How To Get Bigger Shoulders

Step-by-step Instructions

Here is what you need to do...
Step 1

First off I would like to discuss diet for lifting. The optimal diet for a lifter trying to build muscle is going to be a large amount of carbs and protein with minimal fats. You should get around 1.5 grams of protein and carbs per pound of body fat and your fats in your diet should be essential fats from fish or almonds. I would do shoulders one time every week and during this shoulder session, I would about 4-5 shoulder specific exercises. Good lifts to increase shoulder size are barbell shoulder press, lateral dumbbell raises, barbell front raises, and reverse pec flies with dumbbells. For each lift I recommend doing 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps. The 8-12 reps are in the key rep range for muscle building.

Step 2

To perform a quality shoulder press with a barbell you will want to start with the barbell above your head and slowly lower the barbell to about your nose, making sure not to go to low and risk injury. When you reach the height of your nose you will want to press with your shoulders and extend your arms in a quick manner and then slowly repeat back down to your nose for 8-12 reps. The next lift will be the lateral dumbbell raises. For this lift you will want to find a fairly light dumbbell that you will be able to do 8-12 reps with fairly easy. You will start with these dumbbells at your sides and raise them laterally up to parallel and then slowly control the dumbbells back to your side. Repeat this lift for another 8-12 reps using good and controlled form.

Step 3

After these first two lifts you will perform barbell front raises. For this lift you will want to just start with the barbell and no extra weight to assess difficulty. To being this lift you will want to position hands at just outside the hips on the barbell while standing up and resting the barbell against your thighs. The first movement will be to contract the shoulders and raise your arms in the front while keeps them straight all the way to about head level and to pause and slowly let your arms lower back down to the resting position. Continue this motion for another 8-12 reps. The final lift will be the reverse pec fly with dumbbells. For this lift you will need a bench and two dumbbells. Start off by laying on your stomach on the bench with your arms hanging down and the dumbbells resting on the ground. The first motion will be to flex the shoulders and raise both arms to parallel at the top, it is important to pinch the shoulder blades on this motion to ensure a good muscle building motion of the shoulder. When the arms are at parallel be sure to slowly lower the arms back to the resting position and continue this motion for 8-12 more reps.

Special Attention

Difficulties people often experience or parts that need special attention to do it right.

Important areas of these lifts are to also have a controlled motion and to be sure to go slow when it says to go slow. Doing this makes the eccentric motion of the lift better and the eccentric lift is where you really break down the muscle and are able to build that back up. Do this list of lifts one time per week to ensure the shoulders get proper rest and are able to rebuild bigger and stronger. Also know that these lift can be done either way with a dumbbell or barbell.

Stuff You'll Need

Suggested Further Reading

Author Title Price
New Rules of Lifting $12.82

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When did you first do this & how did you get started?

I started lifting heavily about a year a half ago and have been doing shoulders one time every week for that year and a half.

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