Leg Workouts: Your Ultimate guide

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Your legs are one of the most vital parts in your body, and yet, they’re the most neglected when it comes to working them out. This is primarily because the legs are not showboat muscles, which means that it is hard to show off the muscles in your legs, unlike your arms. But there are several benefits that you only get to enjoy when you work them out. In this article, you will learn more about leg workouts and their importance and discover the 10 best exercises that you can perform to keep them in good shape.        

Leg Workout FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about leg workouts.

1. What Are the Different Types of Leg Workouts?

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There are three primary types of leg workouts: bodyweight workouts, free-weight workouts, and machine workouts. Bodyweight workouts utilize the weight of your own body as a resistance, whereas free-weight workouts utilize the resistance provided by loaded dumbbells and barbells. Machine workouts utilize specialized machines such as the leg press, leg curl, and leg extension with selectable resistances.  

2. What Are the Benefits of Leg Workouts?

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The primary benefits that leg workouts offer are an increase in strength and muscle mass, improvement in posture, stabilization of the core, and a decrease in the chances of injury.

3. How Do You Incorporate Leg Workouts into Your Routine?

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You could incorporate leg workouts into your routine by performing 3-4 exercises every alternate day. Or, you could set aside 2 days per week and split your leg workouts between those two days.    

How We Reviewed

We spoke to several experts, fitness enthusiasts, and physiologists to identify the 10 best leg workouts that deliver the required results without putting undue strain on your body. We then proceeded to explain how to perform the chosen exercises and laid out their pros and cons.

Overall Difficulty Level of Leg Workouts

Many compound leg workouts such as the squats, lunges, and deadlifts are hard to master due to the strict form that’s required to be maintained throughout. It requires quite a bit of practice and training before you’re able to do them comfortably with proper form. This makes them unsuitable for most beginners. Most isolation leg workouts such as the ones that you do on specialized machines are beginner-friendly and relatively easier to perform and master. This is due to the fact that these exercises require you to go through a fixed range of motion, making it hard to get them wrong.    

What We Reviewed

  • Leg Press
  • Step-​Up
  • Pistol Squat
  • Glute-Ham Raise
  • Walking Lunge
  • Bulgarian Split Squat
  • Hack Squat
  • Romanian Deadlift
  • Front Squat
  • Barbell Squat

Leg Press

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How To Perform

Sit on the leg press machine and place your feet around shoulder-width apart on the platform. Fully extend your legs without locking your knees by pushing on the platform. Release the safety bars and lower the platform in a slow and controlled manner until your knees are perpendicular to your toes. Then, push the platform back to the starting position with your legs. Make sure you exhale during this portion of the exercise. Repeat this movement for as many reps as you want. Once you’re done, make sure to lock the safety bars in place before you lower the weighted platform down.

Pros

  • The leg press machine is versatile as it puts focus on different muscles in the leg depending on the foot stance
  • Leg press is safer than other forms of leg workouts as the machine has proper safety mechanisms in place

Cons

  • Leg press requires a dedicated machine to perform
  • The exercise does not activate or engage any stabilizing muscles and can end up creating muscular imbalances when not performed correctly

Step-Up

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How To Perform

This exercise can be performed using a pair of dumbbells or by placing a barbell on your shoulders. Start by standing tall in front of an elevated platform, preferably a sturdy box or a bench, holding a pair of dumbbells. Place your left foot on the platform, and using the heel of the foot, lift your entire body up onto the bench. Make sure to breathe out as you perform this movement. Then, step down with the right foot and return to the starting position. Repeat this movement with the same leg till you complete a set (often 10, 12 or 15 repetitions), and then switch and perform the same with the other leg.  

