If you are trying to create a routine that will help you grow your shoulders and back, read on. First, you should know it is safe to train your back and shoulders on the same day. Fitness experts and bodybuilders do it all the time. Just be careful not to overwork these muscle groups during your workout sessions. One of the benefits of doing shoulder and back workouts together is that you will be able to train these muscle groups more than once a week. Here are twelve shoulder and back workouts you ought to try.
1. Barbell High Pull
The high barbell pull is a great place to start if you are trying to build your shoulders so they can withstand deadlifts. To do it, follow the steps below:
- Position your feet pointing forward and shoulder width apart. Ensure the barbell positioning is as close to your shin as possible.
- Bend your knees to pick up the barbell, and push your hips back, ensuring the shoulder muscles do the most work.
- Stand back up quickly, almost explosively, and raise the barbell as high as possible before carefully placing it back near your shins.
- Do the steps above repeatedly as per your routine recommendations.
2. Lateral Raises
Lateral raises are one of the most popular back and shoulder exercises because it’s easy to get the right form. And you can use several pieces of equipment to achieve the desired results. This workout focuses on strengthening your lateral deltoid muscles and improving shoulder flexibility.
Here is how to do it:
- Stand upright and relax your arms.
- Grab your desired equipment and raise your arms till they form a 90-degree angle with your body.
- Slowly lower your hands back to your sides and repeat the process.
3. Standing Cable Pulley Fly
If your gym has a cable machine, consider doing the standing cable pulley fly exercise to help build your deltoid muscles.
- Set two cables at chest height and extend your arms to your sides while maintaining an upright posture.
- Make sure you leave some space between you and the machine. Then, take a step forward and pull the weighted cable to either of your sides to open up your shoulders.
- For maximum results, try and engage your pecs while making the lift.
- Stand up straight after each lift and repeat the process.
4. Straight Arm Circles
While the arm circle exercise is more of a shoulder and arms warm-up exercise, it does wonders to improve your mobility which will come in handy while building muscle. To do this exercise:
- Raise your arms on both sides to make a T shape.
- Move your arms in a circular motion and gradually increase the circle size.
- Change the circular direction of your arms after every few seconds.
5. Standing Barbell Shrugs
While the standing barbell shrug is tailored to people with great form, it is a great exercise to strengthen your trapezius muscle.
Follow the steps below to try the said exercise:
- Place your feet such that they perfectly align with your shoulders.
- Bend slowly to pick up the barbell, then raise it to waist level and hold it in place for a few seconds. For maximum results, lift your shoulders a bit while holding the barbell.
- Also, your spine and shoulders need to be straight so that the bicep muscle takes on the majority of the weight of the barbell.
- Place the barbell down and repeat the process as many times as depicted in your routine.
6. Reverse Pec Deck Fly
This exercise is perfect for you if you are trying to build shoulder and back muscles and have a pec deck machine. Below is a tutorial:
- Sit on the pec deck machine bench facing it, adjust the handles, and ensure they are at shoulder level on either side.
- Hold the handles such that your palms are facing inward.
- Ensure your torso is firm, then extend your arms to your side as far as possible.
- Slowly return to your initial position and repeat as often as your routine depicts.
If you don’t have any equipment, then consider doing push-ups. After all, there is a reason why it’s one of the most popular shoulder exercises. Below is how to do a standard push-up:
- Get on all fours and stretch your legs backward so your upper body is in a flat back position.
- Utilize your elbow joint as a pivot point as you slowly lower the rest of your body to the ground.
- Lift your body back up, and repeat the process.
8. Push Press
If you are more experienced and want to build shoulder muscle, consider the push-press exercise. To do it, follow the steps below:
- First, ensure your core and glutes are fully engaged to avoid injuring your lower back.
- Raise the barbell to your chest level with your elbows pointed out and your arms parallel to the ground.
- Slowly bend your knees as you would when doing a squat and raise the barbell atop your head while at it.
- Hold the position above for a few seconds before returning to the initial position, then repeat the process.
9. Wall Walks
Wall walks are an excellent option if you lack equipment for proper shoulder and arm workouts.
- Position yourself in a press-up position and lift your feet against the wall.
- Use your hands to walk, then slowly raise your legs on the wall as you go before returning to the original position.
10. Y Pulls
If you have a TRX machine, then consider this exercise as its great for a shoulder and back workout:
- Stand upright in front of a TRX machine.
- Hold on tight against the handles and lean backward.
- Ensure you engage your core, pull your chest forward, and raise your arms in a Y shape.
- Return to the start position and repeat the process.
11. One-arm Dumbbell Swing
If you are trying to straighten your arm muscles while also working out your shoulders, consider the exercise below:
- Stand upright, hold a dumbbell with one arm, and let it dangle between your legs.
- Slowly start squatting and lift the dumbbell forward while at it.
- Return to the initial position and repeat the procedure.
If you are a beginner and are still deciding about your form, try the shrugs exercise. To do it, follow the steps below:
- Grab two dumbbells and hold each one on your side with your palms facing inward.
- Proceed to raise your shoulders as high as possible and slowly lower them back down.
There are countless pieces of equipment in the gym, but the only way you can utilize them to achieve your body goals is by knowing the right exercise for each muscle group. This article gave insight into where to start regarding back and shoulder exercises.