Develop stronger shoulders with these 6 power exercises (and nutrition tips)

Developing big shoulders can be difficult. But with the right fitness technique, exercises and diet you will end up with muscular, strong and well-trained shoulders. In this article you will read exactly how to accomplish this. It includes a 6-exercise workout plan that is your lucky lottery ticket to the big-shoulder jackpot!

 

This article discusses:

 

1.       The right fitness techniques

2.       The (very important) 1RM weight principle

3.       Complete shoulder workout plan

4.       Explanation of exercises

5.       The best nutrition to support muscle strength

 

Develop stronger shoulders with these 6 power exercises (and nutrition tips)!

shoulder workout dumbbell press

1. The right fitness techniques

If you want to build bigger and stronger shoulders, it’s crucial that you practice the right fitness technique. This refers to the most important components of your training schedule: the number of exercises per training day, the number of sets per exercise, the number of repetitions (reps) per set and rest time.

 

If you want to achieve results fast and develop stronger shoulders in just a couple of weeks, then the right fitness technique is crucial!

 

Number of sets

Perform between 4 and 6 sets per exercise. Performing less sets will not be effective, you need to really get those shoulder muscles burning!

 

Number of reps

When focusing on developing strength, perform a relatively low amount of reps with heavy weights. Sets that contain between 1 and 6 reps are perfect when you want to gain extra muscle strength.

 

Number of exercises

To ensure that you get the most out of your workout, perform at least 5 exercises per muscle group. If you perform less than 5 exercises your workout is not effective. My advice is to aim to perform 5 exercises for small muscle groups (biceps, triceps, shoulders and abs) and 6 exercises for big muscle groups (legs, chest and back).

 

Rest time

Because you are training with relatively heavy weights, it’s important to take your time in between sets to recover. In order to give your muscles enough time to recover, rest at least 90 seconds between sets. But don’t overdo it, the maximum time to rest is 2 minutes. If you rest any longer your workout will decrease in effectiveness.  

shoulder workout training schedule

2. The 1RM weight principle

The fitness technique above is missing one very important factor: weight. The weight that you use during your workout determines the result. If you don’t select the right weight you will never develop stronger shoulders.

 

In order to gain muscle strength, you have to select a weight that is between 80% and 100% of your 1RM. This sounds difficult but the principle is actually really easy, let me explain.

 

RM stands for Repetition Maximum. It refers to the heaviest weight with which you can perform 1 repetition with. For example, the heaviest weight with which you can make 1 shoulder press with is 100 lbs. To increase your strength you perform this exercise with 80 to 100 lbs (80% - 100% of 100 lbs).

 

If you want to focus on gaining muscle mass you use a weight which is 70% of your 1RM. And when you want to lose weight and tone your muscles you use a weight which is between 0% and 50% of your 1RM.

 

The weight that you use and the number of reps that you perform determine for 99% the outcome of your workout.

 

3. Complete shoulder workout plan

Together with the fitness techniques explained above, this workout plan contains the 6 best shoulder exercises to gain massive strength in a matter of weeks. Every exercise is explained underneath the workout plan, don’t forget to check that out as well!

 

The dumbbell press and barbell press exercises focus on the top part of your shoulder. They are very effective exercises to create that big, round and strong shoulder muscle.

 

By performing the dumbbell side raise and dumbbell fly exercises you really target the outside part of your shoulder muscle. It’s this part of your shoulder that mainly determines the width of your upper body.

 

And via the dumbbell front raise and bent-over cable raise you target the front of your shoulders.

 

workout plan shoulders, training schedule shoulders

4. Explanation of exercises

shoulder workout dumbbell press

Dumbbell press

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing forward and bring them up next to your head. Your arms are in a 90 degree angle, your upper arms are on the same horizontal line. Press the dumbbells up and stretch your arms out. Bring both dumbbells together above your head but don’t let them touch. Then slowly lower them back to starting position.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle& infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout training plan schedule dumbbell side raise

Dumbbell side raise

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body and let them rest on your upper legs next to your body. Bring both dumbbells to the side while keeping your arms straight. When your arms are straight and reach shoulder height keep the weight still for a moment and then slowly lower them back to starting position. Don’t let the dumbbells touch your legs when you bring them back and repeat this movement.

