The Key to Killer Shoulders

When talking about the body parts that people tend to notice, it’s hard not to mention shoulders. Arms, chest and abs will always top the list of “show off” muscles, but I would argue that a solid set of shoulders will always be up there. Unfortunately, many people over-prioritize the anterior (front) delts, while ignoring the posterior (rear) delts, resulting in sub-par shoulder development.

A really solid set of shoulders meets two criteria: fully developed lateral (side) delts and rear delts that aren’t lagging behind.

In order to achieve this, we need to remember that every pressing movement, be it the bench press or the overhead press, recruits the front delts heavily. Meaning, we can get more bang for our buck in the gym by taking front delt isolation exercises out of our routines and replacing them with moves that hit the often neglected rear delts.

There is certainly no need to complicate things here. Utilizing more than 3 or 4 exercises really isn’t necessary. The overhead press and/or dumbbell shoulder press, lateral raises and reverse flies hit the shoulder from every angle. Furthermore, this combination of exercises blends heavy compound exercises (OHP/ shoulder Press) with lighter isolation exercises (lateral raise/reverse fly) to help increase strength and hypertrophy.

Since many lifters tend to neglect their rear delts, we recommend starting off with rear delt flies, hitting  the OHP or shoulder press using heavy weight, and then burning out the shoulders with lateral raises as a finisher.

If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to comment below or email me directly.

Nick Brennan

Founder & CEO

Unbeaten Fitness

Posted on February 3, 2015 .