Your shoulders are the important intermediaries between your arm muscles and your back. Just about every upper-body exercise more or less involves your shoulder muscles, so performing strength conditioning for your shoulders enables you to not only be able to lift heavier weights at the gym, but will assist in training your chest, biceps, and back too.
In fact, it will be pretty hard to do just about any sort of exercise that uses your arms if your shoulders are not strong and entering into the equation. Plus, a nice pair of strong shoulders on anyone is always easy on the eyes.
And any sport that uses the arms, from throwing a baseball to rock climbing, is going to demand strong shoulders from its practitioners. You want to play tennis against Serena Williams? Didn’t think so.
Even if you don’t play in competitive sports, a strong pair of shoulders will assist you throughout your life as you take out the garbage cans, bring your groceries up the stairs, or pull items down off of high shelves in your closet.
To best work your shoulders, you should first get to know their composition. Primarily made up of three types of deltoids or “delts”, different exercises will best emphasize each component. The anterior deltoids are located at the front, the lateral delts run down the middle, and the posterior delts are located at the back of the shoulder.
Both pulling and pushing movements will assist you in growing the muscles of your three deltoid regions. Some movements you’ll want to incorporate into your fitness routine are the Seated Overhead Press and Suitcase Carry. Perform these exercises at least once per week. They will test your shoulders’ ability to the max and will induce muscle growth where it really counts.
Joel Runyon is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® - performance lifestyle brand encompassing performance apparel & formulas, IMPOSSIBLE Fitness® programs, and a philanthropy arm. An endurance athlete and entrepreneur - he's also the creator of MoveWellApp and owns Ultimate Meal Plans. Find out what next challenge Joel is crossing off his impossible list here.