Many consider well-rounded and big shoulders to be the most impressive and muscular looking aspect of a well developed body, and I certainly include myself in that category. Shoulders tell a lot about a guy who works out and usually if their shoulders are in great looking shape then you know that person is doing something right in their training and aren’t neglecting body parts and just working the biceps for instance.
A man with big shoulders is to be able to lift heavy objects above his head, and I believe this is why the shoulder, or deltoid muscle, is so important to demonstrating and showing off your strength. It shows that you’re a strong guy who can not only pick heavy stuff (or people up) but actually lift them above your head!
To build big shoulders is rather simple and you need only a few exercises in reality, the most important being the military press, or the overhead press as it’s also known. It’s performed with a barbell and it’s a simple case of resting it on the top of your chest near your neck with both hands palms faced upward in the starting position, and simply pushing it up above your head and then lowered back down to complete a full repetition.
The military press develops all sides of the deltoid muscle, the front, sides and rear, and as a beginner you shouldn’t need to add extra exercises like the lateral raise which targets only your side deltoid muscles. Once you have developed a good base using the overhead press then feel free to add other isolation exercises to hit each head to their maximum.
Isolation exercises to build your shoulders are as follows:
- The lateral raise (side deltoid)
- Front raise (front deltoid)
- Behind neck press (primarily the rear deltoid)
The important thing to remember is that having big shoulders contributes to the width of your physique which is crucial for the more slender or skinny guy out there. Creating the best illusion of width comes from having a small waist, big shoulders, developed lat muscles and a large chest. If you concentrate your training in to compound lifts which target all of your major muscle groups you will start to look wider in no time.