Shoulder Muscles

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User's Manual
Shoulder Exercises
Shoulder Stretches
Amazing Facts
Related Links

Delts (Deltoids)

The major muscles of the shoulders, used to rotate and extend the arms during actions such as pushing or raising and extending the arms to shoulder level or above.

Proximal attachments:
Lateral clavicle
Scapula (acromion and spine)

Distal attachments:
Upper humerus

User's Manual

The shoulders are one of those muscle groups that produce a pleasurable burning sensation when working out.

Shoulder Exercises


Military Press (free weights)
Main target: the shoulders (the delts or deltoids).
Correct back posture is a must!
Your military press should be a lot weaker than your bench press, so be careful with the amount of weight you use.

  • Use the clean and press technique to raise the bar to the top of your chestÉ
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a bar on the floor.
  • Insteps under the bar.
  • Knees bent to 90û, hips above knees, shoulders above hips.
  • Back retaining good flat posture.
  • Head up. Face forward.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Vigorously, but with balance and control, lift the bar, using the legs and back.
  • Slightly bend the knees to receive the bar at the top of the chest.
  • Stand tall with chest high and shoulders down, chin tucked close to your neck.
  • Press the bar, with the heal of your hand, over your head.
  • Lower the bar to the top of your chest.
  • Repeat.

When finished, return the bar to the floor under control keeping the back straight.

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Seated Military Press
Main target: the shoulders (the delts or deltoids)

Sit erect on a bench with a shoulder high barbell support or sit on a bench at a universal military press station.

Start with your upper arms in line with your shoulders (any lower and some shoulder muscles will collapse).

  • Press the bar with the heal of your hand over your head.
  • Lower the bar to the starting position.
  • Repeat.

Make sure to keep your back straight.

 

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Military Press Behind the Neck
Main target: the shoulders (the delts or deltoids)

Lifting a bar with the heals of both hands from the back of the base of your neck, above your head.

Available on Universal machines.

Once again, correct back posture is a must!

Start with your upper arms in line with your shoulders (any lower and some shoulder muscles will collapse).

  • To perform using free weights use the clean and press technique to raise the bar above your headÉ
  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a bar on the floor.
  • Insteps under the bar.
  • Knees bent to 90û, hips above knees, shoulders above hips.
  • Back retaining good flat posture.
  • Head up. Face forward.
  • Grab the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart.
  • Vigorously, but with balance and control, lift the bar, using the legs and back.
  • Slightly bend the knees to receive the bar at the top of the chest.
  • Stand tall with chest high and shoulders down, chin tucked close to your neck.
  • Press the bar with the heal of your hand over your head.
  • Lower the bar behind your head to the base of your neck.
  • Then proceed to lift the bar above your head repetitively returning to the base of your neck.

On the last rep return the bar to your chest and to the floor.

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Dumbell Shoulder Press
Main target: shoulders, triceps

  • Grab 2 dumbells.
  • Sit with back straight, holding dumbells just outside of shoulders with palms facing forward.
  • Push dumbells straight up.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly lower weights to starting position.

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Variation

  • Sit with back straight, holding dumbells just outside of shoulders with palms facing each other.
  • Push dumbells straight up.
  • Pause.
  • Slowly lower weights to starting position.

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Standing Lateral Dumbbell Raises
Main target: shoulders, upper back


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  • Stand erect, feet shoulder width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand hanging at your side.
  • Keeping your arms straight and without leaning back raise the dumbbells to each side with your palms facing down until your arms are in line with your shoulders.
  • Pause for two seconds at this position parallel with the floor.
  • Rotate the dumbbells so palms face up.
  • Proceed to lift dumbbells to a position directly over head.
  • Then reverse the process lowering the dumbbells to lie even with the shoulders.
  • Pause.
  • Rotate dumbbells so palms face down and lower the weights to your sides.
  • Repeat.

Inhale on the way up and exhale on the way down to exercise the breathing muscles.


