Male training: the shoulders. After the summer, after the heat, you can finally train again without problems. With the fresh coming it’s time to load the barbell, and the time is excellent to start building muscle mass.
The first check is with ourselves, in front of the mirror. Once you have clarified the points on which to train, prepare your bag and go to the gym. In these articles we will cover the most popular muscle workouts for boys, we start here: the shoulders.
What everyone wants to know is what are the exercises to widen the shoulders? Let’s start by telling you that it is not possible, and then explain how to get that result … Confused? Soon everything will be much clearer.
The shoulder or shoulder girdle is a joint composed of the humerus, clavicle, scapula and sternal area here.
When asked to widen your shoulders, the visual result you want to achieve is clear. In reality, the width of the shoulders is given by the position and length of the bones that make up this particular muscle district. To literally widen the shoulders you should move the humerus (the arm bone) outwards, to do this however, the collarbone should lengthen and the shoulder blade should slide outward or become larger. In short: something really unthinkable.
However, it is possible to widen the shoulders, how? Often there is a tendency to assume a kyphotic posture (shoulders closed forward) which in addition to creating problems at the postural level creates a visual effect of smaller shoulders. If you try to put yourself in front of the mirror and open your shoulders, putting yourself in the correct posture, you will notice that you will have obtained the desired effect.
It goes without saying that you can’t stay in that position all day, but you can train yourself to make the muscles do the work for you.
Shoulder training: practical advice
- The shoulders are made up of external and bulky muscles, the famous deltoids, and smaller internal muscles, the rotator cuff. Training only the external muscles without focusing on the internal ones will create an imbalance of forces which will contribute to producing the feared impingement: more or less serious injury of some muscles of the rotator cuff.
- Often only the anterior deltoid is trained because visually it is what you notice the most, being frontal, but it is the back muscles of the shoulders that must be trained if you want to acquire a correct posture and therefore have wider shoulders.
- Do not always perform the same exercises, after a while, the muscles will adapt and the improvements obtained will tend to decrease until they slowly regress.
- Lateral raises, pushes up, etc., should be done standing: contrary to popular belief, performing the exercises while seated puts more strain on the back than on standing. We will deepen this fundamental theme in a subsequent article.
- Train the various portions of the shoulder (front, central and rear) as 3 distinct muscles in order to balance the overall work and not always insist on the same area.
There are various exercises, each of which can be performed with weights, elastic bands, cables or even bodyweight. Which shoulder exercises should you prefer? How to choose them? We make 2 distinctions.
Shoulder exercises in the gym:
Let’s give some practical advice on the most well-known exercises, to avoid getting hurt and get the maximum result.
- Side raises: the arms should not be raised in line with the shoulders but slightly more closed forward, between 30 and 45 °, this is because the scapula (with which the humerus is articulated) has that degree of inclination, and abduct keeping your arms in line with your torso will create an incorrect movement, and therefore tension, on the joint.
During the exercise, the thumb should rotate upwards, as if you wanted to fill a bottle, even if the opposite has always been said. This small detail will move the work to the back portion of the shoulder but will safeguard the rotator cuff.
- Rear raises: often they are performed seated with the torso flexed on the thighs. In this way, the lumbar curve will be reversed, decreasing its load absorption capacity and risking accidents. Much better to lie on your stomach at 30-45 °, with your head off the bench itself and your feet firmly on the ground.
- Pull to the chin: exercise used for trapezius and back muscles creates frictional forces inside the shoulder which increases the risk of injury to the rotator cuff. Rejected.
Free body shoulder exercises
Among the most effective are:
- Hindu pushups: hands and feet on the ground and buttocks at the top to simulate an inverted V. Perform the push-ups.
- Classic folds, varying the distance between the hands in order to offer an always different stimulus.
- Raise from prone: belly down, arms stretched over the head: raise the arms without moving your torso.
So what exercises to recommend to be able to open the shoulders and widen them?
A reinforcement work for some back muscles, so that they help us maintain a correct posture, specifically: large-toothed, middle and lower bundles of the trapezius, rhomboids.
In an article that talks about shoulder training, it would be out of place to talk about how other muscles are trained but don’t worry! In one of the next articles, we will see what are the best exercises to restore the torso, not being closed on oneself anymore, and finally … having broader shoulders.