Pros

  • Perfect for people who are unable to do deadlifts due to lower back issues
  • Works your stabilizer muscles and helps improve balance

Cons

  • The exercise can be hard on your knees if you don’t do it in a slow and controlled manner
  • Using the wrong height can put your joints under stress

Pistol Squat

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How To Perform

Stand tall, look forward, and raise one leg off the floor. With your chest up and your back straight, slowly squat down. While descending, extend the raised leg forward so that it doesn’t touch the ground. When you reach the bottom of the squat, hold the position for a second and slowly return to the starting position. When ascending, make sure to exhale and drive off the heel of the foot. Repeat this movement till you finish one set, and then switch sides. While performing this exercise, you can have your arms outstretched in front of you to help balance your body.

Pros

  • As it is a bodyweight exercise, there is no need for any equipment and it can be performed almost anywhere
  • Can help get rid of muscular imbalances

Cons

  • This exercise is not suitable for beginners and for people who are out of shape as they can get hurt
  • Requires a lot of ankle and hip mobility and flexibility

Glute-Ham Raise

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How To Perform

Start off by adjusting the equipment according to your body. Once that is done, lock both your feet by placing them in between the rollers. Your feet should be firmly pressed against the footplate with your knees behind the pad. Lie face down on the machine with your back arched. Flex your knees while simultaneously pressing your toes into the foot plate. This should bring your body to an upright position. Hold it for a second and then slowly descend back into the starting position.

Pros

  • Helps increase strength and muscle mass in the glutes and hamstrings
  • Improves sprinting speed and jumping capabilities

Cons

  • This exercise requires a dedicated piece of equipment to perform
  • If done improperly, the user can end up with issues in their lower back

Walking Lunge

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How To Perform

You can perform this exercise with your own bodyweight, a pair of dumbbells, or with a barbell on your shoulder. Start by standing tall with a pair of dumbbells, and keep your feet shoulder-width apart. With your back straight, take a big step forward with your right leg and flex both your knees to get down. You should continue to get down until your left knee almost touches the ground. Make sure that the knee doesn’t go past the toes as that can put a lot of stress on the knees. Using the heel of the right foot, drive your body back up. Now perform the lunge with the other leg.  

Pros

  • Can be performed almost anywhere and does not require any equipment
  • Helps improve balance and core stability

Cons

  • Can put a lot of strain on the knees if they go past the toes
  • Exercise can cause back problems if performed incorrectly

Bulgarian Split Squat

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How To Perform

You will need a bench and a pair of dumbbells to perform this exercise. Start off by standing in front of a bench with a pair of dumbbells. Position your left foot forward and your right foot on the bench. Slowly get down into a lunge by flexing your knees. Make sure to keep your body straight throughout the movement. Once your left thigh is parallel to the ground, stop descending, and hold this position for a second. Drive through the heel and return to the starting position. Once you’re done with a set, switch your legs up and repeat the movement.  

Pros

  • Isolates and engages the quadriceps more than other leg workouts
  • Dramatically increases the stability, balance, and strength in the legs

Cons

  • Shearing forces on the knee increases once it goes past the toes
  • Requires quite a bit of flexibility to perform

Hack Squat

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How To Perform

Start by positioning yourself on the machine by placing your shoulders under the shoulder pads and resting your back on the back pad. Keep your feet on the platform using a shoulder-width stance, with toes pointed slightly. Push yourself up by pressing down on the platform and disengage the safety bars. Extend your legs without locking your knees. Then, slowly lower the machine by bending the knees until you form a 90-degree angle. Hold this position for a second and push yourself back up by driving through the heels. Make sure to exhale during this movement. Once you’re done, lock the safety bars in place before getting yourself out.

Pros

  • Very low risk of lower back strain as your body is well supported throughout the movement
  • Great for working out the quadriceps

Cons

  • Can be uncomfortable and unnatural due to the fixed and rigid range of motion
  • Some hack squat machines can end up hurting you if you don’t engage the safety bars on time

Romanian Deadlift

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How To Perform

You’ll need a loaded barbell in order to perform this exercise. Start by holding the loaded bar at hip level with a pronated grip. Stand tall, with your shoulders back, chest pushed out front, back arched, and knees slightly bent. Slowly lower the bar down by pushing your butt out. Keep the bar close to your body. Do not look down as that can cause your back to curve. Instead, look forward. Once the bar is lowered to a point below your knee, stop and hold for a second. Drive your hips forward and get back to the starting position.

