Training your shoulders is extremely important when trying to obtain a nice, wide, and aesthetic physique. Most people find the V-taper to look very attractive, and most gym-goers want this physique. However, if you are new to the gym, and you aren’t too familiar with the best exercises to get your dream physique, then this article is for you.
Training your deltoids is one of the most essential parts of getting a wider upper body and broader shoulders. There are 3 muscle heads to your deltoid: your anterior (front) head, your lateral (side) head, and your posterior (back) head. Today, you will learn about the 5 best exercises to target the heads that you need to grow.
5. Frontal Raises (Dumbbell or Barbell)
This exercise works amazingly for targeting your front shoulders. It specifically targets your anterior delts and lower chest really well. While targeting your front delts doesn’t make your shoulders as broad as some other exercises, they add lots of definition to your physique. They also stabilize your shoulders, build upper body strength, and prevent injury when doing other deltoid exercises.
This exercise is performed by holding your dumbbells by your sides, parallel to your body. You can also use a barbell in this same fashion. You will want to keep the weight low when you first start doing this exercise. Slowly raise the weight in front of you to create a 90° angle with your arms and body. Your arms should be perpendicular completely perpendicular to your torso in front of you. Hold it for half a second, then slowly lower the weight back down to the starting position. Repeat this for reps and sets for either strength or endurance.
4. Shoulder Press (Dumbbell, Barbell, or Machine)
This exercise is great for trying to build your shoulders while gaining a lot of general upper-body mass. Not only does this exercise target your ENTIRE shoulders, but it also targets your traps, triceps, upper chest, and core. This is great for beginners that need to gain lots of upper body strength and size fast. This is a nice and essential exercise that you should definitely incorporate into your routine.
You can do this exercise by holding your dumbbells or barbell in front of you, on top of your shoulders. You can be seated or standing. Make sure that your back is slightly arched. This is a compound movement, so feel free to use heavier weights. Either explosively or slowly, push the weight all the way above your head, activating your upper body muscles. If using dumbbells, push the weights together as you reach the top of the movement. After pushing the weight all the way down, slowly and safely lower it back down to the starting position. You can also use a machine such as a hammer strength overhead press, which will guide you through the movement.
3. Arnold Press (Dumbbells only)
This is just like the overhead press, but it’s an upgraded version. It works the entire deltoids and targets all 3 heads effectively. It is a well-optimized exercise to build broad and strong shoulders. Not only that, but it has a better time under tension than the regular shoulder press, and it strengthens your rotator cuffs too.
It can be performed by keeping the dumbbells in front of you, facing your torso. It should look like the height of a bicep curl. Slowly rotate the dumbbells to face in front of you as you push the weights up, performing a shoulder press. Once you have pushed the weight all the way up above your head, activating your entire shoulders, slowly bring the weights back down as you rotate your hands to the original modified position. Repeat for reps to get the most size, mass, strength, and endurance gains.
2. Bent Over Reverse Fly (Dumbbells or Cables)
This exercise is good at building up your back delts, making you look bigger and more prominent. It also targets your back muscles, like your rhomboids and lower traps. This is an important muscle to incorporate, even though it is quite difficult. It is essential if you want to have a nice V-taper physique.
In order to do this exercise, you need to use dumbbells. Bend over, keeping your back straight and your knees very slightly bent. Your thighs and abdomen should be making a right-angle type shape. Keep the dumbbells together, hanging from your arms. Keep your core activated and slowly push the dumbbells apart essentially making them parallel with your back. Make your elbows very slightly bent. Make sure you are using no momentum to bring the dumbbells to your sides. Make sure that your shoulders and back are being used to perform the movement. Once it reaches its height, slowly bring the weights back down. Repeat for reps.
1. Lateral Raises (Dumbbells)
This exercise is essentially perfect for targeting your side (lateral) and back (posterior) deltoids. It is one of the most common and popular exercises to add upper body width and make your shoulder big and broad. It also targets your traps, but it mainly focuses on the shoulders, which is what makes it one of, if not the best, shoulder exercises out there. Your physique will thank you for doing this exercise!
You can do this in the gym, or anywhere with a set of dumbbells, by standing or sitting with your arms holding the dumbbells by your sides. Simply push the dumbbells up to make a sort of T-shape with your upper body. You should feel your shoulders working hard. If you can do these very easily, then you may need to increase your weight. Once you reach the height of the movement, slowly lower the weights back down and repeat for reps and sets. This exercise works wonders for those who want a very wide upper body.
Now that you know the right exercises to do to gain the upper body mass, size, endurance, strength, and width, it’s time to get out there and train as hard as you can! Try to turn these exercises into a full workout routine. If you can, dedicate a certain day to your shoulders. If not, you can dedicate a day to pushing exercises. This includes all exercises that target your shoulders, chest, and/or triceps. I hope to see you with an excellent, V-taper, broad, aesthetic physique!