Building impressive shoulder muscles is a coveted goal for many weightlifters, and incorporating effective finishers into your shoulder workout can help you achieve those broader, more muscular shoulders. Here are five shoulder finishers that can take your shoulder workout to the next level:
3-way lateral raise complex: While compound, multi-joint movements like presses and upright rows are essential for overall shoulder development, isolation exercises like lateral raises can provide targeted work for the deltoids. Start with dumbbell side lateral raises, moving the weights from your sides instead of in front. Once you reach muscular failure with at least 10 reps, immediately transition to dumbbell bent-over lateral raises. Finish without rest with dumbbell front lateral raises. Aim for 3-4 sets with higher reps to maximize blood flow to the muscles.
Weight plate finisher: Weight plates can be a convenient and creative tool for a shoulder finisher. Perform full-range front raises, raising the plate from thigh level to overhead. Alternatively, hold the plate with both hands as if gripping a steering wheel and raise it to eye level, rotating clockwise and counterclockwise while upright. Another option is to rotate the plate around your head for a specific number of revolutions in each direction. Complete 3-4 sets in total.
Run the rack: This technique involves using dumbbells and starting with low reps on the first set and gradually increasing reps as you progress to heavier dumbbells. Begin with one rep on the first pair of dumbbells and perform as many reps as possible on the next pair. Continue this pattern until you’ve exhausted your shoulders with the heaviest dumbbells available. This method ensures you work across the entire spectrum of reps and intensity in a single, intense set.
Kettlebell finisher: Kettlebells offer unique training options for variety and muscle engagement. Create a kettlebell complex by incorporating side lateral raises, upright rows, and front swings, performed consecutively without rest. The unbalanced load of the kettlebell adds an extra challenge. Aim for 3-4 sets of 10 reps or more per set.
Isometric/negative finisher: Isometric and negative contractions can enhance muscle strength and hypertrophy. Choose a shoulder movement that targets your specific goals, such as wider shoulders with side lateral raises. Use a relatively light load, lift the weight to the contracted position, pause briefly, and then lower it slowly and under complete control for a count of 10 seconds. Repeat for multiple reps, using a controlled cheat if needed to return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets to thoroughly fatigue your deltoids.
Incorporating these shoulder finishers into your workout routine can help you achieve the wide, muscular shoulders you desire. Remember to focus on proper form and gradually increase intensity to challenge your shoulder muscles effectively.