Shoulder Building 101

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Anatomy of the Shoulder

Let’s start off by explaining the anatomy of the shoulder. It’s not very complicated and not much to it. Once you understand how the shoulder works, you will find it easier to visualize your shoulder workouts.

The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body but is very unstable. The shoulder itself is a ball and socket joint. The ball of the shoulder is the head of the humerus. The socket portion of the shoulder is called the glenoid (where arthritis in the shoulder forms). On top of the ball and socket is a process called the acromion (where bone spurs can form). Next to the acromion is the acromioclavicular joint, also called the AC Joint (this is a common place for shoulder separtations). This ball and socket joint allows for the most range of motion out of all the joints in the body.

The roundness that you see at your shoulder is actually made up of 3 separate muscles or “heads”. These heads are the anterior, middle, and posterior deltoids. The deltoid is a pinnate muscle, which is where the muscle with fascicles attaches obliquely to its tendon. This allows better force production and stabilization but you lose flexibility.
Lat Raises

Different Parts of the Shoulder

Anterior Deltoid
The anterior deltoid originates on the clavicle and inserts onto the deltoid tuberosity of the humerous. The main job of the anterior deltoid is shoulder abduction when the shoulder is externally rotated, but it also assists with transverse flexion but it is not a stong movement for this part of the deltoid.

Middle Deltoid
The middle deltoid originates on the acromion and inserts onto the deltoid tuberosity of the humerous. The purpose of the middle deltoid is shoulder abduction when the shoulder is internally rotated and also assists in shoulder transverse abduction.

Posterior Deltoid
The posterior deltoid originates on the spine of the scapula and inserts onto the deltoid tuberosity of the humerous. The posterior deltoid aids in shoulder extension, external rotation, transverse abduction and also transverse extension.

Rotator Cuff
Another key component of the shoulder is the rotator cuff. This is a place for common injuries to take place due to overuse or underuse. The rotator cuff is made up of four muscles; the teres minor, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and subscapularis. These four muscles are what aid in all overhead and rotational movements at the shoulder.
Shoulder Flex

Different Shoulder Exercises

  • Barbell Front Raises
  • Dumbbell Front Raises
  • Cable Front Raises
  • Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  • Cable Lateral Raises
  • Bent-Over Lateral Raises
  • Cable Rear Delt Reverse Fly
  • Arnold Presses
  • Military Presses
  • Barbell Shoulder Press
  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  • Barbell Upright Rows
  • Dumbbell Upright Rows

Lateral Raises

Mass Building Shoulder Workouts

Here you will find numerous workouts that you can try in the gym. Give them a shot and see which works best for you. Remember, not all exercises or workouts will work for everyone, each person’s muscles respond differently to the stimulation of a workout; therefore, you will need to play with different exercises and different rep ranges.

Workout #1
Dumbbell Front Raises 3×8-12
Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Bent-Over Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Dumbbell Shoulder Press 3×8-12

Workout #2
Barbell Front Raises 3×8-12
Cable Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Cable Rear Delt Reverse Fly 3×8-12
Military Presses 3×8-12

Workout #3
Cable Front Raises 3×8-12
Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Bent-Over Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Arnold Presses 3×8-12

Workout #4
Dumbbell Front Raises 3×8-12
Cable Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Cable Rear Delt Reverse Fly 3×8-12
Barbell Shoulder Press 3×8-12

Workout #5
Cable Front Raises 3×8-12
Cable Side Lateral Raises 3×8-12
Cable Rear Delt Reverse Fly 3×8-12
Arnold Presses 3×8-12
Shoulder Press

Conclusion

When it comes down to it you want to focus on the mind-muscle connection. You should really feel each rep and feel the muscle working. If you don’t feel an exercise in your shoulders, then you are probably doing it wrong or are using a weight that you can’t handle and are using more than just your shoulders.

Most of all have fun with your workouts. If you aren’t having fun, then what’s the point? Utilize what you learned in this course and see where it takes you. Good luck and see you at graduation!

Photographs:

Jimmy Murtaugh/AlphaDesigns Photography
Imirage Lhgfx