Archive for the tag - deltoids

Wide Grip Vs. Narrow Grip Bench Press.

Mr. McMuscles demonstrates the narrow bench press grip.

The bench press is one of the most common strength training exercises around; it’s tried, true and extremely effective. Though the bench press primarily works the pectoral muscles in your chest, by changing the width of your grip, you can change the focus of the muscles being worked.

Standard Grip

Though many Olympic barbells come with etched guides for your hands, a standard grip is different from person to person. Generally, a standard grip results in a perfect 90 degree elbow angle in the starting position of the exercise. In addition to your pectoral muscles, the standard grip will also result in some activation of the deltoids and triceps.

Narrow Grip

To use a narrow grip, exercisers must start with their hands shoulder-width apart (as depicted in the accompanying photo). This is several inches closer together than in the standard grip. With this grip, and by keeping your elbows in towards your hips as you lower the bar, you shift the focus of the exercise more into the triceps.

Wide Grip

To use a wide grip, extend your hands a few inches beyond the standard grip. While widening your grip will reduce the range of motion in each repetition, the focus of the exercise will primarily be on the outer portions of your pectorals. Since this exercise puts considerable stress on shoulder joints, it’s not for everyone. In addition, it’s generally recommended that exercisers only lower the bar 3 – 4 inches from the chest – and not all the way down.

By changing your grip, you can change the focus of the muscles being exercised. But for most of us, a standard grip is safest and sufficient. Still, it’s always good to occasionally mix things up and to keep your workout fresh.

Corkscrew Exercise for Deltoids/Shoulders [Video]

I’m always on the prowl for exciting new shoulder exercises, and the “corkscrew” is one of my new favorites. You can do this exercise at home (with a dumbbell, medicine ball or weighted object) or at the gym using free weights! Enjoy:

Shred Your Shoulders: Incline Barbell Front Raise!

Starting and ending positions fro the incline barbell front raise.

2010 is the year of the shoulder for me. Up until this past year, it’s a muscle group that I’ve largely ignored in my exercise program. That changed during my January trip to Australia, wherein I worked with a trainer that pointed out the obvious – that my shoulders were less developed than the rest of my body.

Stronger shoulders aren’t just sexy; they help with better posture and often result in decreased back pain. They also help in other exercises, like the bench press.

One of my new favorite shoulder exercises is called the incline barbell front raise. It sounds fancy, but it isn’t. Best of all, this simple exercise is super effective and – because it is done seated – it’s hard to cheat. Here’s how you do it:

  1. At your gym, set an incline bench to about 60 degrees.
  2. Grab a barbell and sit on the bench comfortably.
  3. Grip the barbell with an overhand grip. You hands should be just beyond thigh-width apart.
  4. Hold the barbell straight out in front of you, just off of your thighs. Keep your arms straight.
  5. Lift the bar up – with straight arms – well above head-level. Don’t stop at shoulder-level!
  6. Hold here for a second or two.
  7. Slowly lower the bar until it is a few inches above your thighs.
  8. Repeat.

See the attached picture for the starting and ending positions.

Give it a try the next time you tackle shoulders – it’s a powerful exercise, and I hope you love it as much as I do!

Shoulder Workout You Can Do at Home.

Looking for a great shoulder/deltoids workout that you can do at home? Look no further!

You do this powerful workout at home (with two relatively light but identical objects) or at the gym (with a set of free weights).