The Problem You train shoulders religiously each week, but you’re not making progress, you’re constantly in pain, and you’re ready to scrap shoulder work altogether. Most guys run into problems when they try to do too much with their
shoulder workouts. They’re performing too many moves, they choose their
exercises unwisely, and they don’t pay attention to balancing out the
muscle groups that form their shoulders as a whole.
With the setup here, we’re stripping down to the bare essentials. You’ll perform barbell shrugs to develop your traps, then a balanced dumbbell raise attack that will keep your lats, a delicate muscle group, evenly developed and help protect your shoulders when you bench-press. Now that your shoulders are warmed up, we’re getting you yoked up by throwing in the military press as your finishing move.
Shrugs work best for most guys as a high-volume, mass-building exercise, so check your ego, strip a plate off each side of the bar, and work these for three or four sets of at least 20 reps, holding the top position for at least a second on each rep.
Rear Delt Raise
Perform all 3 Delt Raies one after the other, with no rest, for 10 reps each. Stay on the lighter side with your dumbbell selection, trying to keep only a minimal bend in your elbows.
Side Delt Raise
While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging) lift the dumbbells to your side. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top. Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. This exercise can also be performed sitting down.
Front Delt Raise
Grasp dumbbells in both hands. Position dumbbells in front of upper legs with elbows straight or slightly bent. Raise dumbbells forward and upward until upper arms are above horizontal. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Stay conservative with the amount of weight you use and focus on using your shoulders—not your legs—to raise the bar. At the top of the lift, the bar should be locked out above your head and slightly behind it. Perform four sets of eight.