The Shoulder Burn RoutineÐ 2 dumbbells
This is an exercise swimmer's use to beef up their shoulders and improve endurance. It won't burn like hell until the last 10 reps so be conservative with the weight the first time you try it. Start with 5 or 8 pounds in each hand and work your way up to 12 or 15.

  • Perform the following 3 exercises back to back with 10 reps each.
  • Rest.
  • Then repeat the entire set of 3 exercises again.

Exercise 1

  • Stand erect with feet slightly over shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. hold the dumbbells against the tops of your thighs palms facing down.
  • Keeping your arms straight, raise your right arm in an ark until it reaches straight above your head.
  • As you lower the right arm, raise the left in the same fashion.
  • Repeat 10 times with each arm.
  • Immediately move to the next exercise.

Exercise 2

  • Bend over slightly at the hips with your knees slightly bent, back straight and head up.
  • Hang the dumbbells straight down.
  • Pull the dumbbells out and up so your arms point straight out to your sides.
  • Lower the dumbbells to the hanging position.
  • Repeat 10 times.
  • Immediately move to the next exercise.

Exercise 3

  • Stand erect.
  • Hang the dumbbells in front of your thighs, palms facing up (or forward).
  • Raise both arms in two wide semicircles, bringing your arms straight out to your sides and continuing until they extend directly over head.
  • Lower the dumbbells under control back the way they came ending at the front of your upper thighs.
  • Repeat.
  • Retain good posture.

Take a rest and repeat all three exercises again.

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If you think that burns, try
Bruce Lee's Shadow Boxing Routine

Perform 12 sets of 100 punches each back to back

  • Set 1- holding 1 pound weights
  • Set 2- holding 2 pound weights
  • Set 3- holding 3 pound weights
  • Set 4- holding 5 pound weights
  • Set 5- holding 7 pound weights
  • Set 6- holding 10 pound weights
  • Set 7- holding 10 pound weights
  • Set 8- holding 7 pound weights
  • Set 9- holding 5 pound weights
  • Set 10- holding 3 pound weights
  • Set 11- holding 2 pound weights
  • Set 12- holding 1 pound weights
  • Oh Mercy!

To be a little more humane toward your body, you might want to turn this into a pyramid interval-training workout with weight-free punches in between each set.

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Shoulder Stretches


Shoulder Stretch

  • Stand erect, feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • Place your left arm, straight out in front of you, parallel with the ground, palm facing to your right.
  • Reach under your left arm with your right hand and grab the outside of the left elbow and upper arm.
  • Use your right hand to pull your left arm in an arc from its current position toward your right side.
  • Feel the stretch in the back of your right shoulder.
  • Repeat with the other arm.


Shoulder Circles

  • Stand erect, feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  • With your arms relaxed make as large a circle as you can make with both shoulders in one direction several times and then in the other direction several times.
  • Feel the stretch between your shoulder blades and in the chest.

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  • Anatomy Topics

Related Info

Next Page of Muscular System Tour

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anatomy

Amazing Facts

  • You have all the muscle fibers you will ever have at birth. Once damaged they can't be replaced.
  • Arnold Shwarzenaeger has just about as many muscle fibers as you do. They're just thicker.
  • A single muscle cell of the sartorius muscle in the thigh can be more than 12 inches long.
  • There are more than 600 voluntary muscles in the body.
  • If all your muscles could pull in one direction you could create a force of 25 tons.
  • Muscles account of 40% of your body weight.

Related Links

Strength Building Exercise

Other skeletal muscles
Facial muscles
Neck
Sternocleidomastoid
Chest
Pectoral muscles
Pecs
Diaphragm
Stomach
Abdominals
Abs
Rectus abdominis
External oblique
Internal oblique
Transversus abdominis

Shoulders
Deltoids
Delts

Arms
Biceps
Triceps
Forearms
Extensors
Flexors
Legs
Thigh muscles
Quadriceps
Quads
Lower leg muscles
Calves
Back
Trapezius
Traps
Latissimus dorsi
Lats
Erector spinae muscles
Correct Posture