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V-Taper Shoulder Workout

Introduction

There are two techniques you can use to drastically change the appearance of your physique, one is to lose inches from your waist and the other is to visually increase shoulder width. Both are techniques that will emphasise a v-taper to give the illusion of an aesthetically pleasing physique.

 

The shoulders, more specifically referred to as the deltoid muscles are made up of three heads (anterior, medial and rear) and in order to get the maximum benefit from any shoulder routine, you need to ensure you’re hitting all three heads to really build thickness and density whilst emphasising a 3D look to the delts.

 

Losing fat around the waist takes time, adding muscle to the shoulder also takes time so when training shoulders you want to ensure that you hit them from all angles as just mentioned because they are not a large muscle group, especially when compared with the huge muscle groups like back and legs. Therefore you need to stimulate and work them with more frequency and place it as a priority in your training.



Routine

This routine will hit all three heads of the deltoid and includes key coaching points to get the most out of every exercise. The shoulders are centered around a ball and socket joint, this means there are various planes of motion that the shoulders can move through so the following routine includes exercises that will exploit these various ranges of motion.

Warm-up:

  • 800m row to get the blood circulating around the upper body and warm up the joints and ligaments
  • Pull-ups (medium width, overhand grip) - 3 sets, 8-12 reps. Pull-ups are an ideal movement to warm up the shoulder girdle and stabilizing muscles of the shoulder.


Weights routine:

#

Exercise

Sets

Reps

Tempo

Rest

1

Side lateral dumbbell raise

3 x 3 drop sets*

6,8,10-12

1110

1:45

2

Seated dumbbell raise

5

10-12

1020

1:00

3

Front dumbbell raise

3

8

1120

1:00

4

Bench supported rear delt dumbbell raise**

3

12

1130

1:00

5

Reverse pec deck fly

5

15,12,10,8,6***

1010

1:30


* Example (14kg x 6 reps, 10kg x 8 reps, 6kg x 10-12 reps)
** Set a bench to a 75-degree angle, lean against the bench so it’s supporting your chest
** Increase the weight each set and decrease reps

 

 

Key Points

Tempo - this is the time it takes you to perform one full repetition. A tempo example is 1020, this is a 1 second lift (concentric), 0 second hold at the top, 2 second lowering of the weight (eccentric) and a 0 second pause at the bottom.

Reps - The shoulders respond best to a moderate/high rep routine with a lot of volumes. Exercise one is an intense drop set used to pre-tax the muscle group and recruit the maximum number of muscle fibres in preparation for the exercises to follow. Exercises 2 - 4 then have a focus on keeping reps within a typical hypertrophy range of 8 - 12 reps. Exercise 5 is then a reverse pyramid set, here you will increase the weight each set whilst reducing the number of reps (a typical pyramid drop set would be dropping the weight each set)

 

Pressing - I’ve intentionally kept a pressing movement out of this routine as you will need to include this at a certain point within the routine depending on your goals. If you’re placing a focus on strength training then it would be best to add an overhead press closer to the start of the routine and use this as your first exercise after the warmup. This is when you’ll be fresh and able to lift the most weight. If however, you are training for muscle hypertrophy then I’d include this as either your 2nd or 3rd exercise, you won’t be able to lift as much weight however that shouldn’t be the sole focus anyway when training for hypertrophy. Test this routine without the pressing movement first so that you can see how taxing it is and then place your pressing movement in based on this.

Frequency - When targeting a specific muscle group training frequency is key for development. This routine should be used twice per week and keep in mind that your other lifts (chest and back-related routines) will take a hit as a result. Place your focus on this routine and keep your other body parts in a maintenance phase for 4 - 6 weeks whilst you assess the progress of this shoulder specialisation routine.

 

About the Author

Simon Byrne is a Health and Fitness writer producing content for the supplement industry for the last 5 years with a focus on improving body composition. He is a certified Nutritionist through Precision Nutrition (PNL1) and a Level 3 Fitness Instructor.

www.bodiesbybyrne.com

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