Your shoulder joints offer an advanced degree of mobility. Three distinct delt heads move your arms over 180-degree arcs. This great complexity leads to heightened risks of errors and injuries. So take careful notes as we tackle the five most common delt-training blunders and explain how to shoulder on correctly. Class is in session.
MISTAKE #1: OVEREMPHASIZING FRONT DELTS
All delt heads do not work equally, and the one that typically carries the heaviest load is the anterior. Your front delts are not only primary movers during overhead presses, they’re also secondary movers during chest and triceps workouts, helping during presses and dips. If you’re doing front raises in addition to a lot of shoulder, chest and tri compound lifts, you’re likely overworking your front delts. This is especially true if you train chest and shoulders in the same workout or on consecutive days.
- If you hit chest before shoulders in the same workout, consider how much pressing and dipping you’ve already done before working delts. If the total is at least eight sets, do no more than four sets total of shoulder presses and front raises.
- Don’t train chest and shoulders on consecutive days. Ideally, three days should pass between hitting each, so Middle deltoid if you do chest on Monday, do delts on Thursday.
- Dumbbell presses or presses behind the neck stress the middle delts more and front delts less, so these are good alternatives to military presses if you believe that your front delts are overtrained or that they’re outgrowing the other heads.
- One cardinal rule of bodybuilding is that you can never be too wide. And so, it’s generally best to emphasize your middle delts more and front delts less on shoulder day, because the middles (most responsible for shoulder width) get little stress during other workouts and your fronts may assist during both your chest and tri sessions.
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