lagging shoulders

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    lagging shoulders


    I'm having trouble trying to get my front and side delts bigger could I get some tips. I'm not new to training my shoulders have always been my week point. I usually always start off with barbell press or arnold presses. Would drop sets be good in stimulating some growth?

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    for me doing arnold presses with good form, coming to a complete stop with them in front of me really hammers my shoulders. I have also found on barbell presses that varying the distance you bring the bar down, not coming down as far I stop about head level, really hits the areas you are having problems with and allows you to use heavier weight when doing them. I still do set with a full range of motion but this tip helped me out a lot
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    I like to wear mine out with lightweight/high rep front and side raises, then do heavy military presses or whatever. Not that my shoulders are huge or anything, but it works and doesn't hurt!
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    what i would try is whatever you haven't. if what you have been doing hasn't produced the results you want then there's only one thing left to do....whatever has not been tried. you say your not new to training then select another form of shoulder training that you haven't done
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    You need to focus specifically on the posterior deltoids too. An imbalance in the deltoid muscles can lead to seriously painful and detrimental imbalances.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    If your front deltoids are small, I would assume your chest is also small. Most people get plenty of front deltoid muscles from performing chest exercises. If you are looking for larger front deltoids try to perform font dumbbell raises while standing or seated. If you want larger or wider side deltoids I would recommend either seated side lateral raises or upright rows with a shoulder width grip.

    I also like using a single pulley for the side lateral raises while standing. This works well but there are more opportunities to cheat.

    These are just exercises that have worked for me. These two exercises are the only two that have made my shoulders sore. I still perform bb and db presses, but, the press movements have never made my deltoids sore.
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    Add in some upright rows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MongoSS View Post
    Add in some upright rows.
    Definitely no to this. Upright rows kill your rotator cuff.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    Definitely no to this. Upright rows kill your rotator cuff.
    Really? Many people do upright rows and have experience no problems. These are novice and advanced bodybuilders. If you stick with a manageable weight and use a wide grip there should be no problems.
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    yeah, i understand it can do damage to the RC but with a wide grip (focusing more on the side delt) at a managable weight its fine, the same is said about behind the neck pressess and behind the neck lat pulldowns, yet there still done by novice and advanced athletes and BB's. if it causes pain, of course dont do it, but upright rows can be a very valuable exercise. if you disagree thats fine, you dont have to do them, but ive gotten alot out of them with no damage to my RC. essentially everylift is dangerous. most people hurt themselves on bench but thats not being kicked out of the routine for seemingly everyone. so go ahead and throw some in if you want, just dont rely on it to be a serious mass builder. id do simple heavy DB presses, side laterls, and rear raises and maybe revers pec dec. the less is better with delts for me, they get worked in on chest day and back day so i dont overdo them. i typically do three exercises. one for each head and call it a day. ive gotten the most growth that way.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky5145 View Post
    yeah, i understand it can do damage to the RC but with a wide grip (focusing more on the side delt) at a managable weight its fine, the same is said about behind the neck pressess and behind the neck lat pulldowns, yet there still done by novice and advanced athletes and BB's. if it causes pain, of course dont do it, but upright rows can be a very valuable exercise. if you disagree thats fine, you dont have to do them, but ive gotten alot out of them with no damage to my RC. essentially everylift is dangerous. most people hurt themselves on bench but thats not being kicked out of the routine for seemingly everyone. so go ahead and throw some in if you want, just dont rely on it to be a serious mass builder. id do simple heavy DB presses, side laterls, and rear raises and maybe revers pec dec. the less is better with delts for me, they get worked in on chest day and back day so i dont overdo them. i typically do three exercises. one for each head and call it a day. ive gotten the most growth that way.
    I definitely agree with this. How high do you go with your upright rows? I have tried chin level and higher. What do you prefer?
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyIOSOS View Post
    I definitely agree with this. How high do you go with your upright rows? I have tried chin level and higher. What do you prefer?
    thanks man, i go about clavicle to chin , ive honeslty never went above chin level yet.
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    Synthol--just inject straight into whatever head is lacking in size.
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    please tell me your kidding
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    ive been supersetting front raises with side raises after my barbell presses. It's really helped my front and side delts and it burns like crazy throughout the workout. After every so often i superset with barbell and side raises to change it up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedawg3545 View Post
    ive been supersetting front raises with side raises after my barbell presses. It's really helped my front and side delts and it burns like crazy throughout the workout. After every so often i superset with barbell and side raises to change it up.
    That sounds like torture.
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    ^^^^^ believe me it can be sometimes, but you have to make sure your really hitting ur shoulders from all angles so they can grow proportional and look fuller
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    J/K on the synthol. My shoulders were hell to bring up. I used to watch guys doing every excersise durring a shoulder workout. Those guys had huge shoulders compaired to me so, I did the same thing. Didn't work. Eventually, i did 3 sets of 3 exercises; front raises, side laterals, and a machine for rear delts. Finally I started to see results but not fast enough. Now that i'm older i can look back ,see my mistakes and know what works for my body. I respond good to weights and don't need much to grow. 3 sets of shoulder press once a week and my shoulders blew up. I became much wider with less work. Sometimes my rear delts start to lag so I'll throw in a couple sets for them. You might be the same way. Less is more sometimes. btw i've never used synthol and hope you never take that advice seriously. Lennoxchi's post was right what you been doing isn't working so try something else.
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    he could be not doing enough back exercises and to much chest.
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    Shoulder press bar or DB's. Lateral raises. And rear delt flys/face pulls.
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    Try doing less volume, and stick to presses with nice controlled motion with a pause at the bottom and squeeze at the top. Lower your weights so you can control the movement and progress. Progression = size and strength
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    I just posted this in another thread. I'll post it here too. This is way upright rows are bad.

