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Nothing complements the appearance of an athletic body more than a good set of shoulders. Some people have a genetic predisposition for wide shoulders, but most of us have to work to build our deltoids to get that wide, thick look of well developed shoulder muscles.
Parts of the shoulders get worked a lot when we perform chest exercises like the bench press, incline press and decline press.
But, it is the frontal deltoid that gets all the work, leaving the outer and rear delts underdeveloped.
It is the outer deltoid that gives a shoulder that rounded muscular look. The width of shoulders is enhanced by well developed outer deltoids.
The rear delts require some specific exercises to develop. But, the effort is worth the trouble.
A great pair of well-developed shoulders can look like someone sliced a melon in half and clapped each part onto your shoulder joints.
Even in repose, good deltoid development is very evident and sets off your whole upper body.
Shoulder-specific exercises can be broken down into two parts: Front and outer deltoid and read deltoid.
It is important to remember in your shoulder workout, like those exercises you perform for all of you muscle groups, that you should "workout like a bodybuilder, not a weight-lifter."
You are not trying to see how much weight you can lift, rather you are trying to lift weights for eight to ten reps for three or more sets, at your maximum workload.
Weight is important in as much as it provides the resistance you need to breakdown the muscle tissue. You should not be trying to lift your maximum weight for one repetition.
Rather you should be lifting a weight you have to struggle with to get that eighth rep.
Front and Outer Deltoid Exercises
Dumbbell presses may be performed seated or standing. You may alternate the presses or perform both sides simultaneously.
A combination of several of these positions will give your front and outer deltoids a good workout.
They may also be performed (with a barbell) with a narrow or wide grip, though many champions feel that the wide grip works the delts better.
Additionally, you should also perform several sets of these raises on an incline board for added muscle shaping.
Rear Deltoids Exercises
These may be done using an incline board, but you should be prone (face down) and raise the bar from a hanging position to parallel to the ground.
Performed on a bench, you should raise the barbell from the ground to parallel to the floor. The bench should have long enough legs to allow you hang your arms down without touching the floor.
When you reach heavier weights, you should support your upper body by placing your forehead on a bench. This allows you to focus on the delts and avoid swinging the weights (cheating).
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