There have been several polls about what women would want to see when it comes to building muscle, and nearly all of them came out to wanting fully built shoulders. Being a personal trainer, I always take this into account and really focus on shoulders with women who are trying to change their body composition. Shoulders are a very intricate muscle group, because there several different workouts that hit a different part of the deltoid as a whole.
You have 3 different deltoid (shoulder) heads which are the front, side, and rear delt. There are several workouts that can hit each head and really isolate different parts. I am going to provide you with a mini shoulder workout that I like to take my female clients through, and they absolutely love it. Before beginning any shoulder workout, always and I mean ALWAYS warm up your rotator cuffs by doing external shoulder rotations either with a cable or light dumbbells, and also some front rotations as well.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
I always include this workout in any shoulder routine. Gender and goals do not matter. This is always the first shoulder workout. The reason being is because it hits the entire shoulder head with emphasis in the too of the shoulder. Now for a woman doing this workout, stick to the 12-15 rep range. This workout will also warm up the shoulders and get them ready to go for the rest of the workout. When performing a shoulder press, try to jot touch the dumbbells together at the end of the concentric movement. Doing this will keep constant tension on the muscle and activate a greater number of fibers.
Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise
This is a very popular shoulder workout because it brings out the width of the shoulders and increased your v-taper substantially. The v-taper is the shape of your body from the sides of your shoulders all the way down to your waist and that’s what 99% of people want. The reason this is such an effective workout is the amount of torque placed on your shoulders can really tear into a lot of muscle fibers and create more growth in that specific area. Just remember though, the straighter your arms are during the exercise, the more torque is placed on your shoulders and the more they will grow. In order to avoid injury, keep your arms perpendicular to the floor during the end of the concentric movement, and do not go beyond that which would increase the chances of a rotator cuff injury.
Upright Barbell Rows
One of my clients favorite exercises, because not only does it put a lot of tension on the shoulders, the mid and upper traps as well which is a part of your upper back. Upright rows are one of those workouts that some people say you should never do, because it can cause injury pretty easily. That is false, and I have proved that through my own experiences, and the work of my clients. Do not bring the bar so high that your arms are greater than even with the floor. Doing so will increase the risk of injury. Focus on slow reps and do not force anything.
Reverse Pec Dec Flyes
Last but not least is the reverse led dec fly. This focuses primarily on the rear felt and nothing else. All you do is sit reverse on the pec dec machine as opposed to sitting normal like you’re going to do chest flies. Bring the hands as gar back as your flexibility will allow you and where no pain is felt and hold it at the end position for a couple seconds. Rear delts are such a small muscle group that you have to really focus on activating as much fibers as you possibly can and holding that rep will do so.
So now that I gave you a mini workout for shoulders that I take my female clients through, try these 4 exercises on your next shoulder day, and they will be on fire. Do 4-5 sets per exercise, and 10-15 reps per set. Focus on slow reps and squeezing the shoulders as you perform the reps to activate more muscles.