Shoulders are one of the biggest “impact” areas of your body in terms of physique. Adding muscle to your shoulders means you instantly look better (that’s men and women)…and that’s for real, whether it be wide, barndoor shoulders on guys or the shoulder “caps” look that women strive for.
To fully develop your shoulders, you need presses AND you need various forms of raises (lateral, rear, front, etc.).
This exercise is a form of raise that uses both shoulders (left and right) in a somewhat opposite but complementary manner during the exercise.
You’re going to “pulling” with one shoulder while “pushing” with the other. It’s going to target the lateral and front head of the delts very strongly with some action on the rear delts at the start and end of the rep. It’s a great exercise that integrates all the delt heads in during the rep.
The execution of the exercise is simple.
You’ll need a weight plate (I started with a 45 but you may wish to start lighter).
Grip the plate on the sides, then hold the plate over to your right side, beside your body. This cross-body starting position is what involves the rear delts.
Now, using your left arm to “pull” and your right arm to “push”, start moving the weight plate up and towards the centerline of your body. This action must be done in a CONTROLLED manner, keeping tension on the delts.
This is NOT a heave. You should be able to stop the movement at any point along the way, that’s how controlled it should be. The delts thrive on tension and that’s what we’re going to give them with this exercise.
As you come up, the pulling arm movement is very much like a lateral raise and the pushing arm movement is like a front raise. They’re both working in unison to move the plate.
Continue bringing the plate up and in front of your body until the plate is overhead.
DO NOT lock out the elbows…keep some bend to keep tension on the delts.
Then bring the plate down on the other side….again a VERY controlled movement is what we’re looking for.
Keep going until the plate is beside your body on the other side.
DO NOT release the tension in the shoulders at the bottom. Keep the delts contracted.
Immediately reverse the movement and bring the plate back up, overhead, then back down to the other side again. This should be a very smooth, controlled exercise.
You will notice this exercise targets the core nicely as well, due to the off-center loading and the constant bracing required to perform the exercise.
One thing you will also notice is that you’ll have to carefully control your breathing as well, holding your breath during parts of the movement to keep the tension on.
This exercise will give you a massive pump in your shoulders. It’s a great way to either finish or start a shoulder workout to help you develop that V tapered body you’re looking for.
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