Want to know how to get wider shoulders with just dumbbells and a single shoulder workout? Watch this video and perform the shoulder workout included to do exactly that. The key to building wider delts is not just to focus on the middle delts entirely, but to build all three heads while making sure to perform your middle delt exercises properly.
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Additional training volume for your shoulder muscles is crucial if your shoulder roundness and width are lacking. This is where you want to look to the other workouts you perform in a week to see where you can add more shoulder exercises.
For example, if you break up your training into total body or PPL, you could sneak in a couple of accessory shoulder exercises on these days to increase overall work on the delts. On push day, in addition to doing the standard overhead shoulder press, realize that the bench press, dips and pushups are going to do a great job of adding work to the front delts.
On pull day, you will want to take advantage of the opportunity to increase the volume on the middle delts and rear delts. This can be done using a dumbbell high pull, dumbbell rear delt row, or even a seated cable row. The last of these shoulder exercises may actually be the best exercise for rear delts because it gives you a chance to apply heavy weights to a muscle group that doesn’t often get exposed to them. This serves as a great stimulus for growth.
But the real key to build wider shoulders comes from the direct shoulder workouts that you perform. Here you want to choose not only the correct exercises but the ones that compliment each other the best to help you build wider, rounder delts.
It’s here that I recommend the following workout for wide shoulders:
DB Standing OHP – 2 to 3 x 8-10 F
DB Alt. Iso Front Raises – 1-2 x 10-12 F
Upper Limit Laterals – 3 x 12-15 F
DB Cheat Laterals – 3 x 6-8 F each arm
DB Rear Delt Rows – 2-3 x 10-12 F each arm
DB Hip Huggers – 2-3 x 12-15 F
The standing dumbbell overhead press can be skipped if you are already performing it as part of your total body workouts or push workout earlier in the week. If not, then you will want to include it here. The key to this exercise is doing it from a standing position if you are able. It can be seamlessly transitioned into a push press for a more explosive delt building option or performed as a single sided alternating press for more shoulder comfort. Either way it’s a great way to build bigger shoulders fast.
Next you want to perform the isolated alternating front raise. There is no better exercise that can be performed to recruit the front delt when its lacking the roundness or development that you need. The key here is to initiate the lift of the dumbbell through the first 20-30 degrees with as much front delt and as little of everything else as you can. Too often we are tempted to swing the dumbbells up here which takes away a lot of the stimulus of the front delt muscle, costing you development in the process.
The upper limit laterals is an exercise for side delts that you can perform with just a light pair of dumbbells. Sit on the floor and keep the dumbbells just an inch or so off the floor at all times to keep the tension high on the shoulders. Lift slowly and try to initiate each contraction with the middle delts.
The cheat lateral is a great compliment to the last shoulder exercise. Here you get a chance to utilize a little power and momentum to position the dumbbell in a position to apply a heavy eccentric overload. Be sure to try and slow the weight down on the way back to the starting position, realizing of course that the heavier weight will make this difficult to do.
Finally, the rear delt rows and hip huggers give you two amazing shoulder exercises for the rear delts and middle delts combined. Once again, the emphasis should be on the quality of the contraction here when you are struggling to build wider shoulders. Don’t swing the weights on these rear delt exercises. Contract them through every rep with meaningful intention.
Be sure to write down the entire workout for wider shoulders shown at the end of the video.
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