The shoulder joint is incredibly mobile and responsible for a large amount of movements in sports such as pressing overhead, blocking, and throwing. The best bet for adding size and strength are compound movements that recruit the deltoids, scapula, rotator cuffs, hips, and trunk for improving functional strength.
This muscle-building workout designed by Mike Strevel, C.P.T., training manager at David Barton Gym, will target the deltoids and scapula for total shoulder development.
1. Feet-Elevated Pushup
Rest: 2 min.
Lying facedown on the floor, place your hands shoulder-width apart from each other. Place your toes on top of a bench. Lower yourself slowly until your shoulders and elbows are parallel. Press your upper body back to the start position, exhaling as you lift off the floor.
2. Dumbbell Overhead Press
(load should be 70% of your one-rep max)
Rest: 90 sec.
Sit on a bench and place the dumbbells upright on top of your thighs. Bring the dumbbells up one at a time to shoulder height at each side. Rotate the wrists so that the palms of your hands are facing forward. Press the dumbbells toward the ceiling to full lockout, then slowly return them to the starting position.
3. Face Pull
Rest: 1 min.
Attach a rope or a dual handle to a cable adjusted to shoulder height. Pull the weight toward your face, separate your hands, then bring your elbows up and back.
4A. Seated Alternating to Full Dumbbell Press
(load should be 35-50% of 1RM)
Reps: 10 (each side), then 10 with both arms at same time.
While seated and your palms facing forward for your start position, raise the dumbbells to full extension. Slowly lower only one arm at a time, then press the dumbbell straight up and back into start position. Keep your non-moving hand stationary or in a lockout until the opposite hand returns to the top. Pause, then return weight to start. After completing 10 alternating reps go right into 10 full reps.
4B. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Rest: 90 sec.
While standing with proper posture and dumbbells in each hand. Lift the dumbbells out to your side with a slight bend in your elbows and your hands tilted like you were pouring a jug of water. Raise your hands until parallel with the shoulders, then lower the dumbbells to the starting position.