Pros

  • Increases hip lower back strength, mobility, and flexibility
  • Helps build strength and muscle mass in the hamstrings and glutes  

Cons

  • If done incorrectly, the exercise can cause lower back issues

Front Squat

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How To Perform

Although this exercise can be performed without a squat rack, it is recommended that you do it inside one for added safety. Start off by setting a loaded barbell on a rack that’s appropriate for your height. Get under the bar and place it on your deltoids. Cross your arms and grasp the bar while keeping your elbows high. Lift the bar off the rack and slowly step away. Stand tall with your back straight and your feet shoulder-width apart and point your toes slightly outward. Lower the bar slowly by bending your knees till your thighs break parallel with the floor. Push yourself back up to the starting position by driving through the middle of your feet. Make sure to exhale as you perform this movement.    

Pros

  • Minimizes the load on the spine
  • The exercise helps you maintain an upright torso and allows you to squat deep

Cons

  • Not suitable for beginners and people with lower back issues
  • You’ll be forced to use less weight when compared with the barbell squat

Barbell Squat

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How To Perform

It is recommended that you perform this exercise inside a squat rack. Start by setting a loaded barbell on a rack that’s appropriate for your height. Get under the bar and place it on your traps while keeping your head up and your chest out. Lift the bar off the rack and slowly step away. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with the toes pointing outward. Slowly lower the bar by bending your knees till your upper thighs touch your calves. At this point, push yourself back up by driving through the middle of your feet. Make sure to exhale as you perform this movement.

Pros

  • Works a lot of muscles simultaneously such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and even the abs
  • Improves body stability and balance

Cons

  • Barbell squat is risky and can cause injury if performed incorrectly
  • Not suitable for people with shoulder and lower back issues

The Verdict

The barbell squat is and will always be the king of leg workouts. Being a compound movement, it works a multitude of muscle groups and can help develop significant strength and muscle mass. The only downside to this wonderful exercise is that it requires you to maintain a strict form throughout. Without proper form, you can end up injuring yourself. Also, people with lower back issues might want to steer clear of this exercise. Instead, they can opt for leg presses and Bulgarian split squats as these two leg workouts do not stress the lower back. People wanting to solely focus on developing their hamstrings and glutes can opt for the Romanian deadlift, which is another one of the best leg workouts.  

Shoulder Workouts: Your Ultimate Guide

July 24, 2019 by  
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When deciding which shoulder workouts to perform, it depends on what athletic level you are, what goals you are aiming to achieve and what type of equipment you have. In this article, we have reviewed 10 popular shoulder workouts and discussed how they could benefit your workout routine. Remember to consult a professional trainer on more complex moves, especially if you are a beginner, so you avoid any potential injuries. Check out our discussion below to decide which shoulder workouts you should incorporate into your exercise regimen.

Product FAQ

Before we begin our discussion on various shoulder workouts, we will answer some frequently asked questions.

Why Are Shoulder Workouts Important?

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The shoulder provides stability and has a large range of motion, but it is also one of the most susceptible joints to injury. It is important to ensure that your shoulders are strong and resistant to potential harm from daily use.

2. What Level of Athleticism Should I Have to Perform Shoulder Workouts?

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The level of athleticism, distinguished as beginner, intermediate, or expert in this article, determines which shoulder workouts are appropriate for you.

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3. What Equipment Do I Need to Perform Shoulder Workouts?

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Typical shoulder workouts require dumbbells or barbells. You can choose to either buy the appropriate equipment or find the necessary items in a standard gym.

4. How Can I Determine How Many Sets and Reps to Complete?

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If you are training for strength, you should choose a higher weight and aim to perform one to six reps. While performing higher reps at a lower weight also builds muscle, it focuses on endurance building. You should aim for sets of 12 to 15 to increase your endurance over time.