    Shoulder characteristics in weight trainers

    Injuries related to weight training has increased during the past decade, with 36% of weight training related injuries and disorders occurring at the shoulder joint (Goertzen et al., 1989; Keogh et al., 2006). 25-30% of the individuals participating in weight training have reported injuries sever enough to seek medical help (Jones et al., 2000; Powell et al., 1998).

    Weight training places stress on the shoulder by requiring a conventionally non-weight bearing joint to bear significant loads during the course of repetitive lifting (Kolber et al., 2009). Traditional weight training exercises have been shown to create muscular imbalances and predispose the shoulder to injury by placing the joint in biomechanical unfavorable positions, such as bottom of ROM external rotations (Gross et al., 1993). Furthermore, programs biased toward specific bodyparts generally place emphasis on developing the large primary movers while neglecting the smaller stabilization muscles required for mobility, balance, and unimpaired shoulder function (Barlow et al., 2002).

    Kolber et al. (2009) tested the shoulder muscular strength, function, and mobility of 90 experienced male weight trainers compared to a sedentary population. The researchers reported significantly greater strength among weight trainers of the abductors, internal rotators, and upper trapezius fibers. The greater strength values are because typicall training programs target the deltoids, upper trapezius, and internal rotators (pectoralis and latissimus dorsi). The strength of the external rotators and lower trapezius, however, were not different than the sedentary population. The imbalance in strength between internal/external rotators, abductor/external rotator, and upper/lower trapezius fibers illustrates the training induced strength imbalances between muscle groups that normally function together to execute a movement.

    There is significant evidence that individuals with shoulder disorders possess greater deficits in external rotation strength compared to internal rotation strength (MacDermid et al., 2004; Reddy et al., 2000; Tata et al., 1993; Wang & Cochrane, 2001; Warner et al., 1990). During over head pressing movements, the external rotators function together with the deltoid to effective elevate the arm over head. Imbalances created by exercise programs that emphasize the deltoid and neglect the external rotators often result in altered muscle coordination, redistricted range of motions, and shoulder impingement (Kolber et al., 2009). Insufficient muscle strength of the lower trapezius fibers have also been linked to shoulder impingement (Cools et al., 2007).

    Weight training can also result in mobility dysfunctions. Bodybuilders display a decreased active range of motion among shoulder flexion, abduction, and internal rotation, compared with excessive external rotation ROMs. Additionally, there are greater restriction on the posterior soft tissue due to internal rotation loss and lack of exercises or stretching that improves the flexibility of the posterior joint capsule (Kolber et al., 2009; Wang & Cochrane, 2001; Warner et al., 1990). Furthermore, posterior shoulder tightness may be responsible for limited mobility, resulting in glenoid labrum detachment and impingement syndromes (Bach & Golberg, 2006).

    Kolber demonstrated that traditional weight training programs do not include the exercises necessary to strengthen the stabilization muscles required during normal shoulder function. Additionally, emphasizing only the large movers such as the pectoralis, latissimus dorsi, and deltoids creates a strength and flexibility imbalance at the shoulder joint. Encorporating exercises that strengthen the external rotator cuff muscles and scapular fixation musculature along with select flexibility exercises for internal rotation and the posterior capsule should: balance strength ratios needed for coordinated shoulder function; increase soft tissue flexibility balance as required for normal shoulder mobility; improve the strength of the humeral head depressors thus helping to prevent impingement with over head exercises; and, reduce the more common risk factors associated with shoulder disorders.


