Here is all the information you need to know about training shoulders!

And if you dont want to read, you can just check out this video!



Exercises and movement patterns

There are 3 types of exercises that you need to include in your shoulder workout:


1. Overhead press

2. Lateral head isolation

3. Rear head isolation


Overhead press


The exercises i recommend the most are the barbell or the dumbbell overhead press.

But you can also try the machine overhead press.

And if you find yourself in a situation in which you cant do any of the exercises that i mentioned, you can try the pike pushup, or the wall supported hanstand pushup.


Lateral head isolation

The exercises that i recommend the most are: lateral raise, or the leaning lateral raise.

Both dumbbells and cables are viable options, so pick the one you like more.


Rear head isolation


The exercises that i recommend the most are the rear delt fly, facepull and the reverse pec deck.


What about the front delts?


In my opinion, you dont need to train the front delts directly.

Your front delts get stimulated enough by all the other pressing movements like the bench press, or the overhead press.

So i just dont see a reason why you would want to train them directly.

And another reason, is that a lot of people neglect their rear delts.

And when you get into a situation, that you dont train your rear delts at all, and you only train your front delts, you might get in some troubles with your posture, because your shoulders will naturally start to cave in, because your front delts will completely overpower the rear delts, and trust me, thats not a good look.



Its important to maintain a healthy balance between all the heads of the shoulder.

If your rear delts are well developed, then you can for sure train your front delts directly, but its just not necessary most of the time.



Number of workouts

2 workouts per week will be more than enough if you are doing a heavy overhead press in each one of those workouts.

You really dont want to do a heavy overhead press more than 2 times per week, because its very hard to recover from.

And thats mainly because you are loading a big amount of weight on your spine, which means that your whole body gets taxed,  and not just your shoulders.



Thats why you should definitely not overdo it.

But you can still do more than 2 shoulder workouts per week, if those extra shoulder workouts dont include any kind of heavy pressing.

Which basically means that you can just do some extra isolation work if you need to.


Number of sets

i would recommend something between 15-21sets per week.

But then again, if you do a lot of isolation exercises, the number can easily go over 21 sets, just because all of the shoulder isolation exercises are not really that taxing for your body, so you can in theory do more of them, without messing up the rest of your workout.


Rep ranges

You need to split your exercises into:


1. One main exercise

2. Two Secondary exercises


This will make it much easier to understand.

And it will also make sure that you hit your shoulders from all the angles necessary while also taking advantage of every single useful rep range.


Main exercise

The exercise that you select as the „main exercise“ will be the one that you will do first in your workout.

And obviously, because its the first exercise of the workout, for this muscle group, you will have the most strenght available.

Thats why the rep range for the main exercise will be 5-12 reps.

So you can basically choose between 5-8, or 8-12 rep range. Both are completely fine.

The main exercise for the shoulders, will always be some kind of overhead press.


The two secondary exercises

We will split the isolation exercises into 2 types, because we need to hit both the rear and the lateral head of the shoulder.

So pick your favorite isolation exercise for each head.

So for example the facepull, and the leaning lateral raise.

For both of the isolation exercises you should be in the 15 to roughly 20-25reps, and you can even go up to 30 reps if you feel like that the higher repetitions work better for you.


Example shoulder workout

So this is how the example shoulder focused part of your workout could look like:



How to press more weight

One very important thing that you need to do, when doing the barbell overhead press, is to push your head through „the window“ when pressing.

So lets see how to do it.

Overhead pressing is all about your body being completely locked in, so you can exert the maximum amount of power.

So that means that you need to squeeze your glutes, tighten your core, and hold your chest up.



If you do all of that, you will feel locked in, and be ready to press.

But before you start pressing, take a deep breath, and exhale as you go up.

And when the bar passes your head, move your head and torso forward a little bit.



And when i say little bit, i mean a little bit, you dont want to just stick your head forward like a chicken.



Doing all of this, will dramatically increase your power output.


Thats all you need to know about training shoulders!


Try applying all of this knowledge to your training plan, and im sure that you will see much better results..or you can just try one of my training plans!

And if you still have any questions about this topic, or about anything else that is related to bodybuilding, join my Patreon, and i will answer all of your questions!

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