Three Effective Shoulder Exercises
The shoulders are composed of three muscles, the anterior, medial and posterior deltoid heads. The shoulder is a dynamic joint, and therefore requires several planes of resistance for overall stimulation. It is also why the shoulder is involved in many upper body exercises, such as the bench press, bent over rows, pull ups and dips. The following workout incorporates three exercises which collectively target all three heads of the deltoids effectively. Perform 4 sets of each exercise, for between 8-12 repetitions.
1. Lateral dumbbell raise
The lateral dumbbell raise is a common shoulder exercise as it directly isolated the medial head of the deltoids. The medial head is located to the side of the shoulder, and is therefore responsible for the width of the shoulders. We perform the dumbbell raise first to tire the head prior the seated dumbbell press which follows. Start with one or two warm up sets before starting the working sets.
Stand erect grasping a set of dumbbells. With a slight bend in the knees and elbows, raise your arms to either side until your elbows are level with your shoulder. Do not allow the dumbbell or wrist to travel higher than the elbow during the exercise. Slowly lower the dumbbells and repeat for repetitions.
2. Seated dumbbell press
Many people prefer over head pressing exercises than isolation shoulder exercises due to the increased poundage which can be used. Heavy over head pressing is very effective for muscle building purposes, hence the inclusion of the seated dumbbell press here.
Sit on a fully inclined weight bench which supports your back. Grasp a set of dumbbells and press them up so they are level with your shoulders. Now, begin the exercise by pressing the dumbbells above your head by extending your arms. Slowly lower the weight until the handles are level with your ears, and repeat.
3. Incline reverse dumbbell fly
The reverse dumbbell fly is designed to specifically target the rear head of the shoulders, the posterior deltoid. We must remember to exercise all aspects of the shoulder joint to ensure overall balance and stability.
Set a weight bench to a (est. ~) 30 degree incline. Grasp a set of light dumbbells and lie face down on the incline bench. Keep a slight bend in the elbows whilst raising the dumbbells upwards. The movement will appear to be the reverse of hugging a large tree. Once the upper arms are level with your torso, reverse and repeat for repetitions.