How We Reviewed

We reviewed each of these 10 shoulder workouts by discussing their pros and cons, how to perform each exercise, what equipment you should use when performing the exercise and what level of athleticism you should be before performing the exercise.

Overall Price Range Of This Product (And Similar Products)

The price of the equipment for these shoulder workouts ranges between about $ and $$$ if you buy the equipment yourself. You can also find this equipment in a standard gym.

What We Reviewed

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Push Press
  • Upright Barbell Row
  • Standing Military Press
  • Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
  • Dumbbell Incline Row
  • Side Lateral Raise
  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Standing Front Barbell Raise Over Head
  • Arnold Dumbbell Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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Type

The dumbbell shoulder press is a strength exercise that works the shoulders. This is one of many shoulder workouts that utilizes dumbbells. You sit on a military press bench, hold a dumbbell in each hand, place them on the top of your thighs, then raise the dumbbells to shoulder height one at a time. From this starting position, push the dumbbells upward until they touch the top in a contracted position. Then, repeat this exercise for the amount of repetitions in your set.

Pros

  • A multi-joint exercise that will work your shoulders and triceps
  • Allows for more range of motion than using a barbell
  • Greater range of motion increases time under tension, which utilizes the traps 

Cons

  • Lifting too much weight will compromise your form
  • If you use bad form when performing the shoulder press, it can hurt your shoulders
  • Important to keep your elbows positioned correctly

Equipment

Level


Push Press

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Type

The barbell push press allows you to load up the most weight above all other overhead press moves. It is considered a whole-body movement due to its lack of isolation effect. You perform it by putting the barbell atop your upper chest, bend your knees slightly, and explode upward on the balls of your feet while pressing the bar overhead. This works your lower body, core, delts, triceps, and upper pecs.

Pros

  • Utilizes the legs, chest, arms, shoulder, and lower back
  • Olympic weight training technique
  • Segue into more advanced overhead moves

Cons

  • Need to have a high level of skill to perform
  • An explosive exercise, so more potential for injury
  • Detrimental if performed with incorrect form

Equipment

Level


Upright Barbell Row

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Type

You perform the upright barbell row by grasping a barbell with an overhand grip, with hands slightly less than shoulder width apart. The bar should start by resting on the top of your thighs with extended arms. Then, raise your elbows up and keep the bar close to your body as you move upwards. Continue to lift the barbell until it reaches your chin. Then, lower it back down and repeat for the intended number of repetitions.

Pros

  • Targets the upper back and shoulders
  • Great exercise for athletes aiming to gain muscle and power in their deltoids
  • Appropriate for athletes of all experience levels

Cons

  • Can irritate the anterior shoulder
  • Can hurt your neck if done incorrectly
  • You need to use strict form in order to work the shoulders versus the forearms and biceps

Equipment

Level


Standing Military Press

Type

The standing military press is another example of shoulder workouts for beginners, and you can perform it sitting or standing. You begin with slightly bent knees and lift the barbell up over your head by locking your arms. You hold the barbell at about shoulder level, then lower the bar down to the collarbone slowly. Then, you lift the bar back up. You repeat this exercise for the number of repetitions within your set.

Pros

  • Great option for developing shoulder muscles
  • Can perform either standing or seated
  • Can help to stabilize your spine

Cons

  • Lifting too much weight can compromise your form and cause injury
  • Can put unnecessary strain on your lower back
  • Mainly focusses on your shoulders and not on other muscle groups

Equipment

Level


Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

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Type

Also known as the rear delt fly, you place a couple of dumbbells in front of a flat bench with the dumbbells behind your calves, then you bend at the waist with a straight back and lift the dumbbells straight to the side until both arms are parallel to the floor. Then, slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position and repeat for the intended number of repetitions.

