Instant Shoulder Activator! The “Non Responder” Solution! | ALL THREE HEADS!
Nobody wants to lift light weights.. But what if I told you when it comes to training shoulders that light weights are DAE WAE?
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Today we’re going to continue with the non-responder series, and we’re going to talk about shoulders. We’re going to go over exercises for all 3 heads of the delts, but this is going to be a little different to what we did for chest and back. For chest and back, I explained how to use OTHER exercises before doing your main movements, to help establish a stronger mind-muscle connection (MMC).
When it comes to the shoulders, in order to establish a stronger MMC with various movements, you actually need to take a step back and away from barbell or dumbbell presses, dumbbell raises, or whatever you are currently doing for your shoulder workout. Instead, you need to do some very SPECIFIC movements in order to target each head properly to correct your form, and then establish an even stronger MMC to those muscles.
The majority of people have a hard time growing their shoulders because no matter what they’re doing (front, middle or rear delts), they start to bring more chest or more upper back into the movement. That typically happens because either their form is off, their lifting more weight than they should, or both. When it comes to the front delts, what happens is most people try to lift too much weight, and quickly realise that when their shoulders are protracted, they’re not able to lift as much comfortably. This means they tend to bring their shoulders back, and then lift the weight.
Yes, you’re able to lift more weight this way, but as soon as you go from protraction to retraction, you start to bring a lot more upper chest into that movement, which is why you’re able to lift a bit more weight. You need to re-teach your body to only hit those front delts as hard as possible through the entire range of motion. I’m going to cover how you can get a better MMC of the front delts with a resistance band, but you can use a cable machine for this exercise too, just use the same form.
Front Raise (3 – 4 Sets: 8 – 10 Reps Per Side)
If you are using a resistance band, I want you to stand on it on the ground. However, instead of retracting your shoulder blades, I want you to stand neutral, and then bring your shoulder forward slightly for SLIGHT protraction. Don’t force anything or bring your shoulders too far forward, as this can cause pain and impingement. Grab the resistance band so that there is tension at the bottom of the movement, then lift the band up and over your head as high as you can.
What’s good about the resistance band is you’re going to keep tension on the front delt at the top of the movement, and as long as there’s not a lot of slack, you’ll also have a bit of tension at the bottom as well. When you use dumbbells for this, or even a barbell (which is OK to do), obviously what happens is once you pass about your chest or chin level, you start to lose tension because you shift from lifting the weight to literally holding it above your head. With the resistance band, you start at the bottom, go all the way to the top, and then bring it back down, controlling the movement through the entire range of motion. So stop using dumbbells, stop using a barbell, and just grab a resistance band so you can re-teach your body how to activate those muscles.
The reason why a lot of us have a hard time engaging the middles delts is for 2 reasons. The first reason is obvious – you’re using weight that’s way too heavy. The second reason is people again tend to retract their shoulder blades. If you’re retracting your shoulder blades and then using weight that is way too heavy, it shortens the range of motion, and it probably means that your upper back and traps are doing most of the work, rather than the middle delts.
Lateral Raise (3 – 4 Sets: 8 – 10 Reps Per Side)
The way I want you to do lateral raises for the next couple of weeks is on the cable machine. The reason why you’re going to use a cable machine is for a couple of different reasons. Number one – when you grab the handle and step away from the machine, the weight is suspended the entire time. What that means is you have constant tension throughout the entire range of motion.
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