If there’s one body part that adds an instant air of dominance and masculinity to a man’s physique, it’s the shoulders. They cap off a fit waist (and hopefully the elusive abdominal V), and make your frame look proportional, and sometimes, even bigger than it really is. If you’re not training your shoulder in favor of blasting your bi’s or tri’s, you’re missing out.
If that's not enough to convince you, maybe this will: When we asked 25 women their opinion on the sexiest body part on a man, shoulders dominated. One woman said: “A large upper body—toned back, shoulders, and arms. I like a man who has the power to lift me up…”. But if you don't really care what the ladies think, a strong set of shoulders will make your life easier. Everyday movements like playing sports and lifting suitcases will be more of a breeze, plus you'll reduce your risk for injury during back and chest exercises, and make your workouts less stressful—on your mind and muscles.
We spoke with Noah Bryant, CSCS, co-author of The Size and Strength Blueprint for the 10 best exercises to thicken and widen your shoulders. "To successfully grow a pair of behemoth shoulders you need to be aware that the deltoid is made up of three “heads,” the anterior deltoid (front), the lateral deltoid (side), and the posterior deltoid (rear)," Bryant says. "For symmetrical growth, you always want to start your training with the big, compound movements, then hit all three heads with lighter isolation movements," he adds.
Pick 2-3 compound movements and 3-4 isolation moves on shoulder day to hone capped shoulders, bulked traps, and a broader upper body that'll show through your bulkiest winter sweaters.