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I get asked all the time, “How do I get nicely rounded shoulders so that I can look good in my strapless dress and my bikini?”

Well, there are a few things that you need to know in order to get the type of shoulders that will make you look more feminine and attractive in a bikini or strapless dress and more symmetrical if you are looking to do either a bikini or figure competition:

1-You need to train the shoulders hard: So many women are afraid of pushing themselves at the gym because they think that doing so will give them horribly big looking muscles. However, unless you are taking steroids (male hormones) this is simply not the case because us girls do not produce the amount of testosterone that guys do; which is the reason why guys can have such big muscles.

2-You need to train the shoulders from 3 angles: The shoulder muscles are composed of:

The anterior deltoid, which is the front head that raises the arm to the front.

The lateral deltoid, which is the side head whose function is to lift the arm to the sides.

The posterior deltoid, which is the rear head, that enables you to raise the arm to the rear.

In order to have nice and round looking shoulders all three heads need to be trained with exercises that target each one of these heads. Also, I like to pay attention to the rotator cuff muscles as well as many shoulder injuries come from weak rotator muscles.

3-Remember to follow the right nutrition plan: In order to have these round shoulders you need to put some new muscle in them and lose body fat as well. To make that happen, you need to fuel your body properly with the right diet; one that gives you around 40% of your calories in the form of protein, 40% in the form of complex carbs and 20% in the form of good fats. For more information on this topic, please take a look at my article on The Importance of Fats and Basic Bodybuilding Diet Rules for Fat Loss.

4-Don’t neglect your cardiovascular exercise: Remember that cardiovascular exercise is also an important part of the program. Do at least 3 sessions of 20-30 minute cardiovascular workouts a week either first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or right after the workouts. For more information on cardiovascular exercise, please take a look at the cardiovascular exercise page.

I like to do my cardio first thing in the morning and my weights later on at night. However, if you cannot do this, you can do the cardio right after the workout.

5-Personally I follow a training split where I do 1 body part per day training legs on Monday (Quadriceps emphasis) and Thursday (Glutes/Hamstrings emphasis), Shoulders on Tuesday, Arms on Wednesday, Chest on Friday and Back on Saturday (at times, I may do chest and back together on Friday). My abs I do once every 2 days either as soon as I wake up or after the workout. If you follow a workout split that has you training your shoulders more frequently then just select one exercise for the rotator cuff, 1 for the front delts, 2 for the side delts and 1 for the rear delts.

Bodybuilding Workout Shoulder Routines

Obviously, every training program should be personalized and adapted to your body based on training experience. Thus, I will provide you with some guidelines to follow in order to get the best bodybuilding results:

1) Choose a weight that allows you to reach failure within the amount of prescribed repetitions. Failure is the point at which performing another repetition with good form becomes impossible.

2) Rest enough time in between sets (60-90 seconds) to catch your breath and then move quickly to the next one. When you are done with all of the sets of one exercise, you can rest 1-2 minutes before moving to the following exercise.

3) For those who are just getting started, you should do no more that 1 or 2 sets, and rest longer (if needed) between each set until you catch your breath.

This shoulders workout is especially good for those who have issues with the rotator cuff. I like to start my routine by warming up and strengthening these very often neglected but critical muscles.

Warm up rotator cuff:

4 sets of a superset of external rotation to the side and external rotation to the front: 10-15 repetitions each

rest 1-2 min before moving to the next exercise

Front Shoulder Work:

4 sets of dumbbells shoulders press : 12 repetitions

rest 1-2 min before moving to the next exercise

Rear Shoulder Work:

4 sets of Bent over lateral raises: 12 repetitions

rest 1-2 min before moving to the next exercise

Side and Front Shoulder Work:

4 sets of a superset of lateral raises (perform with very straight arms) and front raises (perform with very straight arms): 10 repetitions each (note: you will not be able to use very heavy weights for this if performed correctly).

rest 1-2 min before moving to the next exercise

Side Shoulder Work:

4 sets of lateral raises with bent elbow: 10 repetitions each (you can go a bit heavier on these thanks to the bent elbow).

rest 1-2 min before moving to the next exercise

Side and Front Shoulder Work:

4 sets of upright rows: 12-18 repetitions

Conclusion

There you have it! Your sure fire way to get sexy shoulders. Like I said, if you are a beginner, just start with 1-2 sets of each exercise and after a few weeks you can build it up from there. Also, do not be afraid to switch the exercise order as variety is the spice of life and changing things around will keep the results coming.

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Filed under: Bodybuilding Routines