The World's Biggest Shoulders

Big Ramy's 4 rules to maximize your own delt development.


 RULE #2 


In addition to seated dumbbell, barbell, or machine presses as his anchor shoulder movement, Elssbiay opts for a range of tried-and-true exercises. That means standing dumbbell lateral raises for the middle delts and bentover dumbbell raises for the rear delts, as well as barbell and dumbbell shrugs for traps.

With a well-stocked gym like Oxygen at his fingertips, those aren’t his only choices, of course—in addition to basic free-weight moves like upright rows and front raises, machines and cables offer ample variety.

Every exercise comes with a spate of pluses and minuses, which is why over-reliance on one unwavering choice is a mistake. For instance, standing laterals—a classic, to be sure—offer the benefit of a direct line of pull against the middle delt. They can fit to any frame, whether you’re a rail-thin beginner or you’re barn-door wide like Big Ramy. And you can alter your wrist position, tipping the front of the dumbbell slightly down at the top for a deeper contraction.

However, dumbbells also invite momentum, and when lowered all the way to the sides between reps take all tension out of the muscle. A cable lateral, however, maintains tension throughout the range of motion, while a machine lateral provides for a longer range of motion, removes the need for stabilizer muscles, and depending on design may allow for the use of more resistance than free weights. The point is, all three are valuable, valid choices to include in a rotation.


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