8 Super Effective Exercises for Broad Shoulders – What can be “manlier” than broad and powerful shoulders?. Other than being thoughtful, charming and witty, you ask?. Well, personality aside, if you’re aiming at a strong and masculine look, your arms and shoulders are the thing to start from. I mean, even if you don’t pay that much attention to the rest of your body, broad shoulders will give you that much desired V-shape, making you look bigger — in a good way, of course. So let’s have a look at what you can do!.
1. Dumbbell shoulder press
This exercise is aimed at the front and middle parts of your shoulder muscles. You can do it either standing or sitting, the latter being easier on your lower back,which is always good, so I recommend starting with it. Sit on a bench and press your back against the back support. Take a dumbbell with each hand and raise your hands to shoulder height, your palms facing forward.
Now exhale and push your arms up, straightening them and letting the dumbbells meet above your head. Hold them up for a second, inhale, and slowly return to the initial position. It’s important to note that for this and all the following exercises, when you take the weights, it’s best to take the heaviest you can lift and do as many reps as you can before you fail. Have a short rest and then give it another go. Don’t get discouraged that you can’t do as many reps as the first time around — this is absolutely okay, your muscles get tired. Just do your best, and you’ll be alright.
2. Side lateral raise
Had some rest?. Good. Get ready for another set!. This one will target mainly the middle section of your shoulders, which helps them look rounded. Stand straight with a dumbbell in either hand and with your feet shoulder width apart. Your arms should hang along your body with your palms facing your torso. Exhale and slowly raise your arms to the sides until they’re level with your shoulders.
Don’t go any higher — you might get injured and nobody will see how cool you are anyway. Also, slightly bend your elbows when lifting: it’ll create additional leverage and make it easier for you to stand still. By the way, standing in an upright position without swinging is very important for the correct form. You want your shoulders bigger or your spine screwed?. So there.
Now, when your arms are parallel to the floor, hold them for a second, inhale, and slowly go back down. That’s one rep. Once again, do as many reps with the heaviest weights as you can until you fail, then followup with a couple more sets until you simply can’t do it any longer. After that, have some well-deserved rest. Hmm, 30 seconds, hm?
3. Seated bent-over raise
Let’s finally make your rear shoulder sections work, shall we?. Sit down on the end of a bench and bend over, almost touching your chest to your knees. Grip your trusty dumbbells as if your life depends on them and get ready to lift. Put your legs together, keep your back straight and your palms facing your calves.
Now slightly bend your elbows, exhale, and raise your arms to the sides until they’re parallel to the floor. Don’t swing your torso or raise the arms back — this is poor form, and you won’t get anything from it except pain in the back. Hold on for a second, inhale, and slowly lower your arms back to your calves. Repeat as many times… okay, I’ve said this twice already, I think you get it.
4. Standing dumbbell fly
Middle shoulder sections again so that your arms don’t get mad at you. Stand up straight, holding a dumbbell in either hand. Hang your arms straight along your body, with your palms facing the torso. Plant your feet firmly on the ground, shoulder width apart. Now exhale and, keeping your torso stationary, raise your arms to the sides.
If you’ve been listening to me (you have, haven’t you?), then you’ll be lifting relatively heavy weights, so you won’t be able to raise your arms full parallel to the floor. That’s good — you don’t need to. Just raise them as high as you can without over straining yourself. If you look in the mirror, you’ll see you look like Batman in mid-jump from a roof.
Or like a fly, but I prefer Batman. This exercise is almost like the side lateral raise but not quite. With standing dumbbell fly you concentrate more on your middle shoulder sections, isolating those muscle heads and giving them more prominence.
5. Seated dumbbell clean
Now this one is an explosive strength exercise that will give your front sections a nice shock. Seat on the end of a bench, planting your feet firmly on the floor about shoulder width apart. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing backwards. Lean forward, keeping your back straight, and then burst upwards, straightening yourself and raising the dumbbells to the shoulder level in a swift motion.
Make sure to flip your wrists and catch the weights on top, or you’ll just fall on your face, especially if they’re heavy. Remember that your lower back shouldn’t take any part in this: your main goal is to explode with your shoulders so that they start to burn. Hold the top position for a second, then, without letting the momentum drag you, slowly return to the initial position.
Yes, that’s the name of the next exercise. Did you expect something more elaborate?. Sorry. Anyway, I guess you’re already tired of dumbbells by now, so how about some change of scenery?. Sit on a bench and place your palms on its edge, gripping it with your fingers on either side of your body. Plant your legs firmly on the floor, or even better, if you have an elevated object not quite as high as the bench you’re sitting on, place your feet on it.
This way, your legs will be suspended, making the exercise more effective. Now slide your butt off the bench, holding your body weight with your hands and feet. Then inhale and lower your body until your elbows make a right angle and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale and push yourself up until your arms are straight again. Dips are an excellent workout for all three sections of your shoulders plus your triceps,and their additional bonus is that they don’t require any special equipment: if you don’t have a bench, a regular chair will do just as well.
7. Pike press
Look, another exercise and still no dumbbells needed!. This one looks a bit strange but it’s great for the front and middle sections of your shoulders as well as your upper back as an added benefit. Get into a regular push-up position with your arms straight, palms right beneath the shoulders,and your legs straight too, propped on the toes.
Push your hips up so that your whole body now makes a reversed V-shape. Make sure your arms, back, and head make a straight line at an angle to the floor. Now lower your body in a dive-like motion, keeping your legs straight and only bending your elbows. At the end of it, your forehead should nearly touch the floor between your hands. Exhale and press yourself back up. That’s one rep. Look at it as a push-up gone wrong.
8. Dumbbell shrugs
Hey, dumbbells are back!Missing them?. I know, me neither. Still, we need to finish this off with an exercise that’s good for your entire shoulder,and dumbbell shrugs are an excellent workout for this. Basically, they are what they sound like: shrugs. Grab the dumbbells and stand up straight with your feet hip width apart and your arms straight along your body.
Don’t bend your elbows, just let them hang. Now, without any extra movements raise your shoulders as high up as you can, hold on fora second, and lower them back. Repeat for as many times as you can — well, the usual routine. And here we are, that’s it for today’s shoulder workout!One of the best things about it (apart from the whole shoulder-growing thing, of course)is that it doesn’t take much time: at the beginning, all 8 exercises will take you about 10-15 minutes to complete.
A couple of things to remember before you go grab your dumbbells, though:Don’t forget to do a warm-up before a workout — I know it’s kinda obvious, but your muscles need to be ready for intensive training. Otherwise you risk injuries and excess muscle pain afterwards. Same goes for cool down exercises after working out. Many people neglect them, but they’re important if you want your muscles to grow at their best rate.
They look the same as warm-up, but here you unwind your muscles to let them recover faster instead of getting them ready for action. And finally, don’t be too hard on yourself — let your shoulders rest between training sessions. Three times a week should be enough for the optimal regimen. If you do this set every day, your muscles won’t be able to recover and you won’t do yourself a favor. Remember: everything’s good in moderation. Except ice cream. With ice cream, too much of a good thing can be …wonderful.