    Kolber, J., Beekhuizen, S., Cheng, S., Hellman, MA. Shoulder Joint and Muscle Characteristics in the Recreational Weight Training Population. The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, 23(1):148-157, January 2009.

    Cools, AM, Declercq, GA, Cambier, DC, Mahieu, NN, and
    Witvrouw, EE. Trapezius activity and intramuscular balance during
    isokinetic exercise in overhead athletes with impingement symptoms.
    Scand J Med Sci Sports 17: 2533, 2007.

    Barlow, JC, Benjamin, BW, Birt, P, and Hughes, CJ. Shoulder
    strength and range-of-motion characteristics in bodybuilders.
    J Strength Cond Res 16: 367372, 2002.
    Bach, H., & Golberg, B. Posterior capsular contracture of the shoulder. J Am Acad Orthop Surgery 14, 265-277, 2006.
    Goertzen, M, Schoppe, K, Lange, G, and Schulitz, KP. Injuries and
    damage caused by excess stress in bodybuilding and power lifting.
    Sportverletz Sportschaden 3: 3236, 1989.
    Gross, ML, Brenner, SL, Esformes, I, and Sonzogni, JJ. Anterior
    shoulder instability in weight lifters. Am J Sports Med 21: 599603,
    1993.
    Keogh, J, Hume, PA, and Pearson, S. Retrospective injury
    epidemiology of one hundred one competitive Oceania power
    lifters: the effects of age, body mass, competitive standard, and
    gender. J Strength Cond Res 20: 672681, 2006.
    Jones, C, Christensen, C, and Young, M. Weight training injury
    trends. Phys Sportsmed 28: 17, 2000.
    Powell, KE, Heath, GW, Kresnow, MJ, Sacks, JJ, and Branche, CM.
    Injury rates from walking, gardening, weightlifting, outdoor
    bicycling, and aerobics. Med Sci Sports Exerc 30: 12461249, 1998.
    MacDermid, JC, Ramos, J, Drosdowech, D, Faber, K, and
    Patterson, S. The impact of rotator cuff pathology on isometric and
    isokinetic strength, function, and quality of life. J Shoulder Elbow Surg
    13: 593598, 2004.
    Reddy, AS, Mohr, KJ, Pink, MM, and Jobe, FW. Electromyographic
    analysis of the deltoid and rotator cuff muscles in persons with
    subacromial impingement. J Shoulder Elbow Surg 9: 519523, 2000.
    Tata, EG, Ng, L, and Kramer, JF. Shoulder antagonist strength ratios
    during concentric and eccentric muscle actions in the scapular plane.
    J Orthop Sports Phys Ther 18: 654660, 1993.
    Wang, HK and Cochrane, T. Mobility impairment, muscle
    imbalance, muscle weakness, scapular asymmetry and shoulder
    injury in elite volleyball athletes. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 41:
    403410, 2001.

    Warner, JJ, Micheli, LJ, Arslanian, LE, Kennedy, J, and Kennedy, R.
    Patterns of flexibility, laxity, and strength in normal shoulders and
    shoulders with instability and impingement. Am J Sports Med 18:
    366375, 1990.
    Links to reads on shoulder imbalances:

    http://www.muscleandscience.com/foru...ulders-in-2010

    http://www.muscleandscience.com/foru...glenoid-health!

    Quote from an article:

