Sculpt your shoulder muscles the right way and get the results you’re aiming for with these nine muscle-building tips.
In this article:
- Learn the Muscles of the Shoulder
- Do Isolation Exercises
- Do Compound Exercises
- Train Smart
- Ditch Insane High-Rep Training
- Incorporate Pyramid Training into Your Routine
- Don’t Forget to Do Warm-Up and Stretching Exercises
- Eat the Right Foods
- Use Supplements
9 Tips to Follow for Leaner, Stronger Shoulder Muscles
1. Learn the Muscles of the Shoulder
One reason many gym-goers struggle with building leaner shoulder muscles is they don’t exactly know much about the shoulder muscle anatomy. In fact, we often see guys doing random exercises hoping to grow their deltoid muscles. However, there are actually different exercises that target specific parts of the shoulder.
If you don’t know anything about arm anatomy, you won’t be able to determine the best workouts for building shoulder muscles. Here are some of the most important muscles of the neck and shoulder:
- Lateral and posterior deltoids
- Pectoralis minor
So the next time you hit shoulders at the gym, do exercises that hit all of these muscles. Otherwise, you won’t be able to sculpt the shoulders you want.
2. Do Isolation Exercises
If you want to build well-sculpted, lean neck and shoulder muscles, you need to do isolation exercises. These are exercises that work only one shoulder joint and target a limited number of muscle groups. Doing isolation exercises allows you to shape your shoulder muscles properly. That’s the reason many bodybuilders do loads of these exercises before a competition.
3. Do Compound Exercises
While isolation exercises shape your arm muscles, compound exercises help improve your base strength. When you boost your strength, your body gets the power it needs to lift heavier weights.
Remember: lifting heavier weights gradually is the key to building muscle mass. That’s why fitness buffs looking to build bigger muscles in the shoulder should never ignore this. Some of the best compound shoulder exercises to try include the military press, barbell press, and push press.
4. Train Smart
When exercising any part of the body, remember that more doesn’t always mean better. While progressive overload is important, it’s equally important to know when to rest the muscles in your shoulder. Overtraining will only lead to injuries in your shoulder muscles and tendons.
After a day of exercising your shoulders, what you need to do is to rest them and train your other body parts. Forcing your sore shoulder muscles to move will have more negative than positive effects. If you want to avoid shoulder muscles pain, you need to learn the proper timing between resting and working out.
5. Ditch Insane High-Rep Training
There’s always this one guy at the gym that swears doing hundreds of shoulder exercises is the way to go. As someone who is passionate about fitness and performance, you’ll be smarter to believe that. If you want to build actual back and shoulder muscles, you need to do progressive overloading. High-rep training can lead to rotator cuff injuries, which can leave your shoulders immobile for a week or two.
Tip: Try to keep isolation exercise reps from 8 to 12. For compound exercises, go for weights you can only lift 5 to 8 times.
6. Incorporate Pyramid Training into Your Routine
A great way to make muscle hypertrophy happen is to incorporate pyramid training into your routine. It’s a simple yet clever way to force your body into progressive overload. Pyramid training starts off with light to moderate weights you can lift with ease. From there, you gradually increase the weight until you hit your PR.
7. Don’t Forget to Do Warm-Up and Stretching Exercises
Stretching and warm-up exercises condition the muscles of your shoulder so they can perform at their best. Ignoring these exercises not only leads to injuries, but it also hinders your performance. Before you do your shoulder workout, make sure to hit these muscle groups:
- Shoulder girdle muscles
- Shoulder blade muscles
- Shoulder extension muscles
- Shoulder abduction muscles
- Shoulder external rotation muscles
- Shoulder flexion muscles
8. Eat the Right Foods
If you want to get any real results from your workouts, you have to eat the right foods. This means you need to choose the food you eat wisely. Ditch the sugar-filled, carb-packed junk and stick to high-nutrient dishes. Also, when planning your meals, make sure you’ll get the right amount of protein, carbs, healthy fats, and vitamins.
9. Use Supplements
Let’s face it: preparing a high-nutrient, low-calorie meal can be very time-consuming — not to mention expensive. We understand how difficult it is to get all the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients you need from food alone. That’s why you need to use supplements to support your workouts. If you want to get bigger shoulder muscles, you definitely want to incorporate some type of protein shake and creatine supplement into your fitness plan.
Tip: For better, longer, and harder training sessions, consider taking pre-workout supplements. These are supplements packed with nutrients to improve endurance, energy retention, and enhanced focus during your training.
Try out these kettlebell exercises to help build stronger shoulder muscles:
Overall, the key to building leaner and stronger shoulder muscles is to find a balance between rest and exercise. Also, don’t be afraid to try new workout techniques and strategies. If you feel like your hard work in the gym hasn’t been paying off, then this may be the best time for you to rethink your fitness plan. Just remember that the only way your body will grow is if you stick to an effective workout routine, no excuses!
Do you have any questions about how to sculpt your shoulder muscles? Post them in the comments section below!