Shoulder Exercises

The 360-Degree Shoulder Workout

Shelve your stagnant shoulder workouts for this full-blast routine that rotates emphasis on the three deltoid heads.

by
Muscular Shoulders
Duration 3 days
Exercises 18
Equipment Yes

 

Just about every Muscle & Fitness reader knows that to build cannonball delts, you need to start with heavy presses followed by an isolation exercise for each of the three deltoid heads. Astute readers even cycle the order in which they train each deltoid head from one workout to the next, knowing that the move that comes first will be trained harder as energy levels and focus are higher earlier in the workout.

This workout takes that training philosophy one step further for hardcore gains. After a pair of compound moves, you'’ll do two shoulder exercises back-to-back for the targeted deltoid head (Shoulder Workout No. 1 focuses on the front head, Workout No. 2 the middle and Workout No. 3 the rear delt head). The first of the "focused delt" moves is done just slightly heavier than what you may be accustomed to for three sets of eight reps, followed by a machine move where you just have to push a weight, not balance it,— for that same delt head. You'’ll also be doing drop sets on each set of the machine move.

Finish off with exercises for each of the remaining delt heads done for straight sets, and don'’t forget to rotate workouts next time you train shoulders. Pretty soon, we'’ll have to start writing even more advanced programs for you. Trust us, we will!

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Workout 1 Front Delt

Exercise 1

Smith Machine Overhead Press You'll need: Smith Machine, Bench How to
3 sets
15, 10, 6 reps
-- rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

Exercise 2

Dumbbell Upright Row You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Front Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

One-Arm Machine Front Raise
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3 sets
10/8 reps
-- rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

Exercise 5

Seated Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
2 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Single-Arm Standing Cable Reverse Flye You'll need: Adjustable Cable Machine, D-Handle Attachment How to
2 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Workout 2 Middle Delt

Exercise 1

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press You'll need: Dumbbells, Bench How to
3 sets
15, 10, 6 reps
-- rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

Exercise 2

Smith Machine Overhead Press You'll need: Smith Machine, Bench How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Dumbbell Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Machine Lateral Raise
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3 sets
10/8 reps
-- rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

Exercise 5

Bent-Over Cable Lateral Raise
exercise image placeholder
2 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Front Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
2 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Workout 3 Rear Delt

Exercise 1

Front Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
15, 10, 6 reps
-- rest
Includes 1-2 warm-up sets, but do as many as you need.

Exercise 2

Arnold Press You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3

Bent-Over Lateral Raise You'll need: Dumbbells How to
3 sets
8 reps
-- rest

Exercise 4

Reverse Pec Deck Flye
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
10/8 reps
-- rest
Train the second move for the targeted delt head with drop sets. After reaching muscle failure, quickly reduce the weight.

Exercise 5

Front Cable Raise
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2 sets
10 reps
-- rest

Exercise 6

Cable Lateral Raise
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2 sets
10 reps
-- rest
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