Increased Mass and Strength for Your Shoulders

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Many fitness guys misunderstand the importance of shoulders. Fact is, huge shoulders, not huge arms, make you look better in a shirt and help you lift heavier weights.

With our exercises, we’ll give you big and powerful shoulders people will always notice.

1. Barbell Overhead Press

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* Stand with the body tight and rigid.

* Hold a barbell just above the upper chest, hands slightly wider than shoulder width.

* Think of an imaginary straight line drawn from the elbows through the wrists and hands and into the ceiling.

* Press the bar up along this path as the elbows extend, taking the same path back down to the starting position.

* Do 3-5 sets of 4-8 reps.

2. Hang Clean & Press

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* Grab a barbell overhand at shoulder-width.

* Keep back flat and lower it to knee level.

* Straighten, shrug up, and come up on the balls of the feet.

* Flip wrists over, and press the weight straight overhead.

* Reverse the motion to return to the starting position. That’s 1 rep.

* Do 1 set of 6 to 8 reps, rest 90-120 seconds, and then use a lighter load for a second set of 10-20 reps.

3. Push Press

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* Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and grip the bar with your fingertips, elbows pointing forward.

* Rest the bar on the front of the shoulders.

* Drop down into a shallow squat, centering your weight under the barbell.

* Press up through your heels.

* Drive the bar directly above your head until arms are straight.

* Lower the bar down to your chest.

* Do sets of 1-5 reps.

4. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

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* Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on a low-back seat or adjustable bench set upright with feet on the floor.

* Begin with elbows at shoulder level but slightly forward, forearms angled in slightly so the inner plates of the dumbbells are directly above your delts.

* Palms should face forward and knuckles face back.

* With knuckles pointed at the ceiling, push the weights straight up, stopping short of locking out your elbows.

* At the top, they should be close to each other without touching.

* Control the dumbbells all the way down until the upper arms are parallel to the floor or slightly lower, the weights at approximately ear level.

* Arms should be parallel to your body, moving toward the sides as you lower the dumbbells.

* For greater muscle size: 6 to 12 reps of a weight between 67 and 85 percent of your one-rep maximum. For increased strength: 6 or fewer reps of a weight equal to 85 percent of your one-rep maximum. For power: 1 to 5 reps at between 75 and 90 percent of your one-rep maximum.

5. Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press

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* Stand with legs at shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in one hand, with your arm bent above the shoulder.

* Extend through the elbow to lift the dumbbell directly above.

* Lower it back down to your shoulder and repeat.

* Repeat for as many reps and sets as desired.