The shoulder is in the human body from a functional point of view, not only the most complex muscle group, but is considered the Achilles heel of recreational athletes, as wrong or excessive training can easily lead to significant injuries. So that you can remain injury-free in the long run and continue to build up your muscles undisturbed, we have compiled 16 laws for you, which should always be considered during shoulder training.

Law 1 - Begin with shoulder press

Since it has generally proved to be advantageous on the basis of sports science examinations to start a workout with basic exercises that involve several joints in the movement process at the same time, the shoulder training should also be started with a difficult basic exercise. Particularly suitable for this purpose is the shoulder press, since in the course of which a large part of the shoulder muscles is loaded, whereby maximum performance is possible. Last but not least, due to the fact that your muscles are still well rested and still not prone to injury after a proper warm-up program, you should work with high weights and a rep range of 6-8 when shoulder pressing.

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Law 2 - Shoulder presses while sitting and standing

Even though the pressure movement is basically the same, both variants of the exercise differ in detail considerably from each other, which is revealed, for example, in the fact that the power output while sitting is slightly worse than when standing. This phenomenon is based on the lack of momentum generated intentionally or unwillingly in the framework of the standing embodiment with the help of the hip and the knee. Another difference is that the shoulder press while standing involves numerous accessory muscles that serve to stabilize the trunk. On the other hand, if you perform the exercise while sitting, you can concentrate your strength on the shoulders as they perform in a more isolated manner. In practice, it is therefore advisable to take advantage of both variants in order to optimally advance the muscle growth of the shoulders.

Law 3 - Prefer free exercises

If you are already integrating basic exercises into your training plan, you should also attach importance, if possible, to not completing them with machines, but with free weights. The big advantage of this practice is that it also includes small accessory muscles that stabilize the shoulder musculature and are hardly affected by the machine-guided exercise. If the auxiliary muscles get tired, which may be the case towards the end of the training, you can occasionally use guided exercises to get the most out of your muscles.

Law 4 - Do not put too much weight on the neck

Needless to say, you should always choose a high weight in the context of the shoulder training, in order to maximize your musculature and set optimal training stimuli. However, this rule is not uncommon when it comes to squeezing your neck, because your shoulders are in an awkward position when you press your neck, making it particularly prone to injury when you're under pressure. As a result, when you press your neck, you should work with a moderate weight and focus on the muscle in return.

Law 5 - Upright rowing to supplement

One of the lesser known basic exercises for the shoulder muscles is the upright rowing, which also trains the neck next to the deltoid muscle. To maximize the benefits of performing this exercise, it is necessary to grab the barbell approximately shoulder-width in the upper grip and then pull it slowly and in a controlled manner up to the chin. In your own interest, you should refrain from spoofing by using swinging motions.

Law 6 - Isolation exercises after pressure exercises

After completing the basic pressure exercises with maximum energy, you can move on to the isolation exercises that allow you to train the shoulder muscles in isolation, without involving the triceps or other accessory muscles. Compared to the basic exercises, isolation exercises have the advantage of being able to focus on specific parts of the shoulder, so you can eliminate deficits.

Law 7 - frontal lifting for the front shoulder

In frontal lifting, the focus is on the anterior part of the deltoid muscle so that it can be specifically strengthened. In practice, you have the choice of doing the exercise with one arm or two arms. The latter has the consequence that you can move more weight, but this leads to spoofing. To avoid this, it is advisable to carry out the two-armed front lifting exclusively in the sitting position.

Law 8 - Lateral raises for the middle shoulder

As with frontal lifting, there are plenty of variations to choose from in the event of side raises, which you should take advantage of each time. In case of doubt, however, choose a lighter weight, because with the isolation training for the shoulders, it is primarily on the muscle feeling and not on the weight. In addition, to recruit the maximum amount of muscle fibers, make sure during the course of the movement that you turn your hands slightly forward during the concentric movement phase.

Law 9 - Prone Side Raise for the Back Shoulder

If you want to train your back shoulder effectively, do not miss the leaning side lift in your exercise plan. Again, you should not work with momentum, but focus instead on slowly guiding your arms upwards and consciously pushing the shoulder blades together. As an alternative to carrying out with free weights, the use of the reverse butterfly machine offers this advantage, which also has the advantage that your arms are right in the right position and thus the muscle can be optimally loaded.

Law 10 - Remember to bend your elbows slightly

Many exercisers make the mistake of straightening their arms when performing the front and side raises, which is counterproductive in terms of targeted strain on the shoulder muscles. It is better to always have a slight angle in the elbow joint, which, for example, prevents the triceps from helping too much. In addition, the slight angle in the elbow joint ensures the protection of the shoulder and elbow joint.

Law 11 - Your shoulders need to work evenly

There is hardly any other muscle that can be seen more clearly in an asymmetrical form and more harmful than in the shoulders. Consequently, it must always be ensured that both deltoid muscles are equally well-formed. So, if a shoulder turns out to be weaker, you should do a few sets to match both sides in terms of performance.

Law 12 - Watch for the rotator cuff

It is obvious that every strength athlete wants to have opulent shoulders, but what little is known is that the rotator cuff also has to be trained to do this. Needless to say, it is not necessarily fun to train this lower-lying auxiliary musculature, because it is not visible after all. However, neglecting rotator cuff training significantly increases the risk of injury.

Law 13 - Listen to the signals of your shoulder

Be aware that the shoulder is a particularly fragile construct, not least because of its anatomically complex structure, so you should listen to the signals from your shoulders as you train. If pain occurs more often, it makes no sense to override it, as it can cause uncomfortable shoulder injuries that can torpedo your workout in the long run. Therefore, always question where the pain comes from and accordingly take targeted breaks or do another exercise.

Law 14 - No Shruggs in Shoulder Training

Although many exercisers like to end their shoulder workouts with shruggs, you should do them better as part of your back training, as most of the load is on the trapezius muscle rather than the deltoid muscle.

Law 15 - Add variety to your training

Since your body is able to adapt relatively quickly to the demands placed on it, you should also attach great importance to a varied selection of exercises during shoulder training. If you neglect this point, it can cause your muscle to slow down significantly over time, as your shoulder muscles work more effectively.

Law 16 - Plan your training wisely

Depending on which training system you are following, you should set the time of shoulder training individually. In the course of a 2-splits, it would make no sense, not to combine the shoulder muscles with the chest and triceps. Otherwise it can happen that you strain your muscles too often and you get into overtraining.

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