Workout Routines

Sculpt Broad Shoulders With Just Your Body Weight

Channel your inner Michelangelo and chisel your body.

by
decline pushup
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

Ripped abs and bulging biceps are great T-shirt muscles, but broad shoulders, on the other hand, can stand out from beneath even the chunkiest sweaters and arguably do more than any other muscles to bolster your physical presence. Use this simple bodyweight program to build an imposing set for yourself.

SEE ALSO: Gain 10 Pounds of Muscle in 4 Weeks

HOW IT WORKS

Bodyweight training has many advantages, the first of which is you can do it anywhere. Second, it’s safe. When you train shoulders with free weights, you can progress faster, but you pay a higher price for sloppy form—namely, injury—and then there’s the fact that the shoulder joints are the most unstable and injury-prone in the body.

With bodyweight training, increasing the difficulty of an exercise can be as simple as adjusting the angle. Raise your feet on a pike pushup and you instantly feel a greater challenge. You can also have more fun; moves like the crab walk may look silly, but they’ll work your shoulders just as well as presses, and you’ll have fun doing them.

SEE ALSOThe 360-Degree Shoulder Workout

DIRECTIONS

Use this program in place of your normal shoulder routine for four weeks. Perform the workouts with at least two full days between them (avoid any other upper-body training in between).

The exercise pair in Day I (A and B) is done as a superset—complete one set of A, then B without rest. Continue until all sets are complete. The routine on Day II is done as a circuit—perform one set of each move back-to-back without rest and then rest 90 seconds. Do as many rounds as possible in 10 minutes. Note that this is the entire length of Day II’s workout (you’re done in 10 minutes).

Day 1

Exercise 1

Feet-Elevated Pike Pushup
exercise image placeholder
4 sets
12 reps
60-90 sec rest
Get into pushup position and rest your feet on a bench or box. Bend your hips, raising your butt toward the ceiling so that your torso is vertical. Lower your body to the floor until your head is between your hands. Press back up.

Exercise 2A

Wide-Grip Inverted Row
exercise image placeholder
5 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Set a barbell at hip height in a rack, or set up a pipe or similar object if you’re not in a gym. Hang beneath it and squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your body up to the bar.

Exercise 2B

Bodyweight Dip You'll need: Dip Station How to
Bodyweight Dip thumbnail
5 sets
10 reps
-- rest
Suspend yourself over parallel bars and lower your body until your upper arms are parallel with the floor.

Day 2

Exercise 1A

Feet-Elevated Pike Pushup
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
6* reps
-- rest
*Perform exercises 1A-1C as a circuit. Rest 90 sec at end of circuit. Complete circuit as many times as possible in 10 mins.

Exercise 1B

Wide-Grip Pullup You'll need: Pullup Bar How to
Wide-Grip Pullup thumbnail
-- sets
5* reps
-- rest
*Perform exercises 1A-1C as a circuit. Rest 90 sec at end of circuit. Complete circuit as many times as possible in 10 mins.

Exercise 1C

Crab Walk
exercise image placeholder
-- sets
30 sec* reps
90 sec rest
*Perform as a circuit. Rest 90 sec at end of circuit. Sit on the floor and plant your hands under your shoulders. Place your feet flat and bend your knees. Extend your hips so they rise an inch above the floor. Walk forward on your hands and feet.
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