    I don't believe in contraindicated exercises, only contraindicated individuals. But if there's one exercise that'll ever push me over the line, it's going to be the upright row. This is as internally rotated as the humerus will get, and you're elevating the humerus right into the impingement zone on every rep. For that reason, I'll never write upright rows into a program. The dumbbell version is a slightly safer alternative, although I feel that there are still much safer ways to challenge the upper traps and deltoids. To summarize, if you've ever had a shoulder problem or are at risk, you'd be wise to omit upright rows altogether.
    http://www.tmuscle.com/free_online_a...124E2-hh.hydra
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    like i said in my earlier post. if you dont like them dont do them, but they will continue to be done by others who do in fact find them useful.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky5145 View Post
    like i said in my earlier post. if you dont like them dont do them, but they will continue to be done by others who do in fact find them useful.
    And then they can come back in 10 years or so and talk about how much further they could have went without their rotator cuff injuries. As the article and studies mention: during an upright row the humerus is about internally rotated against impingement as it comes. And there is no balance to an upright row. Each exercise needs an opposite movement to create balance within the antagonist.
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    ive added great development with them and havent even expeirenced the slightest discomfort in any area of my body. like i said this might get alot of bad rep for RC injuries but people improperly benching and squating cause way more long term and short term problems then this exercise ever will.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky5145 View Post
    ive added great development with them and havent even expeirenced the slightest discomfort in any area of my body. like i said this might get alot of bad rep for RC injuries but people improperly benching and squating cause way more long term and short term problems then this exercise ever will.
    Bench presses do cause a huge protraction within the shoulders. And infact, they are renowned for it. I disagree that bench presses should be used in powerlifting competitions for this reason; I think the press should be the upper body focus.

    The point of bench presses though is that the opposite motion (barbell rowing) will balance it out and keep the shoulders in line. When you bench you hit those internal rotators and scapulae protractors hard, but you can balance that with a barbell row and hit the retractors and external rotators with the exact reverse. There is no reverse to an upright row to balance it.

    Please elaborate on squats injuring people. A properly performed squat perfectly balances the muscles surrounding the ligaments and tendons. If you squat properly you are perfectly safe.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbeef View Post
    for me doing arnold presses with good form, coming to a complete stop with them in front of me really hammers my shoulders. I have also found on barbell presses that varying the distance you bring the bar down, not coming down as far I stop about head level, really hits the areas you are having problems with and allows you to use heavier weight when doing them. I still do set with a full range of motion but this tip helped me out a lot
    ^ Good advice

    A good superset for shoulders is Arnold presses followed by bent-over rear dumbbell laterals. This superset stimulates all parts of your deltoids and after a few of them your shoulders should be burning. When doing any kind of DB raise for shoulders, technique and form should become your priority. With raises, you're trying to isolate certain areas of the deltoid, so by keeping your form strict, you're making the area you're trying to target work harder. So think about which area you're targeting, then try to make those muscles do as much of the work as possible. For example, don't swing the weight when doing side laterals because by doing this you're making it easier on the muscles you're trying to work by allowing other muscles to help out. If you notice your form is getting sloppy on the last rep or two, it's okay, just know that it's about time to end your set and keep the intensity up, lower the weight as slowly and under control, making the muscles have to contract to resist gravity. So basically any time I "cheat" during a movement, I try to make up for it by increasing my time under tension (TUT) so I'm not totally robbing myself of any benefits.

    I use dumbbells whenever possible to better stress the deltoid heads when I'm doing presses. The one advantage that barbell presses have over dumbbells is that you can use more weight, thus achieving more overload, BUT you get better range of motion with dumbbells and you can rotate your wrists during the movement. For example, when I do dumbbell presses, at the bottom of the movement my palms are facing more towards each other; as I press the weight up, I rotate my wrists so that the palms are facing out away from me. Don't lock out and don't be afraid to bring the weights down low to get a good stretch. Also, make sure to keep everything tight!

    Keep in mind how often you're working your shoulders; especially your front deltoids. Any time you do a pressing movement, your front delts are going to get worked. So if during the course of your weekly workouts, you're doing a lot of pressing movements, it would make sense not do overdo it when it came to actually training the shoulders. This is why I think chest and shoulders should either be trained on the same day or 2-3 days apart, rather than something like chest one day and shoulders the next (this is the same principle that made me want to stop training arms on their own day - too much volume too soon). So keep in mind total volume for the week. Less can be more.

    I'm going to look into the upright rows more after what I've read on Kong's posts. I've used upright rows for a while with decent results and no pain, but if there's something to this, I don't want to risk having future shoulder problems. Also, I know that upright rows don't have to be a staple exercise for me to develop my shoulders, so if I decide to stop doing them, no biggie. Definitely gonna do some research though...
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    i wasnt talking about properly preformed squats or benches. merely people doing both with no clue of what there doing can be extremely dangerous. thats all
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky5145 View Post
    i wasnt talking about properly preformed squats or benches. merely people doing both with no clue of what there doing can be extremely dangerous. thats all
    Yeah. Well, that's with any exercise though. I would say the most dangerous to perform without proper technique would be squats or deadlifts. An improperly performed squat are usually partial squats that cause long term damage to the knees, but an improperly performed deadlift will hospitalize someone much quicker.

