How to build shoulders

How to build shoulders

Any athlete who practices bodybuilding wants to have broad and powerful shoulders. The developed shoulder girdle gives the figure an impressive and voluminous appearance – it is not surprising that so much attention is paid to the development of the muscles of this group.

The question of how to build shoulders is not the most difficult – this muscle group responds well to regular loads, is involved in a number of exercises for other muscles and has a wide “range” of exercises for accented training. For this reason, a similar question usually does not cause problems even for beginners. The most important thing is to make the right training complex and master the safe technique of movement – in this case, the shoulders will “respond” very quickly with quality growth.

How to build shoulders

A bit of anatomy

“Iron” sport requires mastering not only the technique of exercises – in order to understand the mechanics and principle of each movement, you need to at least in general terms understand how our muscles are structured and work.

The muscles of the shoulder girdle are called deltoid. Their value is extremely great – because it is the shoulder joint that is the most mobile and at the same time the most fragile, and therefore the issue of building up powerful muscles around it helps not only build a beautiful body, but also protect the shoulder from injuries.

The muscle group is divided into three sections, called by the location around the joint:

  • Front “delta” – is responsible for raising the arm forward.
  • The average “delta” – is responsible for moving the arm to the side. It is its development that visually expands the shoulders when viewed from the front / rear.
  • The back “delta” – is involved in the retraction of the elbow joint back.
  • In addition, all three beams are directly involved in the rotational movements of the hands in the shoulder joint.
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Separately, it should be said about the small muscle group called the rotator (rotational) cuff. Responsible for the rotation of the arm, the cuff is very easily injured – therefore, a high-quality warm-up before the load on the shoulders is required.


The muscles of the shoulder girdle are directly involved in two of the three main basic exercises: bench press (receive dynamic load) and deadlift (receive static load). In addition, they are involved in such a basic movement as traction (barbells, dumbbells, in a block simulator), and in all directions.

The accented basic exercise for the deltoid muscles is the bench press. It can be performed in several variations: standing, sitting, barbell, dumbbells, kettlebells, from behind the head and chest. Regardless of the option chosen, the load is received by all three bundles of deltoids – the difference lies only in its distribution.

More complex variations of this exercise are Arnold’s bench press and Cuban bench press. The advantage of their implementation is that the rotator cuff receives a significant load.

Isolating exercises

If you are interested in how to build up your shoulders in a beautiful and regular form – one “base” is clearly not enough to achieve this goal. You will also have to perform isolating exercises, which make it possible to accentuate “finish” each beam individually.

Let’s make a list of isolating exercises for deltoids:

  • Breeding hands with dumbbells (or in a crossover) to the side while standing. The middle beam is involved.
  • Swing hands with dumbbells (with pancake, in the block simulator) forward. The front beam is engaged.
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There are several exercises for the posterior bundle:

  • Breeding hands with dumbbells in an incline (standing, sitting).
  • Dumbbell dumbbell pull.
  • Standing rod behind the back.

Important nuances and tips

  1. Working weight. Since the shoulder joint is fragile and can easily be injured, the use of large weights is not recommended, even during weight gain and in basic exercises. It is best to limit yourself to average weight (so that you can independently perform 7-10 repetitions).
  2. The number of repetitions. For basic exercises – 5-12, for isolating – you can increase the number to 20.
  3. Be sure to include not only the “base” in the training complex, but also the isolating exercises designed to work out each “delta” separately. Neglecting (if there is not enough time or effort) is possible only with the front beam – it already gets enough load in the bench exercises.