Pros

  • Great workout for the shoulders
  • Works the rear deltoid muscles 
  • Uses isolation to build strength and power

Cons

  • Can harm your back if you do not maintain a straight position
  • Relatively strict movement that needs to be controlled
  • Can be dangerous for your neck if you do not have a safe spinal position 

Equipment

Level


Dumbbell Incline Row

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Type

The dumbbell incline row is one of the shoulder workouts that works the delts, while also targeting the middle back. For this exercise, you need to lean into an incline bench. Then, you take a dumbbell in each hand and retract the shoulder blades to row the dumbbells to your side.

Pros

  • Works the back and rear delts
  • A powerful, multi-joint rowing exercise
  • Great way to strengthen the back muscles

Cons

  • Great if performed correctly, but harmful if performed with incorrect form
  • Can be detrimental to your neck if your spine is not straight
  • Can cause injury if you use too much weight

Equipment

Level


Side Lateral Raise

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Type

The side lateral raise is a great single-joint movement for the middle delts, but it is important that you perform this exercise with the correct form. You pick a pair of dumbbells, maintain a stationary position, lift the dumbbells to your side, and lift up your arms to be parallel to the floor. Then, lower the dumbbells back down slowly. Repeat this exercise for the appropriate number of repetitions, according to your set.

Pros

  • Great exercise for the middle delts
  • An appropriate exercise for beginners
  • Can be performed sitting down or standing up

Cons

  • Should not lift very heavy weight with excessive momentum
  • Should ensure that you do not "swing" the weights
  • Should keep abdominals engaged, as it is common for people to relax their abdominal muscles during this exercise

Equipment

Level


Barbell Shoulder Press

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Type

With the barbell shoulder press, you sit on a bench with back support and position a barbell at a height above your head. Then, you pick up the barbell and lift the bar over your head by locking your arms. You then lower the bar down to the shoulders slowly, and you lift the bar back up to the starting position.

Pros

  • A great and powerful shoulder workout
  • A multi-joint exercise that allows you to lift more weight
  • Builds muscle and strength in the traps, triceps, and upper chest

Cons

  • Can be dangerous if practiced incorrectly
  • Should not over-do the weight to avoid potential injury
  • Upper and lower back pulls are possibilities if you perform this exercise in an extreme manner

Equipment

Level


Standing Front Barbell Raise Over Head

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Type

Begin this exercise by standing straight with a barbell in your hands, gripping the bar with palms facing down. Your elbows should be slightly bent, and you lift the barbell up until it is over your head. Then, lower the barbell back down to the starting position and repeat it for the appropriate number of repetitions.

Pros

  • Isolation exercise, which requires movement around one joint and builds strength around it
  • Develops your anterior (frontal) shoulder muscles
  • Works the triceps in addition to the shoulders 

Cons

  • Only targets a few muscles
  • Proper form should be used to avoid injury
  • Not appropriate for people with previous shoulder injuries

Equipment

Level


Arnold Dumbbell Press

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Type

With the Arnold Press, you start with the dumbbells in front of your shoulders with your palms facing you. Press the weights overhead while rotating your wrists so that your palms face forward. Then, rotate your wrists back to the starting position when lowering the weights. You should perform this sitting down, but you can also perform it standing up if you do so with the correct form.

Pros

  • Allow for greater freedom of motion than using a barbell
  • A great move for your delts 
  • Forces your elbows to drop in front of your body, which activates the anterior delts

Cons

  • Must warm up shoulders and rotator-cuffs before performing this exercise
  • If you are a beginner, you should start with lighter weights
  • Dumbbells require the most coordination, so you need to have a concentrated motion

Equipment

Level

The Verdict

While all of these shoulder workouts are great exercises, some will be appropriate for your skill level and goals, while others should be tested with a professional. If you are a beginner, we recommend that you try the side lateral raise to work your delts, the dumbbell incline row to strength your back muscles, the standing military press to stabilize your spine or the upright barbell row to target your upper back. If you are an expert, we recommend that you try the push press to utilize your full body. Regardless of which exercises you choose, make sure you research proper form to avoid injury.

