How To Build Boulder Shoulders

 lee-priest-arms-shouldersDon’t neglect rear delts

Boulder shoulders. I think it’s safe to say we all want those full rounded shoulders. Unfortunately for many, your delts can be a stubborn muscle group to bring up. The biggest problem most people run into is that they forget the shoulder composes of three parts. The front, middle, and rear delts all comprise the shoulder.

DSC01396While many people go to the gym and train day in and day out, they tend to forget this. This often leads to an unproportioned look, leaving the individual falling short of maximizing their potential gains.  The most common thing you will see is people with massive front delts and non existent rear delts from years of bench press and neglecting  the back of the shoulder. The biggest problem with this is that it will lead to improper posture and can negatively affect your other lifts in the gym. When you are internally rotated due to constant pressing it will causes your front delts and pecs to tighten/shorten while your rear delts are weakened.

So what can we do to help blast those shoulders in order to develop the most amount of growth?


To get the most out of your shoulder workouts make sure you are doing each exercise without momentum. Doing this will put more focus on the targeted muscle. Be sure to target all aspects of your shoulder when conducting your shoulder program. Incorporate presses, lateral raises, and rear delt exercises fairly to ensure you will get the most out of each and every workout. This will give your body a much more proportionate look and give you that monstrous upper body that we all crave! Also Try switching up your presses by using different methods such as dumbbell, barbell, smith machine, or regular machine.

Perfect your lateral raise – When doing side raises you want to make sure you are putting as much emphasis on the medial deltoid as possible. In order to do so start the movement in neutral position (palms down), once you start to lift the weight then begin to pronate your hands by turning your thumb side of the hand downwards as if your pouring out a cup. Doing so will create internal rotation of your humerus.

Start Focusing on your Rear Delts – Through cables, dumbbells, and barbells, there are a vast amount of exercises that you can incorporate into your routines to help build a more proportionate look. While keeping your movements slow and controlled, using rear cable flys, cable face pulls, cable crossovers are a few of the movements that aid in targeting this part of the shoulder.

While your front delts get hit the most out of the three heads, especially during the pressing movements, it’s still important to give them some isolated work as well with some front felt raises using dumbbells, cables, ropes, and kettle bells.

Here is a great sample workout that can help you build the boulder shoulders you’ve been waiting for!


Written By Matt Ferro and Madison Schnarr

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