How to get Boulder Shoulders

From men and women alike there aren’t many who don’t share the same passion for a beautiful pair of shoulders!

Boulder shoulders are perfectly rounded and sculpted with a number of different exercises, which effectively target all of the relevant parts that make up this highly coveted area.

Good shoulders can make you look wider on top, your waist thinner and your bottom half more balanced.

Ultimately well-developed shoulders can give the look of a better-balanced and more symmetrical physique.

Many make the mistake of just targeting the medial deltoid and forgetting the other areas.

In this comprehensive guide we are going to show you an exercise regime that will target all of the areas of your shoulder array – thus enabling you to build a well-sculpted, well-rounded physique.

In order to get the most out of training your shoulders, it’s important you understand the anatomy of them so you know which parts you are targeting and why.

Anterior deltoid

This is the area of the shoulders that sticks out towards the front of the body and is the most commonly targeted (and typically developed) area on most trainees.

Medial Deltoid

This is the side part of the shoulder, which protrudes outwards in a cap like fashion.

Posterior deltoid (rear deltoid)

The third muscle in the deltoid “trio” – this area of the deltoid is easily the most overlooked and is rarely (if at all) targeted effectively.

The below shoulder training routine hits all areas of your shoulders with 6 exercises helping you to build a balanced, symmetrical look.

Firstly, it’s crucial to hit the front delts HARD. This is the area that gives you that ‘rounded’ look.

Smith Machine Overhead Press
Sets: 3
Reps: 12
Excellent for hitting the delts hard, the smith machine press is the perfect exercise to exhaust your shoulders with.

Sitting down under the barbell with a straight back, place your hands just past shoulder width apart on the bar.

Unrack and push the bar upwards and lower it down in a controlled motion.

Plate Front Raise
Sets: 3
Reps: 12
Although we say plate, you can also use dumbbells too. Standing up straight; hold your weight and raise it up out in front of you whilst keeping your arms straight.

Try to get it just past parallel to really engage the front deltoid. Lower the weight back down, keeping tension on at all times, don’t relax at the bottom.

Dumbbell Lat raise
Sets: 4
Reps: 12-15
The dumbbell lat raise is one of the most effective movements to shred up your middle delts.

Standing up straight with a dumbbell in each hand raise both arms upwards and out to the side of you.

Lower the dumbbells back down without relaxing at the bottom and take them back up. You can do one arm at a time for future isolation by leaning against a wall to remove any support / assistance from your body.

One-Arm Side Cable Laterals
Sets: 4
Reps: 12-15
Begin by standing to the right side of a low pulley row.

Use your left hand to come across your body and grab a single handle attached to the low pulley. Extend your arm upwards until it is elevated to shoulder height. Switch arms and repeat the exercise. Don’t be surprised if you think the weight is light. It’s a tough and very isolated exercise.

Reverse Pec Deck Fly
Sets: 4
Reps: 12-15
Perfect for isolating your rear delts, the reverse pec deck will target this area perfectly and help to “evolve” it greatly.

Sitting on the pec deck with your chest against the vertical pad. Ensure you position the machine arms so that when you grab the handles your arms are straight out in front of you.

Pull arms back till your arms are wide open (a little bit less than a 180 degree angle) and you feel the squeeze between your shoulder blades, then slowly return to the initial position.

The Arnold Press
Sets: 4
Reps: 12-15
Sit yourself on an exercise bench with back support and hold two dumbbells in front of you at about upper chest level with your palms facing your body and your elbows bent.

Raise the dumbbells as you rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward. Continue lifting the dumbbells until your arms are extended above your head in a straight-arm position.

Begin to lower the dumbbells to the original position by rotating the palms of your hands towards you.

If you have learned something new about shoulders that you didn’t already know by reading this suggested workout, or you think it could be an indispensable source of knowledge for anyone you know – please share it.

Enjoy your shoulder training; we look forward to seeing your results!

Here’s a video from legendary bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger on shoulders!