Shoulders can be tough to train because people feel limited with exercise moves. Ok Military press, then what else is there? Lots of people make up moves but shoulders are tricky and many train them wrong!
Here are 5 mistakes many people make and how to correct them!
1. Over working anterior delts – Since they typically carry the heaviest loads, your front delts are not only primary movers during overhead presses, they’re also secondary movers during chest and triceps workouts, helping during presses and dips. If you’re doing front raises in addition to a lot of shoulder, chest and tri compound lifts, you’re likely overworking your front delts.
Solution – workout chest and delts on different days and be mindful of the secondary muscles you are working out when training larger muscle groups
2. Under working Posterior delts – In the same breath as #1 since anterior delts tend to get too much emphasis, posterior delts tend to get too little. Rear delts assist during lat exercises, such as rows and pulldowns; but if you’re targeting your lats correctly, it’s unlikely that your rear delts are receiving enough work on back or shoulder day to reach their full potential.
Solution – Add rear delt training into your back day or if you train them on shoulder day don’t wait to the end of your workout, mix in moves to target all the heads of your delts.
3. Speed Racer – You lift too fast to make any growth to the muscle fibers.
Solution – Try sitting during shoulder moves to prevent any momentum from legs and isolate shoulders. Or try to add counts to your lifts – 1 count up, 1 count pause and 2 counts down, this will ensure you are properly firing off your muscles.
4. Poor form – Along with speeding through the moves, improper form can not only stall any progress and muscle growth but also can cause injury. Plus, correct form is especially important on shoulder day, because of the ball-and-socket joints’ vulnerability to injury.
Solution – Throughout each set, focus on the deltoid heads you’re targeting, not on the resistance. Work the muscle, not the weight. After reaching failure in a shoulder exercise, don’t cheat to eke out extra reps. Instead, do a drop set, have a partner help with forced, reps or use the rest-pause technique. Quality over quantity, especially with shoulders. Shoulders are smaller muscles so don’t worry if you are using lower weights. Proper form with appropriate/challenging weight will result in muscles growth!
5. Mix it up – You do the same should moves over and over.
Solution – Try including a different pressing exercise each shoulder workout. Here are three free-weight presses you likely aren’t doing: underhand presses (press a barbell over-head with a shoulder-width underhand grip); Arnold presses (press dumbbells from underhand at the bottom to overhand at the top); and rack military presses (press each rep from a dead stop off of power-rack supports set at chin level). Or you can perform many shoulder moves with cables or machines and go unilateral. You can also do wide-grip bent-over rows to focus more on your posterior delts. A Smith machine is an effective tool for wide-grip rows; hold each contraction and flex your rear delts. Don’t be afraid to change your grip or tool (dumbbells, barbells, or cables).
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