Construct Shoulders Like an Olympian – Greater Stronger Leaner – COMMUNITY

5 Delt Workouts You Want

Right here’s how Shelace Shoemaker, IFBB Professional, builds her Olympia-worthy delts, plus some sensible programming suggestions.

I’ve had the privilege of coaching IFBB Professional Shelace Shoemaker, who pushed onerous to finally obtain two back-to-back Olympia contests. And she or he did it whereas managing previous accidents and never beating her physique up within the course of.

In the present day, we’ll share some insights into how we’ve constructed Olympia-worthy shoulders, together with a few of Shelace’s favourite workout routines. We’ll additionally give some context on how we program sure workout routines to get probably the most out of them. Let’s bounce straight into the workout routines.

1. Supported Cuban Press

Cuban presses are an awesome choice to kick off your exercise. They’ll put together and prime your shoulders, ship blood to all the suitable locations, and construct power in your rear delts and shoulder exterior rotators.

Do them from an incline. Simply set your bench to anyplace between a 30 to 45-degree angle. In comparison with the standing variation, Cuban presses on an incline bench goal your rear delts much more, maintain the motion strict, and place your shoulders in a extra snug place.


Do 3-4 units of 10-15 reps on the very begin of your shoulder exercise. Progressively ramp up the load till it’s a problem. Simply be sure that it’s not so heavy that you simply lose type.

2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Nothing beats consistency on the massive fundamentals. Over time, it’s possible you’ll hit a plateau, and whereas many regard them as a destructive, plateaus are a superb reminder that you simply’ve caught to an train lengthy sufficient to succeed in the purpose that you could’t squeeze far more out of it.

At that time, layer in a brand new key indicator elevate, like a barbell shoulder press. Work onerous at progressing it and reaching a plateau. Then attempt going again to the dumbbell shoulder press after a month or two, or do a totally completely different train.

We desire seated dumbbell and barbell shoulder presses due to the slight distinction in urgent angle on the shoulder joint.

For Shelace, the seated model is less complicated on the low again in comparison with standing variations. Shoulder presses have a tendency to focus on the anterior delts a bit greater than different areas, so it’s essential to contemplate that when structuring the remainder of your coaching plan.


When you’re coaching successfully, you shouldn’t want to make use of multiple shoulder press variation per exercise. Perhaps two. However, if that’s the case, the second variation needs to be from one other angle to fatigue these delt fibers barely in a different way.

Lifters that embody too many presses in a single exercise find yourself with varied shoulder points in the long term. People who don’t are typically those which have received the genetic lottery with their shoulder anatomy and/or do an awesome job at sustaining good structural steadiness round their shoulder joints. Most don’t.

Begin your shoulder exercise with workout routines that strengthen your shoulder exterior rotators, rear delts, and deep stabilizers, then put your key indicator lifts extra in direction of the center of your exercises.

In physique sports activities and when coaching to look nice bare, nobody wins a prize for the heaviest shoulder press. You’re judged on seems alone (on the seashore, too), and for those who can maintain your shoulders wholesome when constructing them, then you definitely’re successful each on stage and in life.

3. Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

You too can use seated barbell shoulder presses as a key indicator elevate. The draw back to barbell urgent is your lack of freedom with a stiff, straight bar. Your joints aren’t all the time as properly aligned as they may be with dumbbells.

Nonetheless, the benefit of the barbell is that it lends itself to progressive overload and including the smallest weight increments out there. You possibly can “encourage” load development relatively than power it.


When coaching for aesthetics (and with longevity in thoughts), carry out your heavier urgent workout routines in direction of the center of your exercises relatively than very first thing.

Do anyplace from 3-5 high units of 5-12 reps. Your units and reps will rely upon the section of your coaching and time of yr (competitors prep versus offseason and so on.). If working within the decrease rep vary (5-7 reps), gradual the tempo and emphasize eccentric management. We wish to all the time “dominate” that eccentric section open each rep!

4. Chest-Supported Lateral Increase

Lateral raises are a staple if you wish to isolate your delts. Once you’re attempting to construct an awesome physique, wider shoulders look higher and provides the phantasm of a smaller waistline.

Chest-supported lateral raises put you within the excellent place and arm path to focus on your medial delts. In addition they assist get rid of physique English. Utilizing the scapular airplane and elevating the dumbbells about 30 levels ahead additionally higher aligns your shoulder joints for maximal stability and well being.


Lifters typically change between dumbbell and cable lateral increase variations and can typically use completely different varieties in the identical exercise. Whereas dumbbells place maximal load in your delts extra towards the highest of the motion, cable lateral raises are inclined to overload the center and backside of the motion extra, relying on the way you set them up.

So attempt including a quick pause on the high of every lateral increase when utilizing dumbbells or on the backside to emphasise the stretch throughout cable variations. If medial delts are your weak level, then think about inserting them towards the beginning of your exercises.

Many elite physique athletes pump up their medial delts first earlier than doing their presses. This works properly. Or you possibly can place them within the center or close to the top of your exercises in the event that they’re not a lot of a precedence. Lastly, you need to use just a few lateral increase variations in the identical exercise and do them at completely different factors. Simply be sure to’re working completely different angles or factors of maximal load.

When you’re nonetheless undecided the place your delts are getting hit probably the most, use these two lists as a fast reference level:

PML = Level of Maximal Load


  • Chest-Supported Lateral Increase
  • Seated or Standing Dumbbell Lateral Increase
  • Lateral Increase with Kettlebells
  • Lean-Away Lateral Increase
  • Cable Lateral Increase Variations: The place the cable is coming straight up, versus throughout your physique


  • Cross-Physique Cable Lateral Increase
  • X-Cable Lateral Increase
  • Bench Aspect-Mendacity Dumbbell Lateral Increase
  • Dumbbell Lateral Increase: The place purposeful momentum is used on the backside (e.g., delt swings)

Bonus Tip: Nicely-designed lateral increase machines supply comparatively even loading all through.

5. DeFranco Shoulder Shocker

Named after T Nation Coach Joe DeFranco, there are many mixtures you might attempt right here. It’s typically 3-5 workout routines, every carried out one after the opposite in a mechanical drop-set trend.

Begin together with your weakest train, then change to at least one a bit stronger, then to your strongest. By the point you get to that closing train, your delts shall be screaming. Typically, these goal a number of areas of your shoulders, however that depends upon the workout routines you select.

Right here’s considered one of our favourite shoulder shockers we got here up with. Attempt to sustain:

  1. Fixed Rigidity Alternate Lateral Increase
  2. Alternate Increase (Seesaw Increase)
  3. Seated Lateral Increase
  4. Eccentric Lateral Increase
  5. Partial Lateral Increase (Backside Half)

Begin with someplace between 8-15 reps. The burden you’re utilizing needs to be directed by your power within the first train within the collection.


You’ll wish to depart the health club after doing these. Or at the least spend the following 10 minutes admiring your delt pump within the rest room mirror. So, greatest maintain these for the top of your exercise.

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