6 Best Exercises For Building Boulder Shoulders


Build Broad Shoulders With These 6 Exercises

Broad shoulders don’t look nice,” said no one ever. Shoulders can be one of the hardest muscle groups to develop. Only a few people follow the right training routine to achieve big shoulders.

You need to follow a holistic approach in your training to achieve shoulders which look like massive boulders. Building round and big shoulder take much more than performing a few shoulder presses.

Arnold Presses

Arnold presses are one of the best shoulder exercises for overall shoulder development. Named after the Governator himself, the exercises can help in building round shoulder caps which look like the top of football helmets.

  • Sit on a chair while holding a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated (palm facing inwards) grip.
  • At the beginning of the movement, hold the dumbbells at your shoulder level while keeping your elbows bent.
  • Rotate your arms as you lift the dumbbell over your head. Your palms should be facing forward at the top of the movement. Rotate your palms to the starting position as you lower the dumbbells.

Dumbbell Front Raises

The dumbbell front raises primarily work the anterior deltoids. The exercise helps in developing the separation between the chest and shoulders. Don’t make the mistake of using momentum by swinging back and forth to lift the dumbbell while performing the front raises.

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand at your sides extended at arms length. Your palms should be facing your thighs at the starting position.
  • Elevate your right arm while maintaining a slight bend in your elbow until it’s parallel to the floor.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat with your left arm. Alternate between arms for the recommended reps.

Leaning Cable Side Lateral Raises

Using cables in your workout helps isolate your muscles which can build definition and conditioning. Side lateral raises work the medial delts.

  • Stand beside the cable pulley machine so that your right arm is next to the pulley machine.
  • Hold the D-bar attached to the low pulley with your left arm.
  • Lean toward your left side and elevate your left arm until it is parallel to the floor.
  • Return to the starting position and repeat for the recommended reps. Repeat on your right side.

Seated Smith Machine Presses

Using a smith machine gets you the best of the isolation and compound movement worlds. Smith machine presses work the medial deltoids while keeping constant tension on your shoulders.

  • Place a chair under the smith machine bar so that anterior delts are directly under the barbell throughout the movement.
  • Maintain a full range of motion to get the best results while performing all the exercise mentioned in the article.

Chest Supported Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises

Rear deltoids are one of the weakest muscle groups for most people. Since your rear delts are a stubborn muscle group, performing the exercise on an incline bench adds an isolation aspect to better target the muscles.

  • Adjust the incline bench so that it is forming a 60-degree angle with the floor.
  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand with a supinated (palms facing inwards) grip extended at arms length.
  • Elevate the dumbbells to your sides while maintaining a slight bend in your elbows until they are parallel to the floor. Repeat for the recommended reps.

Barbell Shrugs

Barbell shrugs work your trapezius muscles. Traps are a major muscle group which covers most of the upper back and the posterior of the neck. Shrugs are one of the easiest exercises to perform and yet many people do them wrong.

  • Hold the barbell with a shoulder-wide pronated (palms facing inward) grip.
  • While maintaining a slight bend in your elbows, lift your shoulder as high as you can without using jerking.
  • Hold at the top of the movement for a couple of seconds before returning to the starting position.
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