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Top Shoulder Exercises for Great Shoulders E-mail
Written by Lynn Glenn   

john_baroud2A set of broad shoulders can make or break a physique. You can have bulging arms, thick pecs, and even a six-pack row of abdominals, but if they're all framed in by narrow, stooped shoulders, you'll just look another gym goer who doesn't know what he is doing.

Assuming you fully appreciate the importance of rugged shoulder (deltoids, aka delts) for a manly body, it's time to start planning how to go about constructing your own pair of great shoulders (delts).

Top Most Effective Shoulder Exercises 

The deltoids are a complex muscle group with many different functions, luckily they are not so complicated to train. By employing these five tried and true shoulder exercises you can be well on your way to shocking your shoulders into expansive growth!

Barbell Shoulder Press (aka "Military Press")

Military Press shoulder exercise is so named due to its regular inclusion in physibarbell_shoulder_presscal conditioning programs for several branches of the Armed Forces. No movement is more basic for the shoulders. The Military Press is to the shoulders as the bench press is to the chest, and the squat is to the thighs. The Military Shoulder Press allows for the maximum amount of resistance to be lifted, which translates into optimal results. The standing Military Shoulder Press is far more difficult to perform than when sitting and thusly superior for producing results. Military Shoulder Press will even help you build a stronger lumbar spine musculature as the lower back muscles have to struggle to stabilize the upper body. All three of the shoulder heads of the deltoids work hard in the Military Press and leads the list of shoulder exercises as being the Top Best Shoulder Exercise. 

Shoulder muscles targeted while performing Military Shoulder Press are the Deltoids, Anterior. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Military Press are Pectoralis Major Clavicular, Triceps Brachii, Deltoid Lateral, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Lower, Serratus Anterior Inferior Digitations, Triceps Long Head, Biceps Brachii Short Head, Trapezius Upper and Levator Scapulae.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press john_baroud_shoulders

The Dumbbell Shoulder Press is similar to the Military Shoulder Press   (aka, Barbell press) except that by using dumbbells you have additional ability to be able to alternate one arm at a time, turn the dumbbell 90 degrees which can also activate different muscle fibers. Using dumbbell can also be easier on the shoulder joint because it allows for better flexibility. Like the Military Shoulder Press (aka, Barbell press), the Dumbbell Shoulder Press can also be done sitting or standing. Many people choose the sitting position because by doing so they can get some additional back support and reduce the risk of lower back injury that can result from a weak core, a weak lower back or just potential poor form. Like the Military Shoulder Press , the Dumbbell Shoulder Press also can help build a stronger lumbar spine musculature (core) as the lower back muscles have to struggle to stabilize the upper body.  

Shoulder muscles targeted while performing Dumbbell Shoulder Press are the Deltoids, Anterior. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Military Press are Pectoralis Major Clavicular, Triceps Brachii, Deltoid Lateral, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Lower, Serratus Anterior Inferior Digitations, Triceps Long Head, Biceps Brachii Short Head, Trapezius Upper and Levator Scapulae.

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises

Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise is the best deltoids exercise for to creating broader women-doing-side-lateral-raisesshoulders by increasing their width. To accomplish this, Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises selectively target the medial deltoids head. The larger the cross-sectional area of the side deltoids, the wider and rounder your shoulders will appear. You may have wide clavicles, narrow, or something in between, but regardless of the foundation you were dealt, anyone can increase their shoulder width to a meaningful extent by building up the mass of the side delts. There is only one deltoids exercise known of that isolates the medial heads, and that is the Side Lateral Raise. For this reason, the Side Lateral Raise is included in the Top Best Shoulder Exercises. 

Shoulder muscles targeted while performing Dumbbell Lateral Raise are the Deltoids, Lateral. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Dumbbell Lateral Raise are Deltoid Anterior, Supraspinatus, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Lower, Serratus Anterior Inferior Digitations, Trapezius Upper, Levator Scapulae and Wrist Extensors.

Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral Raises (aka Bent Over Dumbbell Flies)

Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise works the entire upper back, rear deltoids awoman doing bent over dumbbell side lateral raisesnd traps. Bent Over Lateral Raise is a very important shoulder exercise because most people tend to focus more on the front and side deltoids, with the rear deltoids being most often neglected. Well developed rear delts will balance out your shoulder development and help prevent a lot of shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems. Bent Over Lateral Raises hits specifically the rear deltoids head and isolating the rear deltoids better than any other shoulder exercise. For a complete shoulder muscle development, Bent Over Lateral Raises are a must do and included in the Top Best Shoulder Exercises. 

Shoulder muscles targeted while performing Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise are the Deltoids, Posterior. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Dumbbell Rear Lateral Raise are Deltoid Lateral, Intraspinatus, Teres Minor, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Lower,  Rhomboids, Wrist Extensors, Triceps Brachii, Erictor Spinae, Hamstrings and Gluteus Maximus.

Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is a top shoulder exercise because it tararnold_pressgets the front and side deltoids The Arnold Press is also a top shoulder exercise because it is one of the best shoulder exercises in terms of offering a wide range of motion that can incorporate many muscle fibers for maximum shoulder growth.

Shoulder muscles targeted while performing Arnold Press are the Deltoids, Anterior (front deltoids/front shoulders). Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Arnold Press are Triceps Brachii, Deltoid Lateral, Supraspinatus, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Lower, Serratus Anterior Inferior Digitations, Triceps Long Head, Trapezius Upper and Levator Scapulae.

Barbell Upright Row

The Barbell Upright Row is also often considered a great deltoids exercise for working the muscles obarbell_upright_rowf your shoulder girdle.

With a narrow grip, upright rows become an excellent shoulder movement that targets all three heads of the deltoids. Barbell Upright Rows are a favorite shoulder exercise among bodybuilders for targeting all three heads of the deltoids and therefore are included in the Top Best Shoulder Exercises. 

Shoulder muscles targeted while performing Barbell Upright Row are the Deltoids, Lateral. Secondary muscles (Synergists/Stabilizers) used while performing Barbell Upright Row are Deltoid Anterior, Supraspinatus, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Trapezius Middle, Trapezius Lower, Serratus Anterior Inferior Digitations, Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, Biceps Brachii, Trapezius Upper and Levator Scapulae.

Caution: Barbell Upright Rows is a shoulder exercise that should be approached with great caution since the Barbell Upright Row is a shoulder exercise that can injure people that do not have great shoulder flexibility, or have had previous shoulder problems. We do NOT recommend employing this shoulder exercise if you fall into either category.    

 

Honorable Mention for Top Shoulder Exercises:

Additional Training Articles 

For more great bodybuilding and fitness articles check out this page

About the Author, Lynn Glenn 

Lynn Glenn
Lynn Glenn
Lynn Glenn is a 63 year old natural athlete from Southern California who started training at the ripe young age of 48. After catching the "bodybuilding bug", Lynn became interested in living a healthy lifestyle and started writing about hot topics in the areas of  health, fitness, bodybuilding, nutrition, personal training and disease prevention. Lynn Glenn's dedication and success in the gym serves as a tremendous inspiration for many "mature" weightlifters trying to look better, feel better and beat father time! To contact Lynn regarding personal training, or product endorsements visit his personal page.

 
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