- XPN World

In all my years of pursuing a stronger bench press and squat, my shoulders never got seriously injured (knock on wood). Although there could be many reasons for this (one of them being I simply don’t bench heavy enough, YET), I believe my love for bodybuilding, hypertrophy training & strongman training has helped me develop muscle mass all around my upper back & shoulders that would keep them safe, and counter the over-powering effect benching might have had on my anterior chain throughout the years. Here’s a simple but extremely efficient shoulder workout that I personally love. Add this to your weekly routine and see your shoulder strength and size soar to new heights. What we know:
  • The shoulder joint is fragile and very complex.
  • It’s very easy to let other strong muscles compensate for weak delts so it’s better to drop the weights & make sure your technique is sound.
  • We also know the shoulders respond best in hypertrophy to longer time under tension (TUT) then other muscles groups.
What you need to know:
  • Simple & efficient, this workout focuses on all 3 heads of the shoulder girdle while also working the upper back.
  • There are 2 complexes to this workout, perform 5 sets of each.
  • Use lighter weights, focus on proper technique & chase maximum muscle contraction. .
  • The lactate buildup will be painful. J
COMPLEX #1: BARBELL OVERHEAD COMPLEX: Perform 5 sets. 1- Behind the neck press 6-8x 2- Military press 6-8x 3- Push press + 5 sec eccentric AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) 4- Behing the neck Loaded stretch ALAP (As Long As Possible) How to do it:
  • Use the same weight from beginning to end of the complex.
  • Ground your feet tight on the ground, contract your glutes and abs and keep your shoulder blades squeezed back throughout each exercise.
  • Rack the bar and take 10 seconds between exercises 1-2-3 but not between 3 & 4, go right into the loaded stretch.
  • 2-3 mins rest between sets.
  • Keep proper alignment between the bar, your wrists, and your elbows.
  • Make sure to contract the shoulders as HARD as possible while holding the loaded stretch position. Don’t just hold it there, the contraction needs to be intentional.
*IMPORTANT: If you don’t have the shoulder mobility to perform the barbell behind the neck press, replace it with standing dumbbell presses. ADVANCED VARIATION: You can use a cambered bar like I’m doing in this video, the swinging of the weights back and forth will want to throw you off balance & you’ll have to work that much harder to keep everything tight and aligned, clawing the ground for dear life, squeezing the glutes, and tensing the core as much as you possibly can. COMPLEX #2: DUMBELL SHOULDER BLAST: Perform 5 sets. 1- Seated bent over rear flies (thumbs down) 10x 2- Front raises (turn hands in going up) 10x 3- Side raises (thumbs up) 10x 4- Shoulder presses 10x How to do it:
  • Use the same weight from beginning to end of the complex.
  • Don’t swing the dumbells, initiate every rep by contracting the deltoids.
  • This complex starts with the easiest exercise (hitting the weakest part of the shoulder) and gets harder and harder as you progress, keeping the easiest exercise for the end. But by then since your shoulders are completely fried, even pressing the lightest weights seems nearly impossible.
  • NEVER allow the dumbells to touch the floor or rest on your thighs between exercises, as painful as it may be, keep moving throughout the whole set. The goal is to create as much muscular contraction as possible & restrict blood flow to the area during the set.
  • 2 mins rest between sets.