How to Get Definition in Your Delts

July 17, 2019 by  
Filed under Increase Muscle, Weight Lifting

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Our shoulders are used in just about every upper body exercise we do. Because of the extreme range of motion and critical function, it's important to make sure they are strong and that your exercise routine is a balanced one. The shoulder muscles, or delts, are triangular muscles that cover the shoulder joint. In order to develop this group of three muscles, it is important to know how to develop all three in a balanced way. The delts are made up of the anterior, posterior, and medial muscles. There are also smaller rotator cuff muscles. We will share with you a couple of workout routines you can try to get definition in your delts!

 

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Shoulder Structure and Function

The structure of the shoulder is made up of smaller rotator cuff muscles and larger deltoid muscles. The smaller rotator cuff muscles support the ball and socket joint. The larger deltoid muscles are comprised of the posterior, medial, and anterior muscles. Together they move the arm away from the body. The anterior deltoid works with the lats, pectorals, and subscapularis to rotate the humerus bones allowing for the palms to face backward. The posterior delts are involved in a transverse movement. Below are a few exercises for shoulder strength:


STANDING DUMBBELL PRESS

Standing while doing the shoulder press not only exercises your delts, but requires you to stabilize your core and practice balance. To perform this exercise:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand
  • Raise them to eye level, bending your elbows about 90 degrees
  • With your core stabilized, extend your hands up and together, extending your elbows 180 degrees
  • Pause and return to starting position slowly


PRONE REVERSE FLY

Doing this exercise free-hand versus on a machine will allow you to isolate the rear delts and give you more control with your hands. To perform this exercise:

  • Lie down on a flat bench face-down with the balls of your feet firmly on the floor, using a rolled towel to support your forehead
  • With a dumbbell in each hand, slightly bend your elbows with your arms at an angle
  • Pull back your shoulder blades as you bring up the weight, squeezing and releasing in a controlled manner
  • Repeat, remembering to maintain tension and control throughout the reps


BENT-OVER REVERSE FLY 21S

Targeting the rear delts, this exercise also works out the medial and frontal deltoids as well. It's good to add to the end of your routine. Keep the weights light to maintain the correct form and maximize every rep with muscle-mind connection. To perform this exercise:

  • Keeping the core tight, bend over and slightly bend the knees
  • With palms facing each other, do the first seven reps by retracting the scapula, squeezing, and slowly resisting the negative
  • With palms facing down, do the next seven reps; pinkies should be out as the rear delts are squeezed for each rep
  • On the last seven reps, palms are back to facing each other; do a forward raise
  • Shoulders should be down with each lift; lower them slowly in a controlled manner


LATERAL RAISES WITH KETTLEBELLS

Using kettlebells will add more of a challenge to this workout for your shoulder stabilizers and forearms. Each rep needs to be controlled as you focus on squeezing the deltoids. To perform this exercise:

  • Hold kettlebells at your sides
  • Bend elbows slightly, lock your wrists, and lift each one up and out to the side until parallel to the ground; turning your thumbs down at the top of the contraction will target your side deltoids
  • Pause, slowly lowering to starting position
  • Variation: Do this with a heavier weight that hangs underneath the handle


NEUTRAL-GRIP STERNUM CHIN-UP

The exercise will work on your rear delts, lats, and core. To perform this exercise:

  • With a neutral grip, pull your shoulder blades together and pull yourself up until your chest is at the bar
  • Pull yourself up with your shoulders and keep the chest open, squeezing your rear deltoids at peak contraction; your body should be at a 45-degree angle from the ground at the top of the pull
  • Stabilize your core as you slowly lower to starting position, with your body upright


Another Way to Get Definition in Your Delts

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Pre-Exhaustion

This starts with a warm-up of steady and slow presses and rows using dumbbells, followed by a seated side lateral. It works to pre-exhaust your delts, meaning that you will lift less for the following workout:

  • Standing Dumbbell Press - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Dumbbell Upright Row - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Military Press - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Seated Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Front Plate Raise - 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Arnold Dumbbell Press - 3 sets, 10 reps


SITTING DOWN

All shoulder work is done seated. Heavy military presses build the shoulders. Your back, legs, and glutes can't assist while you are seated.

