Shoulder Workout

Posted by Eric Hofmann on Sunday, November 24, 2013 Under: Health and Fitness blog

Because of the popularity of our: Chest Workout, Back Workout, Core Workout and Leg workout posts. And, free weight-loss/strength program posted on our store page (available only throughout the rest of November). Today, I wanted to take the time to discuss the Shoulders and at the bottom of this post provide a free shoulder training program. The shoulders play an integral part of our upper-body movements. And, from what I have seen over the years are often more times then none neglected during training. I would almost say they are neglected just as much as the core muscles are in many peoples training programs. And, before I go on to discuss the shoulders. If you like what we have to say here, please spread the word. Share this page, like us on facebook, tweet at us on twitter, +1 on google, or leave a comment at the bottom of this post. And a quick plug - we offer online personal training for $49.95 for 6-8 week programs + nutritional guidelines with 24/7 support. So if you are looking for a change to your program or some professional help. Please visit our online personal training page or store for more information. OK, time to get to business about the shoulders...

The shoulder group or better known as the shoulder complex - because of it's advanced mobility, ligaments and muscles it is hard to call it just the, "shoulders" rather -similar to the ankle. There are a lot of moving parts to make this joint possible. There-go, it is called the shoulder complex. The shoulder complex is made up of roughly 10 separate muscles. Including the pectoralis minor, trapezius, rhomboids, deltoids - just to name a few. As always not to bore my readers with these fine long-tail Latin derived words. We will focus on two specific separate muscles. The deltoids and rhomboids.

The muscles and joints of the shoulder allow it to move through a large range of motion. Making it one of the most mobile joints in the human body. The shoulder can abduct, adduct, rotate, be raised in front of and behind the torso and move through a 360 degrees in the sagittall plane. Because of all these range of motions, it makes the shoulder by default, extremely unstable. Prone to injury such as: separated shoulder, ligament and muscle tears, over-wear of bone structure, etc. The muscles responsible for movement in the shoulder attach to the scapula (shoulder blade), humerus (large bone from shoulder to elbow), and clavicle (collar bone). It should be noted that their are two separate joints involved in the shoulder complex: the glenohumeral (shoulder joint) and the acromioclavicular joint - for sake of this discussion we will leave it at that. If you are interested further into these specific joints - Google them.

Let's talk about the 2 basic muscle groups of the shoulder complex mentioned earlier: The Deltoids and Rhomboids.

Deltoid muscle group:

In human anatomy the deltoids muscles are what form the rounded contour of the shoulder. It appears to be made of 3 distinct sets of fibers through the advances of medical technology - it is suggested now that it consists of at least 7 groups that can be coordinated by the central nervous system. Deltoid was given it's name because of the Greek letter shape Delta (triangle). The Deltoid originates in three distinct sets of fibers, often refereed to as heads. They are:

  • Anterior deltoid - commonly known as front delts.
  • Lateral deltoid - commonly known as middle, outer or side delts.
  • Posterior deltoid - commonly known as rear delts.

When all fibers contract at the same time, the deltoid is the prime mover of arm abduction along the frontal plane. The arm must be medially rotated for the deltoid to have maximum effect. An important function of the deltoid in humans is preventing the dislocation of the humeral head when a person carries a heavy load. The function of abduction (take away) also means that it would help keep carried objects a safer distance away from the things to avoid hitting them. It also ensures a precise rapid movement of the glenohumeral joint needed for arm manipulation.

Rhomboid muscle group:

There are two muscles that make up the rhomboids: Rhomboid minor and major muscle. This muscle is located in the back, near the top on either side of the spine. One could say this would be better trained during a back workout. However, the rhomboids are specifically used for the retraction of the scapula (shoulder blade). It essentially keeps the scapula pressed against the thoracic wall and retract the scapula toward the vertebral column. It has important roles within the glenohumeral joint. 

Hopefully this gives you a little more information on the shoulder complex. This is just a basic run down of this complex joint. Feel free to contact us for more in depth questions of this joint. As promised below is a free shoulder specific workout program. Enjoy!

*After a proper stretch and warm-up

  • Barbell Shoulder press     3 sets x 8-10 reps    (elbows should be at 90 degree angles when starting)
  • Rear Delt. Fly                 3 sets x 12-15 reps   (arms should be parallel to the floor throughout movement)
  • Dumbbell lateral raise      3 sets x 12-15 reps   (raise to roughly lower lip level)
  • Alternating kettle-bell press  3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Backward Med. ball throws 3 sets x 12-15 reps
  • Barbell rear delt. row         3 sets x 8-10 reps
  • Lateral Shoulder holds      3 sets x timed (hold for as long as you can endure; be sure to note the time each set)

After all this your deltoids ought to be screaming at you. A very focused an specific workout just for your shoulders. Take up to 60 seconds of rest between each set. To add a little zip to this shoulder workout. Execute this program as a circuit. Meaning perform one set of each exercise, in order, with little to no rest between sets. After you have completed one set of each exercise - perform 2-3 minutes of cardio of your choice; focusing on keeping your heart rate at 70-80% of your maximum heart rate. 

If you have any questions please feel free to comment and/or send us a note to

Have a great day!

In : Health and Fitness blog 

Tags: shoulder  shoulder workout  deltoids  shoulders  rhomboids  shoulder complex  shoulder joint 
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