbell or a cable bar vertically up. Make sure your elbows are pointing up and leading the way all the time. It is easy to recruit the biceps in this exercise so make sure you are pulling with your shoulders. You can do this by imagining that the weight is directly attached to your elbows and you are pulling up with your elbows. At the top of the movement, hold the contraction for a second or so. Negative reps are also great with this exercise.

3 great shoulder exercises that will truly tire your arms. If you’ve trained them properly, afterwards you should have trouble lifting them or holding your hand in front of you without stopping it from shaking.

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