Before You Start Every Workout
It isn’t just about show. It’s about go too. So before every workout we’re going to do an exercise to focus on shoulder health and function. You’re going to take a resistance tube or band that has light resistance.
Hold both ends of the band. Raise your arms overhead and stretch the band at the top. Lower the band and your arms so the band is behind your back. You should also release the tension on the band. Now come back up with the band so that it’s over your head and stretched.
Finally, lower the band back to the starting position. That’s one rep. Do as many reps as you can for 45-60 seconds. Don’t try to do the max reps possible though. Focus on making each rep a good one. This will not only help you with shoulder function but will serve as a great warm up.
Phase 1 (Weeks 1-4)
Although we’re not trying to set world records for a single lift, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t train heavy.
So for each of your working sets in this phase, the goal should be to reach failure within the specific rep ranges. That means if the rep range is 6-8 and if you can get 9, go heavier.
Arnold Dumbbell Press
These are still primarily a front delt movement but twisting them as you press can activate the other heads of the delts which helps prepare them for their specific exercises later on. They also help you achieve a great pump.
If you’re concerned about pressure on your lower back or want to place more emphasis on the front head, use a slight incline. This will recruit the pecs a little more but not so much you should be concerned.
Seated Lateral Raise
The reason you should do these seated is there’s less chance of you using momentum and you have to work harder to maintain form. This is beneficial for the side delts which is our focus here.
Keep a slight bend in your elbow but don’t bend them too much because this can take tension off the delts.
Rear Lateral Raise
It can be hard to feel the rear delts working and they can’t be seen while you’re working them. If you have trouble contracting them, have a partner touch your rear delts while you’re performing this exercise.
It can also be tempting to use momentum but fight that urge. If you have to swing the dumbbells up, go lighter.
One great benefit of cables is that you can keep tension on your muscles throughout the entire range of motion during your rep. There is no chance to relax. So take your time with each rep. Pull in, squeeze the rear delts, and slowly return to the starting position.
You can use any attachment you like on the cable but the rope is the most popular choice since you can spread the ends apart and get a better contraction. Make sure your elbows can go as far back as possible.