    If you want into a gym and count the people working out, 6 out of every 10 would be doing their exercise wrong. Usually to lift more weight.
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    i agree with that, i may even think to up the numper to 8 out of 10 people dont know what there doing and at my campus id say 9 out 0f 10.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingk0ng View Post
    Yeah. Well, that's with any exercise though. I would say the most dangerous to perform without proper technique would be squats or deadlifts. An improperly performed squat are usually partial squats that cause long term damage to the knees, but an improperly performed deadlift will hospitalize someone much quicker.

    If you want into a gym and count the people working out, 6 out of every 10 would be doing their exercise wrong. Usually to lift more weight.
    Why do partial squats cause damage to the knees? Is it the constant tension?
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    i lean the opposite on a high inclined bench (chest on pad) and superset 1 arm side raises(switch arms in between) and front raises, then finish it with 1 arm wood chops. 3 sets; 10-10-10, 8-8-8, 8-8-8. raise weight each time
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnthonyIOSOS View Post
    Why do partial squats cause damage to the knees? Is it the constant tension?
    'Partial squats put the strain of the weight on your knees rather then the muscles in your legs and can cause damage to your joints.' i dont know why...


    ive found that front raises and dumbell press have been pretty good to my shoulders
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    as stated earlier though, DO NOT forget those rear delts. most guys i know and see dont even hit them or put too much emphasis on front and side. you want them all well rounded. most people have big front delts from benching so much and then doing front delt work later and leave the rear delts behind. the best looking shoulders are those cannon ball shoulders that are evened out by huge rear delts.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky5145 View Post
    i agree with that, i may even think to up the numper to 8 out of 10 people dont know what there doing and at my campus id say 9 out 0f 10.
    Oh if you're referring to a college campus gym then yeah 9 out of 10 would be an understatement.
    Former Marine, UT-BSN, NSCA-CPT, NASM-CPT, CSCS
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    i am refering to a college campus, it is very hard to watch and also frustrating to listen to them try and give advice
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    there was a kid in there one day doing bench, then the very next day i saw him in there again and this time he was doing incline and i said man you just did chest yesterday and he said no i didnt do upper chest yesterday. then that same idiot came in the very next day after that and did decline and guess what he said, i didnt do decline yesterday i have to hit all the angles.........idiot
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    Shoulders have always been my strongest point. In my personal opinion, over 7 years of serious training, shoulders respond VERY well to mixing up the workout, and never giving any of the heads the same look twice in a row. I currently do DB military with 105's, and BB Military with 245.

    I always try and warm up the RC's before any heavy workout. Shoulders are almost as complicated as your knees as far as I'm concerned, and they really need to be warmed up prior to any set-work.

    Smith Machine BB and DB Military do fantastic jobs of isolating the front heads, and will really pack on the size. I never do upright rows, and rarely will I do front raises. They may add a little detail to the front heads, but you'll have those pretty much covered after your presswork.

    Side heads, I'll usually do single pulley lat raises, IMHO this prevents cheating, and keeps the tension on the muscle throughout the whole movement. I do a 50/50 mix of lighter weight/higher reps with heavier weight/lower reps. Giving your medials different looks will REALLY cut the diamonds up, keep your body guessing, etc.

    Rear Delts I LOVE face pulls. Face pulls, single upper pulley with a rope...Again, mixing up the weight and rep ranges will really showcase your rear delts, and show off the separation with your back as well....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricky5145 View Post
    as stated earlier though, DO NOT forget those rear delts. most guys i know and see dont even hit them or put too much emphasis on front and side. you want them all well rounded. most people have big front delts from benching so much and then doing front delt work later and leave the rear delts behind. the best looking shoulders are those cannon ball shoulders that are evened out by huge rear delts.
    +1

    Probably the most neglected bodypart that I see in the gym....
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    my opinion:

    hitting shoulders by starting with presses (ex: shoulder press, arnold press, etc.) is moronic (not intended to call anyone a moron by any means). you should always warm up/stretch out your shoulders prior to those exercises, and save your presses for mid routine. start off by doing rear delts, or side/front raises to warm up.

    also, when i do shoulders, i like to throw in side raises, front raises, and rear delt flys as often as possible. that way, i can make sure i give enough attention to those areas, and keep the blood flowing. thats my two cents though.

    now, when it comes to upright rows, i don't see any harm personally. i've never had an issue with my RC, then again, i don't do them regularly, nor do i go super heavy. thats my two cents on that

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