From Feeble to Fierce: Build Enormous Shoulders with These 4 Exercises

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very brawny guy bodybuilder, execute exercise with dumbbells, on deltoid muscle shoulder

Let’s face it. Most men are looking to build that illusive V-Taper. If you already have it, chances are you’re looking to make it even more distinctive. Half the battle is achieving a trim waist. The other half is building strong, boulder-like shoulders. Generally, the wider your hips are, the wider your shoulders need to be to achieve this gold-standard. We’ve compiled a list of exercises to build your shoulders and complementing muscles.

4 Shoulder/Back Exercises to Build that V-Taper

Steering Wheels: Drive That Bus!

This Shoulder Exercise Targets: anterior & lateral deltoids

How to Do it:

  1. Stand straight and grab a weight.
  2. Begin with your arms straight down and lock out your elbows.
  3. Lift the plate until you can look through the hole where the barbell normally goes.
  4. Twist the plate to the left and to the right like your driving a car.
  5. Lower the weight back down to your starting position and repeat.

Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise: Prepare to Frown Up

This Shoulder Exercise Targets: rear deltoids

How to Do it:

  1. With dumbbells in hand sit on the end of the bench, keeping your knees together like your momma taught you.
  2. Bend at the waist and keep your back straight, then begin the movement with the dumbbells behind your calves.
  3. With your chest forward and your elbows slightly bent, lift the dumbbells to your side until both of your arms are parallel to the floor.
  4. Contract the muscles for a full second, then slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position and repeat.

Upright Row: Raise Up

This Back Exercise Targets: trapezius

How to Do it:

  1. Stand up straight with a barbell grasped in an overhand grip, placing the hands at slightly less than shoulder-width.
  2. Begin with the barbell resting on your thighs and your arms slightly bent. Keep the bar close to your body and lift until it almost hits your chin. Your elbows should be higher than your hands throughout the movement.
  3. Pause at the top, then slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position and repeat.

If this exercise bothers your shoulders, try this modified exercise in the video below:


Arnold Press Video Credited to Men’s Health

Arnold Press: The Name Says It All

This Shoulder Exercise Targets: anterior deltoids

How to Do it:

  1. Sit on a bench with some back support (like a chair).
  2. Get a dumbbell in each hand and begin in the same position that you would end a dumbbell curl in (weights at shoulder height and palms toward your body).
  3. Lift the weights and rotate your hands until your arms are straight and your palms face away from you.
  4. Pause for a full second at the top, then slowly reverse the movement back to your starting position. Repeat. 


Arnold Press Video Credited to Men’s Health

With these and other shoulder exercises, you can get your shoulders to grow like pumpkins in a patch. Consequently, if you want to turn heads at the beach this summer, you better make an effort to do so. Nobody looks twice at the beanstalk with abs. The people have spoken, and they want to see SHOULDERS! Now drop your excuses, and get to work.