5 Big Shoulder Workout Mistakes to Avoid 2017 | Solutions
Whether it’s choice and sequence of exercises, how many sets to complete of each move, how heavy to go and reps completed, length of rest periods, or advanced level training techniques and finishing move, each lifter has his or her own workout DNA.Shoulder Your shoulder joints offer an advanced degree of mobility. Three separate delt heads move your arms over 180-degree arcs. This great complexity leads to heightened risks of errors and injuries. So take careful notes as we tackle the 5 most common delt-training blunders and explain how to shoulder workout on correctly. Class is in session.
MISTAKE #1: OVEREMPHASIZING FRONT DELTS
All delt heads do not work equally, and the one that classically carries the heaviest load is the anterior. Your front delts are not only primary movers during overhead presses, they’re also secondary movers during chest and triceps workouts, helping during presses and dips. If you’re doing front raises in adding to a lot of shoulder, chest and tri compound lifts, you’re likely overworking your front delts. This is especially true if you train chest and shoulder workouts in the same workout or on successive days.
- If you hit chest before shoulder workout in the same workout, consider that how much pressing and dipping you have already done before working delts. If the total is at least 8 sets, do no more than 4 sets total of shoulder presses and front raises.
- Don’t train chest and shoulders on consecutive days. Ideally, three days should pass between hitting each, so Middle deltoid if you do chest on Monday, do delts on Thursday.
- Dumbbell presses or presses at the back the neck stress the middle delts more and front delts less, so these are good alternatives to armed presses if you believe that your front delts are overtrained or that they’re outgrowing the other heads.
- One cardinal rule of bodybuilding is that you can never be too wide. And so, it’s usually best to emphasize your middle delts more and front delts less on shoulder day, because the middles (most responsible for shoulder width) get little stress during other workouts and your fronts may assist during both your chest and tri sessions.
MISTAKE #2: UNDEREMPHASIZING REAR DELTS
Just as anterior delts tend to get too much emphasis, posterior delts be inclined to get too little. Rear delts assist during lat excerises, such as rows and pulldowns; but if you’re targeting your lats correctly, it’s improbable that your rear delts are receiving enough work on back or shoulder day to reach their full potential. Most bodybuilders relegate rear laterals to last place in their shoulder routines, and then go through the paces for four sets of negligible intensity. It’s no wonder posterior delts are so frequently your shoulders’ weakest links.
- Consider training rear delts on back day, when you can emphasize them unconnectedly from their front and middle brothers. Perform four to six sets of rear laterals at the end of your back workout.
- If you choose to train posteriors on shoulder workout day, don’t always perform them last in your routine. Instead, do rear laterals after presses — but before any side laterals or front raises — or switch up the order from workout to workout.
MISTAKE #3: TOO FAST AND FURIOUS
Especially when it comes to side laterals and front raises, trainers tend to go too heavy and use too much momentum. Each delt head is fairly small, and to isolate them, you need to minimize together momentum and assistance from other muscles. You may not want to be seen holding 20-pound dumbbells, but if that’s what it takes to best isolate your medial delts, then those are the weights you should be grabbing.
- Do shoulder exercises seated instead of standing to remove your legs from the lifts.
- Choose weights that you can utilize for 8-12 strict reps at a relatively slow pace (1 second up, 2 seconds down).
- Pause at the bottom of reps to begin each rep from a dead end and eliminate any swinging momentum.
MISTAKE #4: IMPROPER FORM
This mistake usually runs in concert with #3. The main culprit is emphasizing the weight and not focusing on muscle stimulation. Thus, the weight is raised by any means necessary. Other times, trainers simply develop bad habits; some never learn how to do lifts in the manner that best stimulates muscle gains. Correct form is especially imperative on shoulder day, because of the ball-and-socket joints’ vulnerability to injury.
- When doing overhead presses, lower your hands to approximately chin level and raise to just short of shut out.
- When doing side laterals, let your elbows lead the way and raise them until they’re even with your shoulders. In the top place, your hands should be just below the level of your elbows (arms slightly bent) with your pinkies up and thumbs down.
- Throughout each set, focus on the deltoid heads you’re targeting, not on the resistance. As Mr. Olympia Jay Cutler says, “Work the muscle, not the weight.”
- After reaching failure in a shoulder exercise, don’t cheat to eke out extra reps. Instead, do a drop set, have a partner help with forced reps or use the rest-pause method.
MISTAKE #5: LACK OF EXERCISE VARIETY
Shoulders may be the only body part you train with just free weights. It’s true that barbells and dumbbells are the most effective training tools, but you can too easily fall into a furrow of doing the same three or four free-weight exercises the same way, workout after workout. Variety is also an effective tool.
- There are a lot of ways to do overhead presses. Try including a different pressing exercise each shoulder workout. Here are three free-weight presses you likely are not doing: underhand presses (press a barbell overhead with a shoulder-width underhand grip); Arnold presses (press dumbbells from underhand at the bottom to overhand at the top); and rack armed
- There’s more to training middle delts than just dumbbell side laterals. On occasion, do side laterals with cables or a machine and, regardless of equipment, you can go unilateral. Wide-grip upright rows are another way of targeting your middle delts.
- Likewise, you can do rear laterals with cables or machines and go unilateral. You can also do widegrip bent-over rows to focus more on your posterior delts. A Smith machine is an effective tool for wide-grip rows; hold each reduction and flex your rear delts.
✔ Work your front delts less and middle delts more.
✔ Train rear delts after back or don’t leave them for last in your shoulder workout routine.
✔ Sit down and slow down to remove momentum from lifts.
✔ Use strict form and avoid cheating, even if only to extend a set beyond failure.
✔ Do a wide variety of shoulder exercises.
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