In part 1 of our series of how to develop the perfect “V-Taper”
Building Boulder Shoulders
Most people think that in order to get that V shaped upper body like comic book super heroes. Only developing big broad back muscles and lats. Well, by having broad back muscles and well developed lats. Only part of the equation to get a V shape upper body. For complete V shape upper body development, you will also need to build a powerful chest. Big strong shoulder muscles or commonly called deltoids or delts for short and a slim waist.
Every bodybuilder and weight trainer will have his or her favorite exercises for each body part. That’s how it should be – as you progress through the various stages of learning you’ll understand what works best for you. It is useful, however, to take stock of your progress every so often and carry out an analysis of where you are and what changes, if any, are needed to move on wards and upwards.
Big Shoulder Muscles
We shall discuss how to build big shoulder muscles in this article. You see, you may have a wonderful six pack abs or well defined chest muscles. But when you are in your street clothes, no one can see them. But if you have that massive V shape with bulging shoulder muscles. Your body frame will tell the world that under those clothes is a well defined body of a gym warrior. Grab some bodybuilding supplements and get started on bulking those shoulders !
As with building any muscles in your body, intensity is the key to building big deltoids. Your shoulder muscles are made up primarily of the anterior deltoid (front delt). Medial deltoid (middle delt) and posterior deltoid (back delt). All 3 parts of your shoulder muscles must be targeted to build well defined. Big strong deltoids that threaten to burst through your shirt. The problem here is that most people do not know that they must work on all 3 shoulder muscles.
While doing most shoulder workouts by just concentrating on the anterior delts with exercises such as military press. Furthermore, working only on anterior delts could lead to over training your shoulder muscles. Because many other exercises like the bench press, dips and push ups also recruit shoulder muscles for its movements.
Don’t let bad exercise form cause you injuries that may be permanent and put you out of the gym forever. One common injury prone exercise is the narrow grip upright row. Although this is a great trapezius and shoulder muscle exercise, it should be avoided because this exercise invokes unnatural and awkward shoulder joint movement.
So what exercises are good for building big strong deltoids? Well, besides the military presses, try Arnold Press, Lateral Raise, Bent Over Lateral Raises, Shoulder Width Upright Row and Shoulder Cable exercises. Ask your personal trainer or read up on how to perform these exercises in excellent form for great shoulder muscle development.
Remember that you must also develop other aspects such as a big broad chest, wide back muscles and flared lats as well as a slim waistline to get that much coveted V shaped upper body.
Beginner Shoulder Workout
All exercises performed to failure with one set of six to eight reps. Here are some shoulder workouts to get you started.
1. Dumbbell lateral raises – this exercise provides the best way to develop the lateral head of the deltoid muscle.
– Hold the dumbbells at the sides with the palms facing the thighs.
– Raise the arms up and to the sides until parallel to the floor. Make sure the elbows remain slightly bent.
– Lower with control to the starting position.
2. Bent-over dumbbell lateral raises.
– Bend over at the waist with the knees slightly bent.
– Raise the arms up and to the sides as high as possible.
– Lower with control to the starting position.
Advanced Shoulder/Deltoid Workout
All overhead presses:
Proper range of motion is to lower the bar. Or dumbbells or machine movements arms until your upper arms are parallel to the ground. Some insist on lowering until dumbbells touch shoulders or bar hits clavicles. This is too far and overstretches your shoulder joints.
Dumbbell lateral raises:
Keep your hands slightly higher than your elbows as you bring the weights up. For some, the “pouring water out” motion at the top of rep enhances the muscle contraction. For others, it does nothing. Experiment with light dumbbells to find the right form for you that allows you to feel the side delts contracting maximally.
The correct form for upright rows isn’t a straight upward pull. Rather an arcing motion of pulling up and back. Think about pulling the bar or dumbbells over your shoulders. Obviously that’s not possible, but it will put you in the proper plane of motion.
Delt Program Routines:
Full shoulder routine A
- Bent dumbbell lateral raises 4X12
- Rope face pulls 4 X12
- Seated dumbbell presses 4X12
- Dumbbell lateral raises 4X12
- Wide-grip barbell upright rows 4X12
- Smith machine presses 4X12
Full shoulder routine B
- Machine rear lateral raises 4X12
- One-arm cable rear lateral raises 4X12
- Barbell military presses 4X12
- Machine lateral raises 4X12
- Dumbbell upright rows 4X12
- Machine presses 4X12
Side delt “bonus” routine A
- One-arm cable lateral raises 4X12 each arm
- Seated dumbbell lateral raises 7X10-12…same weight and only 30 seconds between sets.
Side delt “bonus” routine B
Up and down the rack -Laterals 2 rounds. Start with a pair of light dumbbells, doing 10-12 reps. Move up the rack without resting until you reach weight you can only do six to eight reps. Immediately reverse direction and grab lighter dumbbells. Continuing until the pump is too much to bear. Even light dumbbells impossible to budge.
The progression might look like this:
15×12: 20X12: 25X12: 30X10: 35X10: 40X18: 35X8: 30X8: 25X10: 20X10: 15X8
When these workouts combined with a healthy diet and bodybuilding supplements, your body will transform!