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The knock on lateral raises done with free weights is that the first half of the movement is easy. Your shoulders start to really kick in only toward the top, when your arms are extended out from your sides. Bands, however, put tension on your muscles throughout the whole movement and make it harder at the end range of motion. If you thought bands were just making the best of a bad situation (no free weights), this workout will change your mind—and fry your shoulders.
It’s workout #49 from 101 Best Workouts of All Time, the best-selling book by M&F’s group training director Sean Hyson.
We’ve taken conventional free-weight shoulder exercises like the overhead press, lateral raise, and shrug and applied bands to them. You’ll have to fight the resistance on each movement as it increases, which heightens the demand on your muscles and also teaches you to lift fast. If you can’t explode your reps, you won’t be able to lock them out, so you have to do your sets deliberately and with power; and power training recruits the biggest muscle fibers.
Perform the exercises marked with letters in sequence. For instance, for pairs of “A” and “B” exercises, you’ll do a set of A and then B before resting. Repeat until all sets are completed. For exercises 2A, 2B, and 2C, perform all three in order before resting and then repeat. The first exercise (overhead press) is done as normal straight sets.