  • Seated Barbell Military Press - 3 sets, 6-8 reps
  • Standing Dumbell Press - 3 sets, 8-10 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10 resp
  • Front Dumbbell Raise - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly - 3 sets, 10 reps

SHOULDERS

  • Side Leg Raises - 4 sets, 12 reps
  • Standing Military Press - 5 sets, 10, 8, 6, 8
  • One-Arm Incline Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets, 10, 8, 8 reps
  • Front Incline Dumbbell Raise - 3 sets, 8 reps
  • Reverse Flys - 3 sets, 12 reps
  • Barbell Shrug - 4 sets, 15, 12, 10, 10 reps
  • Middle Back Shrug - 3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps
  • Smith Machine Behind the Back Shrug - 3 sets, 12, 10, 8 reps


HIGH-VOLUME SHOULDER GAUNTLET

High-volume 28 sets incorporate high-rep sets, supersets, and heavy mass-building. You will see growth, exhaustion, and burnout. Use controlled, slow contractions, hold for a full second at peak, and pause 1 to 2 seconds at the bottom before the next rep.

  • Standing Dumbbell Press - 3 sets, 10 reps
  • Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Front Plate Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Side Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Cable Seated Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Machine Lateral Raise - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Seated Cable Rows - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Reverse Machine Flyes - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Upright Barbell Row - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Barbell Shrug - 3 sets, 10-12 reps
  • Dumbbell Shrug - 3 sets, 12 reps

 

5 More Exercises to Define Your Delts

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SEATED DUMBBELL SHOULDER PRESS

When seated on a bench, press your back against the pad and plant your feet on the floor. With the dumbbells at shoulder height, your elbows out to the sides, and your palms facing forward, lift them straight up. With your arms just short of being straight, lower them and repeat. Make sure not to lock your elbows as this would work out the triceps.

LATERAL RAISES

These exercises will target the medial delts. Sit on a bench with a pair of dumbbells in each hand and your arms down. Slightly bend your elbows and raise both arms to the sides until slightly above the shoulders. Keep palms facing down to maintain tension on the medial deltoids.

FRONT RAISES

Take a comfortable standing position and a pair of dumbbells in your hands and hold them in front of your thighs. Raise the left one forward to shoulder height, lower to starting position, and then repeat with the right one. Alternate this for 20 to 24 reps keeping the elbows bent slightly to work the front delts.

REAR DELTOID CABLE ROWS

Set a cable pulley to shoulder height using the rope attachment. Step back a few steps to get tension with your feet in a shallow lunge position. Pull your elbows back and up slightly to work the rear deltoids. Slowly release the weight and keep the body stable. Relax your neck with your shoulders down.

SEATED TOP-HOLD DUMBBELL PRESSES

While seated on a bench, hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, elbows to the sides and palms forward. Lift one hand straight up and hold, and lift the other to the same height and drop the first hand. Briskly alternate this motion in a controlled pace until you have completed your reps. Make sure not to lock the elbows at the top position.

Conclusion

topless man in grey shorts

Source: Pexels

It's important to remember to stretch after every upper body workout, not before you start. Keep the shoulders pressed down and don't shrug when doing presses or raises. It's easy to tense the neck and traps, which can result in neck strain. Increase tension in your little finger and not your thumbs to increase tension in the deltoids when doing shoulder presses. Keep your elbows and hands in line when doing lateral raises for maximum engagement. Don't lock the elbows at the top of a shoulder press. Don't swing the weights, but move them in a controlled manner when doing raises.

Form is important when doing any exercise. Good form prevents injury and helps you get the maximum benefit from your workout. Always take a little time to think about what you are doing and have fun!

 

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