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Why are your Shoulders not Growing?

blog Mar 13, 2024

Why are your Shoulders not Growing? 

Introduction: Unveiling the Delts

When it comes to achieving well-defined and impressive shoulders, understanding the intricate anatomy of deltoids is a crucial first step. Comprising three primary segments—the anterior (front), lateral (side), and posterior (rear) deltoids—these muscle groups collectively shape the shoulders and contribute to an aesthetically pleasing upper body. In this guide, we'll delve into targeted training strategies for each deltoid segment, explore the importance of stability and momentum, and uncover effective techniques for optimizing growth and definition.

Training the Front/Anterior Delts 

1. Emphasis on Overhead Pressing Movements

The anterior deltoids receive significant stimulation through overhead pressing movements. To enhance their development, focus on exercises like dumbbell overhead presses. Optimize your form by inclining the bench slightly (around 60 to 70 degrees) to emphasize the anterior delts during the pressing motion.

2. Fine-Tuning Front Raise

Executing effective front raises requires attention to detail. Whether you're performing dumbbell or cable front raises, prioritize the alignment of the anterior deltoid fibers by raising your arms in a controlled manner, angling slightly in front of your body. This approach enhances muscle engagement and minimizes strain on other areas.

Training the Side/Medial/Lateral Delts

1. Engaging the Scapular Plane

Training the lateral deltoids involves performing lateral raises within the scapular plane. This plane accommodates the natural movement of your shoulder blades, promoting better muscle recruitment. To achieve this, slightly hinge forward at your hips and raise your arms at a 30 to 45-degree angle in front of your body.

2. Shrugging Control

To minimize the involvement of the trapezius muscles during lateral raises, avoid shrugging your shoulders before lifting the weights. Instead, concentrate on extending your arms outward and upward, maintaining a focus on the lateral deltoids throughout the movement.

3. Preserving Tension and Time Under Tension (TUT)

Sustaining tension throughout each repetition is key for optimal muscle growth. During lateral raises, resist the urge to lower the weights too far, which can cause tension loss. Additionally, prioritize Time Under Tension (TUT) by ensuring your muscles remain engaged during the entire set of repetitions, rather than resting at the bottom.

4. Cable Advantage for Lateral Raises

While dumbbell lateral raises are commonly used, cables offer a superior alternative for promoting consistent tension throughout the full range of motion. Adjusting cable heights allows you to emphasize different portions of the medial deltoid's contractile range of motion, leading to enhanced muscle activation and growth.

5. Incorporating Intensification Techniques

For those with limited equipment, intensification techniques can offer effective solutions. Try 1 and 1/4 reps, focusing on spending more time at the most challenging point of the movement. Drop sets can also be valuable; perform a set to failure, then immediately switch to a lighter weight and continue until muscle fatigue. These techniques maximize muscle stimulation without requiring extensive equipment.

Understanding Stability and Momentum

1. The Role of Stability

Maintaining stability during shoulder exercises is crucial for targeting specific muscle fibers and avoiding compensatory movements. Incorporate chest support techniques to isolate muscles effectively, minimizing the involvement of surrounding muscles.

2. Managing Momentum

Strategic use of momentum can enhance certain exercises. For example, controlled momentum during lateral raises allows for effective manipulation of muscle tension throughout the range of motion. However, exercise caution to prevent overuse of momentum and ensure proper muscle targeting.

3. Tailoring Exercises to Your Goals

Choosing between stability-focused or momentum-driven exercises depends on your goals. If muscle tension is your priority, prioritize stability. If you seek variety and muscle manipulation, consider exercises involving controlled momentum.

Conclusion: Unlocking Shoulder Transformation

Comprehensive shoulder development encompasses training each deltoid segment meticulously, optimizing stability and momentum, and utilizing specialized techniques to maximize muscle growth. By understanding the unique demands of the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids, and tailoring your approach accordingly, you'll embark on a journey towards sculpting strong, well-defined shoulders that are both functional and visually striking.

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