Target muscle(s): side shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout dumbbell front raise

Dumbbell front raise

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body and let them rest on your upper legs. Bring one dumbbell forward with a straight arm. When your arm is straight and reaches shoulder height keep the weight still for a moment and then slowly lower it back to starting position. Move the dumbbell next to your body without touching your leg. Perform the same movement with the other arm.

Target muscle(s): front shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout training schedule barbell press

Barbell press

You perform this exercise with a barbell. Grab the barbell with your hands at shoulder width and your palms facing forward. Lower the barbell in the back of your neck and press it out until your arms are stretched. Then slowly lower the barbell back into your neck and repeat the movement.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout dumbbell fly

Dumbbell fly

Hold both dumbbells in front of your body level with your navel with your arms in a 90 degree angle. Then bring the dumbbells to the side while keeping your arms in the same angle. Perform this movement until the dumbbells reach shoulder height. Then slowly lower them back to starting position.

Target muscle(s): front, side & top shoulder muscle & infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder exercises bent-over cable raise

Bent-over cable raise

You perform this exercise at a cable station that has 2 cables. Stand in front of the station in the middle of both cables. Select the lowest position for the cables. Grab the left cable with your right hand and the right cable with your left hand. Bent over by bending your knees and sticking your buttocks backwards. The cables cross in front of your body near your chest. 

Target muscle(s): front, side & top shoulder muscle & infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●●

 

5. The best nutrition

When you want to gain muscle strength, it’s important to fuel your body with the right nutrition. Gaining strength means eating enough protein.

 

By eating enough protein you will achieve your results even faster. That’s why eating the right products in the right quantity is so important!

 

Amino acids

Taking in enough protein is important because protein contains amino acids. Amino acids act as building blocks for your body. They are essential in building and restoring muscle mass and strength.

 

There are essential and non-essential amino acids. Your body can produce non-essential amino acids itself. The essential amino acids have to be taken in via your diet or supplements.

 

In total there are 22 different types of amino acids of which 9 are essential. The 3 main essential amino acids are leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids are called BCAA’s: Branched Chain Amino Acids.

 

Whey protein

The most complete form of protein is whey protein. Whey protein comes in 3 different types: whey protein concentrate, whey protein isolate and whey protein hydrolyzate. The most pure form, and with that the best variant, is the hydrolyzate. Whey hydrolyzate consists for 99% out of pure protein.

 

Quantity

Every person needs about 0,8 gram of protein per kilo body weight. If you weigh 80 kilo’s you have to eat 0,8*80 = 64 grams of protein per day.

 

But when you want to develop extra muscle mass and strength you need to eat between 1,5 and 2 gram of protein per kilo body weight. A person that weighs 80 kilo needs between 120 and 160 grams of protein per day.

 

Supplements

An easy way to take in a high doses of protein is via a protein or amino shake. These shakes are highly concentrated which makes them ideal for a fast intake. Each scoop contains around 40 gram of protein. A 3-scoop shake therefore gives you 120 grams of protein. This is the equivalent of 5 chicken breasts.

 

Protein rich products

This list contains products with the highest amount of protein per 100 grams. Include these products in your diet to build muscle mass and strength fast!

 

protein products

Conclusion

If you want to build bigger and stronger shoulders, it’s crucial that you practice the right fitness technique:

 

Number of sets per exercise: between 4 & 6

Number of reps per set: between 1 & 6

Number of exercises per muscle group: at least 5

Rest time: between 1,5 & 2 minutes

 

In order to gain muscle strength, you have to select a weight that is between 80% and 100% of your 1RM. RM stands for Repetition Maximum. It refers to the heaviest weight with which you can perform 1 repetition with.

 

Gaining strength means eating enough protein. By eating enough protein you will achieve your results even faster. Taking in enough protein is important because protein contains amino acids. 

 

The most complete form of protein is whey protein. The most pure form, and with that the best variant, is the hydrolyzate. Whey hydrolyzate consists for 99% out of pure protein.

 

When you want to develop extra muscle mass and strength you need to eat between 1,5 and 2 gram of protein per kilo body weight.

 

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