Want to build shoulders? Who doesn’t? But just like any muscle group, knowing exactly what to do is easier said than done. So we thought we’d come up with the simplest guide we could, and we’ve whittled it down to three very important things to concentrate on when building those boulders in your shoulders. Let’s start with staying fit.

Protect your rotator cuffs

In basic terms, your rotator cuffs are like straps or belts, and their main goal is to keep the shoulder joint stable. If you don’t warm up your rotator cuffs, you run the risk of inflicting damage on yourself, and this is very painful when doing any upper body workout. So do a simple warm up by holding a very light dumbbell. Put your arm out bent in front of you, as if you were looking at the time on a watch, and lift the weight up and down. Remain in control, and remember it’s just a warmup, so you don’t need to go heavy. Failure to do this can not only cause injury, but also imbalances between the delts and chest muscles, which can then mean even more chance of injury! So warm up the rotator cuff, make sure you recover properly, and then you’ll be sitting pretty when it comes to shoulders.

Focus on overhead press first

Multi joint exercises are usually the ones where you need the most of your pre workout kick because they use most of your energy. That’s why you should do them first, when your energy levels are highest. If you are going to do any particular multi joint exercise, then make it an overhead press. It works all three deltoids, as well as being beneficial to muscles that assist your shoulders such as a triceps. The rep range you are looking for will vary depending on your goal, but for building muscle, look at a 6-8 rep range.

Then focus on isolation

Once you have finished your overhead press routine, you should then look to isolate the muscles as much as possible. This means working the front, middle and rear delts individually. To do this, you should do front raises (front delts), lateral raises (middle) and bent over (rear). On all three exercises you should always focus on the isolation, and form is always more important than the actual weight you will be lifting.

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