Archive for the tag - shoulders

What Is The Best Shoulder Exercise?

shoulder-workout---get-big--shoulder-workout-for-size---mens-fitnessHaving strong, bulging shoulders isn’t just sexy; it’s functional. With shoulder injuries impacting up to 69 percent of the population, taking advantage of a balanced and well-rounded shoulder workout can help reduce the risk of injury.

So which shoulder exercises are the best? The American Council on Exercise teamed up with researchers from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse to find out. The findings were published in a recent study.

For the study, researchers compiled a list of ten common shoulder exercises. Next, a set of healthy, male volunteers were recruited. Each volunteer participated in one practice workout and then two test workouts. To determine muscle activation, special electrodes were placed on the three different muscle heads of the shoulder (front, middle and back).

After crunching the data, researchers found that different exercises were best for each of the different muscle heads.

To work your anterior deltoids (the front shoulder muscle that you see in the mirror), the dumbbell shoulder press is the absolute best. No other exercise came close. A distant second was the dumbbell front raise followed by battling ropes (which you commonly see in crossfit classes).

When it comes to the medial deltoids (the middle shoulder muscle), the 45-degree incline row and bent-arm lateral raise were the best performing exercises.

Last but not least, the seated rear lateral raise and the 45-degree incline row were best for the posterior deltoids (back shoulder muscles).

Keep in mind, while most people focus on the anterior deltoids (because those are most visible when they look in the mirror), it’s important to have equally balanced shoulder muscles for proper function, to minimize imbalances and to reduce the risk of injury.

If you’re unfamiliar with any of the above exercises, scroll down below for some demonstrations!

Incorporate these exercises into your shoulder workout for optimal results.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Best for front shoulders)


45-Degree Incline Row (Best for middle shoulders/back shoulders)


Seated Rear Lateral Raise (Best for back shoulders)


3 Exercies to Correct Uneven Shoulders.

Dear Davey,

I was looking in the mirror the other day and realized that my right trapezius is larger than my left and it is noticeable. My friend recommended that I do shrugs whilst having a heavier weight on my left until it balances. Is this right – or is there a better way of evening my muscles out?


Hey Kieren,

First things first, the trapezius muscles (often called “traps” for short) are the large superficial muscles that extend up the back of your spine, out toward your shoulders and down your spine (see image). They help move the scapulae and support the arm.

Having uneven muscles is very common – and it’s fairly easy to correct. Whether it’s uneven biceps, glutes or traps, the strategy is very similar. Ditch the machines (unless they are iso-lateral) and barbells in favor of dumbbell workouts. Barbells can be a great part of any workout, and they’re particularly useful when working with very heavy levels of resistance. But with barbells, you’re able to favor one side over the other – and thus experience an uneven workout.

As an example, look at the barbell bench press. If my left pectoral muscle is weaker and less developed, I’m able to shift more of the weight onto my right side when performing presses. If I were doing chest presses with a dumbbell, on the other hand, I wouldn’t be able to shift the weight – and both pectoral muscles would be getting an equal workout.

With machines, it’s also easy to favor one side over the other – unless the machine is iso-lateral. With iso-lateral machines, each side moves independently of the other – and so, these can be used to correct muscular imbalances.

Doing dumbbell shoulder shrugs is a great way to build up your traps. Since you’re looking to build size, use the heaviest weight that still allows for 8 – 10 successful repetitions. You should experience failure on your last repetition. Do up to 4 sets as time allows.

Also consider dumbbell upright rows and reverse dumbbell flies.


3 Shoulder Exercises Without Weights.

Working out with a friend makes things more fun – especially if he’s the impossibly sexy Chris Nogeic. While working on an upcoming project, Chris wanted to share three of his favorite shoulder exercises that you can try at home. Check out the video.

While these exercises are demonstrated with a partner, there are plenty of ways to improvise if you’re flying solo. For example: If you’d like to try the handstand push-ups, but don’t have a partner, try performing the exercise against a wall. Or, alternatively, keep your feet on the floor and pike your body by folding at the waist and keeping your upper body in the handstand position. This will also make it a bit easier.

Want to see more of Chris? I know I do. Let me know in the comments below!

Crazy New Ab Exercise: Double Plate Press!

Truth be told, the double plate press isn’t just an ab workout. It works your chest, forearms, biceps and shoulders – but I feel most of the burn in my abs.

I freaking love it!

Here’s how you do it:

  1. Locate two identical weight plates. Start small – with 5 lb weight plates. You really don’t need a lot of weight to feel this.
  2. Press the two weights together, holding them close to your chest. The smooth side should be facing outward. This is the starting position.
  3. Extend the plates straight out in front of you, so that your arms are parallel to the floor. You’ll really need to squeeze the plates together to prevent them from slipping! This is the most challenge piece of the exercise.
  4. Pause, and then return to the starting position.
  5. If you can do more than 8 or 10 repetitions, you’ll need heavier weights. Repeat for 1 – 4 sets, depending on your goals and available time.

It’s new, it’s different and it’s a lot of fun.

Give it a try, and let me know what you think. And, if you’re up for it – browse some of my additional ab tips and exercises.


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).