Who wouldn’t want to look strong, have perfect posture, and exude confidence? Well, count me in. So what if I told you all this could be achieved by completing 6 exercises to get bigger shoulders?
But before bulking up your shoulders, it’s useful to figure out how they work, your shoulder muscle, also known as the deltoid muscle is made up of three sets of muscle fibers:
- anterior – helps you to both flex and rotate your arms
- lateral – helps you can reach out to the side
- posterior deltoid – helps you to extend your arms to the back and rotate them
The following exercises work all three sets of muscles and can help you get broader, more defined shoulders.
6 Exercises to Get Bigger Shoulders
#1 Seated Shoulder Press
You’ll need a chair or flat surface to sit on to complete this exercise.
In a seated position, grab two dumbbells or free weights. Hold your arms up in 90 degree angles, bending your elbows and keeping your palms facing forward. The weights should be at about ear level.
With your feet positioned flat on the floor, slowly move your arms up by drawing the insides of your elbows toward your head until your arms are straight. After that, lower the dumbbells back to the initial position, making sure that you have complete control of your movements. We recommend doing 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
If you want to have bigger shoulders, this exercise effectively works your anterior deltoid in a position that prevents you from swaying or dipping your torso when you’re doing it. As a result, you can try even heavier weights as you build your strength.
#2 Standing Lateral Raise
Start by making sure you have enough space around you for your arms to extend without smashing a lamp or something.
With a dumbbell in each hand, stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Raise your arms to the sides until they’re both parallel to the floor with your palms now facing the ground.
Pause there at shoulder-level, then lower your arms back to their starting position. Repeat this exercise from 8-12 times for 3 sets.
As you may have guessed from the name of this exercise, standing lateral raises bulk up and strengthen your lateral deltoids.
#3 Bent Over Rows
This exercise is great for working your posterior deltoids.
It’s best to prepare for these rows by putting a dumbbell on the floor near a flat bench on the right side. Then, place your left knee on the bench and rest your lower leg there. Position your right foot on the floor and slightly bend your knee.
Your left hand should be on the bench in front of you so that you are bent over with your back in a neutral, straight position. With your right hand, reach for the dumbbell on the floor and hold it with a straight arm. Pull the dumbbell up to your side, making sure to keep it near your body; it’s crucial that you pull the weight straight up.
Lower the dumbbell to the initial position, with your arm straight (don’t touch the dumbbell to the floor yet). Complete this 8-12 times. After you finish your right side, transfer the dumbbell to your other hand and start working out your left shoulder. Complete 3 sets of these rows on each side.
#4 Handstand Push-ups
Now to do this exercise, you’ll only need a wall and some balance.
Starting with the top of your head on the floor facing away from the wall, slowly and carefully put your feet on the wall. Carefully walk your feet up the wall until your body is positioned straight up against it. You should be facing away from the wall.
With your hands approximately shoulder-width apart, lift your body against the wall by extending your elbows. Lower yourself down by bending your elbows. When your head is about two inches away from the floor, start to straighten your arms again to the extended position 8-12 times.
To safely get right-side up again, slowly walk your feet down the wall again and once in an inverted crouch position, lightly kick off from the wall landing on the floor.
Besides helping to build massive shoulders, these push-ups also develop your back, upper chest, and core muscles.
#5 Alternating Lateral And Forward Raises
Stand in the middle of a resistance band and take hold of the ends. Your hands should be in front of your thighs, with your palms facing each other.
Lift your arms to the sides until they’re parallel to the floor (just like in Exercise #2). Lower them to the initial position. After that, raise your arms in front of your body, palms facing down, until they’re parallel to the floor. Alternate between the lateral and forward raises while keeping your elbows a bit bent. Do 10 to 12 reps for 3 sets.
#6 Bent Over Reverse Fly
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bend forward at the hips. You could do this either with or without an object to brace your head against.
Keep your knees slightly bent, and your core tight. Breathe out and raise your arms to the sides with your palms facing back. Do seven reps. After that, repeat this exercise seven times with your palms facing each other at rest. For the last seven reps,do a forward raise, being careful not to lift your shoulders.
Rest, and repeat for 2 more sets.
These exercises to get bigger shoulder muscles work all three sets of your deltoids. The only things you should remember are to keep your weights relatively light and to stretch before your workout. Make sure you don’t push past your normal range of motion while you’re doing the exercises as this could be an early indication of an injury.
Don’t forget that if you want to build muscle, you’ll need to consume more calories than you normally would. Try eating more protein-rich foods, such as eggs, meat, poultry, fish, vegetables, and dairy products.
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