By Quintin Steyn
Fitness Model and Advocate, Facebook: Quintin Fitness
Most of us men want that V-shaped torso; the iconic Superman or Batman effect that just demands presence and dominance if you will. But, as individuals, we must acknowledge the fact that we all don’t build muscle the same way and especially not at the same rate. It is truly important to figure out what works for your body, what doesn’t and especially know your limits.
When training shoulders, I personally start with light to medium weights before raging into heavier weights. It is important to warm up your muscles before you intend on training them, as this will prevent any unnecessary and unwanted injuries in the future. As a first and foremost rule, I will yet again stress on the importance of correct form and posture while doing any form of exercises. Especially with regards to training your shoulders! Here most of your training consists of “over-head” exercises which requires stability and technique in order to prevent serious long term injury or discomfort. If you lose your stability in an “over-head” exercise it can cause injury in a second which can set you back for months if not years depending on the severity of the injury. It remains good practice to rather err on the safe side and concentrate on the actual “burn” and training of the focused muscle group rather than just going heavy in order to build bigger muscles.
I would suggest when training shoulders to start with a stabilized exercise, in order to get your shoulders warmed up before your “hard-core” session. A good stabilized exercise would be the Machine Shoulder Press – here you are able to start on a light weight, work yourself up whilst maintaining proper form / posture. Next, you can move to bar and dumbbell exercises to start with your main workout. I’ve used this method of training from the beginning and so I have brought it down to a few leading workouts that will help you reach your goal. Remember to start with a decent manageable weight and move heavier from there, but when you notice you are compromising your form, rather go a bit lighter and increase your repetitions.
- Warm up:
- Machine shoulder press 4 x 15 reps
- Dumbbell shoulder press 12, 10, 10, 8 reps (rest 2 min)
- Arnold Dumbbell Press 12, 10, 10, 8 reps (rest 2 min)
- Bent-over Rear-delt raise 12, 10, 10, 8 reps (rest 2 min)
- Front-barbell raise 12, 10, 10, 8 reps (rest 2 min)
- Lateral raises 12, 10, 10 8 reps (rest 2 min)
- Reverse Machine fly 4 x 15 reps (rest 2 min)
These are just a few of many shoulder exercises, but certainly the ones I find extremely effective. As I said, it is important to know your limits. It is perfectly normal to struggle in the beginning; this just leaves you more room to improve in the future. Try these exercises for 4-8 weeks and see what works for you and where you can add more focus.