How To Get Boulder Shoulders
Nothing sets you apart from the crowd and tells everyone you are a bodybuilder like a nice set of fully capped and rounded off deltoids. Huge delts are a signature of a bodybuilder because regardless of what type of shirt you are wearing (or lack thereof), there’s just no hiding them. If you are a vertically challenged individual and have come to the realization that you’ll never be any taller than what you are, then you may as well work at getting as wide as you can. If you do have some height then once you build those shoulders up to impressive proportions, you will be one intimidating sight to be seen. When it comes to training deltoids, there are a few strategies you always want to employ (such as fully warming up prior to hitting it heavy) but there are also things you may want to avoid in your quest to becoming so wide that you have to turn sideways to walk through doors. Here are five commonly made mistakes when training deltoids.
#1 Neglecting the rear deltoids
You will never develop fully rounded off deltoids if you neglect to train the rear portion of your shoulder otherwise known as the rear deltoids. From the front, everything may look great. However when you are looked at from the side, the lack of muscle development in that area will be glaringly obvious and a huge hit to your symmetry.
#2 Overhead pressing first
This may go against the grain a little bit here but the secret to building nice round deltoids is focusing on the lateral head of deltoid and not the front. Overhead pressing is a power movement and one you can really build up to using a ton of weight which does look awesome. But in the overall game of deltoid development, leaving overhead pressing to the end might be a better idea; growth wise and injury prevention wise.
#3 Incorrect form for lateral raises
By far, this is one of the most difficult exercises to teach a beginner. Too much weight is always used which leads to poor form. Here’s an analogy for you; think of the dumbbells as water bottles, start with them in front of your hips. As you raises your arms up simply pour the water out. At the top of the movement your elbows should be slightly higher than your wrists.
#4 Ballistic movements over Time Under Tension
Swinging dumbbells and half reps for overhead pressing movements are far too common. Yes it’s cool to throw around some heavy weight but what’s even better than that is executing movements using time under tension principles that will yield far greater gains in your deltoids than just getting the weight from point a to b regardless of how that happens.
#5 Neglecting machines
Everyone knows free weights build muscle best. That being said, machines can offer you phenomenal peak contractions when training the delts. They also offer you a very safe alternative for many free weight movements when possible injury is at the forefront of your mind. A nice mix of free weights and machines is your best bet when attacking shoulders.
By avoiding these 5 commonly made mistakes you’ll be well on your way to building a pair of boulder shoulders that’ll be hard to fit into any shirt you wear allowing you to sign off as a bodybuilder any time you want!
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Athlete, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador, Sponsored by Schiek Sports Inc.