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Best Shoulder Workout and Exercises

Excellent deltoid development can bring a premier yet balanced look to any great physique. Great shoulders stand out, whether on the stage of the competition, in the gym, or in day-to-day life. Building strong and developed shoulders also helps with posture and strengthen important areas around the upper vertebra to create support for the neck and the muscles that maintain our upper spine. As the main muscles of the shoulders, the deltoids extend from the ridge of the shoulder blade (scapula) to the end of the collarbone (clavicle) The three heads of the deltoid muscles are the anterior deltoid (front shoulder) the lateral deltoid (side shoulder) and the posterior deltoid (the back shoulder). It’s important to strengthen and develop all three heads of the deltoid. Many people train the anterior and lateral heads regularly, but neglect the posterior head. The posterior head greatly aids posture and is an area that displays well in regards to a well-balanced physique. I always train my trapezius muscles on my shoulder day. The trapezius is another group of muscles that benefits posture and also adds volume to a great, balanced physique.

Here is an outstanding superset shoulder workout that I created, which also incorporates the trapezius muscles:

Deltoid Day: Supersets

Supersets are comprised of two different movements and body parts, combined rapidly, and executed together in a succession of 4 sets per overall movement. For example, when training traps and deltoids, a combination may be dumbbell shrugs and lateral deltoid dumbbell raises. Do 15 shrugs, and immediately do 15 lateral deltoid dumbbell raises, returning immediately to another 15 shrugs, and back to another 15 lateral deltoid dumbbell raises. That succession of 4 movements completes two rounds. Rest one to two minutes after the two rounds, and proceed to the next superset combination.

Seated Dumbbell Press x 15 reps and Barbell Shrugs x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Front Dumbbell Raises x 15 reps, alternating arms and Barbell Shrugs x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Lateral Dumbbell Raises x 15 reps and Dumbbell Shrugs x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Seated Rear Deltoid Dumbbell Raises x 15 reps and Dumbbell Shrugs x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Bonus Rounds:

Buckets of Water x 60 seconds and Barbell Shrugs x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Buckets of Water is an exercise that I created based on an old Kung Fu exercise in which an individual would laterally hold a bucket of water in each arm at arm’s length, with the arms completely straight for an allotted amount of time. A pair of dumbbells will do fine, but yes, I’ve done this exercise with real buckets of water as my sifu (teacher) conditioned my abdominals with a piece of dried bamboo. The objective was to strengthen the body while conditioning the core without spilling any of the water and without lowering the buckets before your time was up. Fun!!!

You can see my deltoid development in the biceps pose below, which also clearly displays all three heads of the deltoid muscles – the anterior, the lateral, and the posterior.

Enjoy the workout, and enjoy the RESULTS!!!

John M. DiFazio II

John M. Di Fazio II is a nutrition consultant, a personal trainer, and a massage therapist and has over 25 of experience working in the fitness industry. He was employed by Gold’s Gym for 13 years and in 2005 co-founded Remedy Fitness, a unique fitness establishment located in East Setauket, New York. While in the employ of Gold’s Gym, he was recruited into Nutritionalysis, a nutrition company based in Venice Beach, California that specialized in individualized nutrition programs, and received his certification. Excelling in the field, his clientele grew by thousands. While establishing such a full clientele in nutrition and personal training, John also graduated from the State University of New York at Stony Brook with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and also graduated from the New School for Holistic Health & Research in Long Island, New York with a degree and a New York State license for massage therapy. For more information, visit