How to Grow Wider Shoulders

Shoulder training is something that has gotten me questions and attention at every gym I go to.

A lot of people have been wondering how I built my round shoulders.

I’ll tell you that it took volume on the right exercises and attention to detail.

Here’s what you can do to make shoulder gains today.

The shoulders are compromised of 3 heads.

The front deltoid.

The side deltoid.

And the rear deltoid.

You have to train each head effectively if you want maximum growth.

Front delt exercises:

Shoulder press behind the neck.

Shoulder press

Dumbbell shoulder press

Front raises

Side delt exercises:

Side lateral raises

Seated side lateral raises

Upright rows with easy curl bar

Straight bar upright rows

Finally we have the rear delt exercises.

Rear Delts:

Rear delt rows on cable machine

Chest supported dumbbell rear delt rows

Bent over side lateral raises

Rear delt machine

Now, these are all of the available exercises.

I suggest picking 1 of each or 2 if you have a spine.

You can work shoulders after chest or on a separate day.

It’s up to the individual.

I do a push pull legs routine.

That means chest, shoulders, and triceps one day.

Back and biceps another day.

Legs the last day.

The most important part of muscle growth is your nutrition.

Make sure to eat 1g of protein per pound of body weight.

Some will say it’s dogma, yet I have found that it works.

When you start your shoulder training make sure to do a few warm up sets so your body will get used to the movement.

Here’s how you would set it up with a push day.

Push day:

  • Flat bench press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Incline bench press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Dumbbell incline bench press: 4 x 8 reps
  • Dumbbell pull overs: 5 x 12 reps
  • Behind the neck press: 4 x 6 reps
  • Side lateral raises: 6 x 12 reps
  • Rear delt rows: 5 x 20 reps
  • Bent over lateral raises: 1 x 12 reps
  • Tricep push downs: 5 x 12 reps
  • Dip machine: 5 x 12 reps

If you set it up this way you can train right after chest.

After bench pressing your front delts will be worked.

Don’t worry about the lack of front delt volume.

Heavy bench presses are more than enough for front delts.

As far as volume goes, if you dislike the volume training, you can add a partner and do 1-2 sets to failure on these exercises.

Training push pull legs is one of the classic splits for muscle growth.

If shoulders are a weak point train them at least once per week.

You need to make sure you’re doing the exercise correctly.

Behind the neck press technique:

When doing this exercise, make sure you’re setup correctly.

Your head should be in front of the bar and the bar should never touch your head.

Once the set up is complete unrack the weight and lower the weight to your ear level.

Yes lower it parallel to your ears.

Any lower than this will activate the upper back too much

A lot of people do this exercise incorrectly and then they complain that it’s dangerous.

Anything can be potentially dangerous.

People have broken their legs getting out of the shower before.

The behind the neck press will add more thickness and density to your shoulders than any other exercise.

Stick with 6-8 reps on this exercise since it’s a mass builder.

Here’s how you can train shoulders if you don’t want to train them with chest.

Shoulders and arms:

  • Side lateral raises: 6-8 sets 12 reps
  • Behind the neck press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Rear delt rows: 5 x 20 reps
  • Bent over lateral raises: 3 x 15 reps
  • Barbell curls: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Alternating dumbbell hammer curls: 4 x 8 reps
  • Preacher curl machine: 5 x 12 reps
  • 1 arm preacher curl machine: 3 x 12 reps
  • Close grip bench press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Dip machine: 4 x 12 reps
  • Tricep press downs: 4 x 12 reps
  • Over head cable tricep extensions: 4 x 12 reps

Shoulders are great to train with arms.

If you don’t have enough time to do these routines, just do the shoulder portion and go home.

The push pull and training shoulders with arms are a great way to grow them.

If you’re still having problems growing shoulders, train them every other day.

When you’re training side laterals, make sure to initiate with the shoulders and keep your elbows higher than your arms.

When your arms are higher than your elbows you’re working more traps.

Likewise, when you’re training rear delts, on rear delt rows pull your shoulders back, lean back, and initiate with your shoulders.

With this exercise it’s extremely important that you execute it exactly the way I wrote it.

Proper execution of each movement is what will build your body properly.

The rear delt row is the best exercise I have ever done for rear delts.

I added this to my routine about a year ago and I’ve been seeing the fruits of my labor.

You have to keep fighting for every inch if you want to build a great body.

Your diet and training need to be as perfect as possible.

Make a decision and stick to it.

Here’s the 4 week shoulder training specialization.

4 week shoulder growth program

Day 1 Monday: Chest shoulders and triceps

  • Incline bench press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Flat bench: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Dumbbell pull overs: 4 x 12 reps
  • Side lateral raises: 6 x 12 reps
  • Behind the neck press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Rear delt rows: 4 x 20 reps
  • Bent over lateral raises: 2 x 12 reps
  • Tricep push downs: 4 x 12 reps
  • Close grip bench press: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Dip machine: 3 x 12 repsx 6-8 reps
  • Tricep extensions: 5 x 12 reps

Day 2 Legs:

  • Squats: 4 x 6-8, 1 x 20
  • Leg press: 4 x 20 reps
  • Reverse hack squat: 4 x 6-12 reps, heaviest set at 6 reps
  • Barbell Romanian dead-lift: 4 x 12 reps
  • Dumbbell stiff leg dead-lift: 4 x 12 reps
  • Single leg hamstring curl: 4 x 12 reps
  • Lying hamstring curls: 4 x 10 reps
  • Calf raises standing and seated super set: 1 x 15 reps on both (pick the heaviest weight you can do for 15 reps)

Day 3: Shoulders and back:

  • Pull ups: 5 x 10-12 reps
  • Dead-lifts: 3 x 6 reps
  • Chest supported hammer strength row: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Rear delt row: 4 x 20 reps
  • Side lateral raises: 3 x 12 reps
  • Behind the neck press: 3 x 10
  • Day 4 Off

Day 5: Shoulders and arms:

  • Behind the neck press: 4 x 6 reps
  • Side lateral raises: 10 x 15 reps
  • Rear delt rows: 4 x 20 reps
  • Barbell curls: 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Hammer curls 4 x 6-8 reps
  • Alternating dumbbell curls: 5 x 8 reps
  • Preacher curl machine: 3 x 15 reps

This is a 4 day per week training split.

If shoulders are a weak point and you want to shock them into growing do the program I just laid out for you exactly as written for 4 weeks straight.

It’s a lot of total volume but it will work if you do it exactly as I wrote it.

Faq (Frequently asked questions)

Why are you having us train shoulders 3 times per week?  This will shock your body into new growth, since you’ll go back to regular training after the 4 weeks

Can you do this for other body parts?  Yes you can do this for any body part you choose.

How many calories should I be eating for this program?  3,000-4,000 depending on individual metabolisms.  If you’re getting too fat in the stomach reduce calories by 250.

How come form is so important on the rear delt rows?  On the rear delt rows, if you don’t lean back and pull your shoulders back you’ll be working your upper back and lats more than your shoulders.

Will this help my bench press strength go up?  After the 4th week you should be stronger on the bench press.  Stronger shoulders = a stronger bench press.

Do I go back to regular training after 4 weeks?  Yes, it’s crucial that you only train your shoulders this way for 4 weeks.

How come this is only 4 weeks?  4 weeks is enough time to get muscle growth without allowing the body to adapt.  After the 4th week the body will expect the volume and you’ll go back to a regular 1-2 times per week shoulder training.

 

Thank you for reading.

Share this post with every body and sign up for the newsletter.

You can also donate to support the website and help it grow.

 

Liked it? Take a second to support john snow on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *