Shoulder Exercises Page 2

African American bodybuilder clean the weight to his chest and then pressing it overhead and back down againClean and Press

Purpose: To train the front and side deltoids and build total body density and power. Cleaning a weight is a method of lifting a barbell from the floor to the starting position of the Military Press. The Clean and Press is an important exercise that starts off with a lot of leg movement to get the weight moving, then involves the traps, arms and back as well as the shoulders to help you develop a truly Herculean look. 

Execution: 1) Squat down, lean forward, and take hold of the bar with an overhand grip, hands about shoulder width apart. 2) Driving with the legs, lift the bar straight up to about shoulder height, then tuck the elbows in and under to support the weight in the starting position of the Military Press. 3) Then, using your shoulders and arms, press the weight up overhead, bring it back down to shoulder height, then reverse the cleaning motion by bending your knees and setting the weight back onto the floor. 

Schwarzenegger doing machine presses to the frontMachine Presses

Purpose: To train front and side deltoids. Doing Presses on a machine helps you do the movements very strictly, and allows you to avoid cleaning a weight if you have some sort of physical problem. Also, you can let the weight come down much lower, which gives you extra stretch in your front delts. There are any number of machines on which you can do a Shoulder Press movement - Cybex, Nautilus, Hammer Strength, or Universal, to name a few, but the principle remains the same. 

Execution: 1) Grasp the bar or handles at shoulder level and 2) Press upward until your arms are locked out, then come back down slowly to the starting position, going through the longest range of motion possible. You can also use machines to do Front Presses or Behind-the-Neck Presses; both will work the front and side deltoids. 

Bodybuilder with barbell across upper chest, pressing the weight above his head with his shouldersPush Press

Purpose: To use a heavier than normal weight, or to continue to do repetitions of shoulder presses after reaching a point of failure; to develop additional deltoid strength. 

This is a Cheating Principle exercise. You can use it in power training to lift a barbell that you would normally find too heavy to use for strict Shoulder Presses. You can also use the Push Press to do forced reps at the end of a set, when you are too tired to continue to do strict Shoulder Press reps.

Execution: 1) Taking hold of a barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart, clean the weight up to shoulder height. 2) Bend your knees slightly and then press up with your legs to get the bar moving. Use this additional impetus to press the bar overhead. Lock it out, slowly lower once more to shoulder position. 

Bodybuilder with dumbbells in hand, standing and is raising the dumbbells laterally to himself to work his shouldersDumbbell Laterals

Purpose: To develop the outside head of the deltoid, with secondary benefit to the front and rear heads. 

Execution: 1) Take a dumbbell in each hand, bend forward slightly, and bring the weights together in front of you at arm's length. Start each repetition from a dead stop to keep yourself from swinging the weight up. 2) Lift the weights out and up to either side, turning your wrists slightly (as if pouring water out of a pitcher) so that the rear of the dumbbell is higher than the front. 3) Lift the weights to a point slightly higher than your shoulders, then lower them slowly, resisting all the way down. (A common mistake with this movement is to rock back and forth and swing the weights up instead of lifting them with the deltoids. Doing this cuts down on the effectiveness of the movement and should be avoided). 

Variation: You may have a tendency to cheat a little when doing Standing Lateral Raises, this can be avoided if the same exercise is done in a seated position. 

Page 3 of shoulder exercises

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