Build Shoulders Like Boulders Workout

Delts. Boulders. Cannonballs. Caps. Regardless of what you call them, everyone wants nice shoulders, right? Learn how to maximize your shoulder training today.

Workout Summary

Build Muscle
Single Muscle Group
Intermediate
1
Barbell, Cables, Dumbbells, Machines
Male & Female

Workout Description

Delts. Boulders. Cannonballs. Caps. Regardless of what you call them, everyone wants nice shoulders, right? Having a great pair of shoulders is vitally important if you’re a competitor because so much of what the judges are looking for has to do with your shoulder to waist ratio.

In the following paragraphs and the accompanying video, I want to briefly talk about the muscles that make up the shoulder, highlight my approach for training shoulders then demonstrate a series of exercises that will get your caps to pop.

On the surface, the shoulder appears to be fairly simple, but in reality it is extremely complex and versatile. The muscles and joints of the shoulder work together to provide you with an incredible range of motion yet can become stable enough to support tasks that involve pushing and pulling. For this reason the shoulder is actually fairly fragile and is prone to injury including dislocation.

The shoulder is comprised of several independent muscles, but for the purposes of training let’s think of them as three distinct muscles, namely the anterior, lateral and posterior deltoids.  When training shoulders it’s important to target each of these muscles with specific exercises to stimulate muscle growth. By targeting each muscle, you’ll also prevent muscle imbalance with can lead to shoulder pain and discomfort.

I prefer training deltoids by targeting the largest muscle first, specifically the anterior or front delt, followed by the lateral or outer delt, then the posterior or rear delt. I also always train traps at the end of each shoulder workout.

Before engaging in any shoulder workout, I would encourage you to warm-up the joints with dynamic and static movements/stretches. I firmly believe that it’s beneficial to have a little blood flowing into the target area that you intend to train.

Below is a sample workout that targets the three muscles of the shoulder and the traps.

Shoulder Workout
Sample
Exercise Sets Reps
Smith Machine Shoulder Press 4 15, 12, 10, 8
Reverse Dumbbell Press 3 12, 10, 8
Cable Laterals (behind the glutes) 4 15, 12, 10, 8
Bent Over Reverse Cable Flye * 4 15, 12, 10, 8
Cable Upright Row 3 15, 12, 10
Barbell Shrug (1 second pause at top) 4 15, 12, 10, 8
Dumbbell Shrug (1 second pause at top) 3 15, 12, 10

Here is a video where I demonstrated each of the exercises outlined above.

Boulder Shoulder Workout

* Not shown in video

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About The Author
Dedicated to health and fitness. Currently competing in Men's Physique and Master Men's Physique competitions, and an industry writer for numerous websites.

15 Comments+ Post Comment

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Posted Thu, 05/22/2014 - 11:48
Caleb

Can I do military press if I don't have access to a smith machine?

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Posted Wed, 12/04/2013 - 05:12
Elias

For how long i should do this workout ? 8 weeks ?

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Posted Mon, 10/28/2013 - 03:46
sheraz

i need your tips about the shoulder exercise

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Posted Sun, 09/08/2013 - 13:23
Regie

Jordon

You can do the same exercise as the workout above with dumbbells.

In general, you want to train each body part once per week. I typically train two days on with one day off.

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Posted Tue, 08/20/2013 - 16:11
Jordon Welch

This here, How many days of rest should be given to have best results? Anyone able to type me up a legit Shoulder Workout? I have 5 months before leaving iraq... Anyone have anything good for me? Im in a little gym with no cable weights just dumbbell weights. 25 lbs-105lbs Wanna look good for wife, been over here putting in work for America

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Posted Mon, 07/22/2013 - 04:26
jeancscanlon

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Posted Sun, 07/21/2013 - 06:22
D.B.ARORA

Reggie, i have stopped taking protein powder and instead i have started taking amino tablets ( 10 gram each tab). My body weight is 200 lbs. i am overweight by 8 kgs but i want to bulk up .

i take 9 amino tablets a day in divided doses of 3 tabs each. additionally i am taking GLUTAMINE 5gram - 3 times a day. additional protein i take in the form of egg whites, cottage cheese, soyabean etc.

do you think i am doing the right thing by stopping protein powder. I have been working out for the last 6 months only.

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Posted Thu, 07/25/2013 - 21:23
Regie

I believe that taking protein powder post workout is essential. By consuming the protein following a workout you start the muscle rebuilding/repair process. Of course you can consume a meal, but it has to be digested before your muscles can benefit from the protein. I always have a shake post workout. The rest of my calories come from solid foods. I hope this helps.

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Posted Sat, 07/20/2013 - 19:17
Fábio

Hi, I would like to know if I can cicle this shoulders program with Power Muscle Burn 5 Day Powerbuilding Split (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workout-routines/power-muscle-burn-5-d...)
Thanks a lot! :D

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Posted Thu, 07/25/2013 - 21:25
Regie

I don't see a problem with inserting my shoulder workout into the training split.

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Posted Sat, 07/20/2013 - 19:15
Fábio

Hi, I would like to know if I can cicle this shoulders program with Power Muscle Burn 5 Day Powerbuilding Split (https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workout-routines/power-muscle-burn-5-d...).
Thnx a lot! :D

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2013 - 22:23
Regie

Yes, Matt. You want to increase the weight with each set.

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2013 - 19:22
Matthew R Millar

Im guessing that after each set you put up more weight correct?

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2013 - 21:39
David

I don't think it's necessary. If you train close to failure you won't be able to the same number of reps as your first set in each exercise.

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Posted Mon, 07/15/2013 - 22:22
Regie

Yes, you are correct Matt. You want to increase the weight with each set.