The shoulders are among the most important parts of the body in both appearance as well as function. You should always pay special attention to these muscles and if they are not well developed you will experience quite a lot of inconvenience not to mention potential health problems.
What Do You Know About Your Shoulders?
Before finding out how you can strengthen the shoulder muscles, you need to know a little about the anatomy of this pack of muscles. The shoulder joint is formed with the humerus or the arm bone and the glenoid socket where it fits into place, like a ball and socket. This is one of the most movable joints of the human body. There is a device that measures the range of the movement of the shoulder, which is called a goniometer or an arthometer. Normally speaking, your shoulder should be able to rotate externally and internally at 90 degrees, be extended at 45 degrees and abduct 150 degrees.
Some Common Mistakes When Doing Shoulder Exercises
When one takes up bodybuilding, or even the more casual exerciser looking to get into shape, you generally tend to concentrate on the internal rotation of the rotator cuff muscles. This results in acute imbalance and instability of the shoulder muscles. A training regimen needs to pay attention to the external rotator cuff movement and muscles as well.
If you find that your progress in building mass is hindered, this means that you are concentrating on the anterior deltoids and neglecting the posterior and medial ones. Since the body cannot stay imbalanced, it stops the progress when the imbalance becomes palpable. Turn your attention to the remaining deltoids and you will immediately see an improvement.
There are many exercises that are considered best for bodybuilding that can actually cause harm to the shoulder muscles, if you are not careful, so keep these exercises in mind when working out your shoulders.
Bench press – This is one of the most popular exercises used to build up your chest muscles. When you do these exercises, you normally let the weight touch your chest before lifting it up again. When you do this, you bring the entire weight upon the shoulder muscles compressing the rotator cuff. When such a move is repeated over a period of time, it can result in an inflamed rotator cuff and a weak anterior deltoid. When doing bench presses make sure that you are not bringing the weight down fully upon your chest, press back up before you reach your chest.
Lat pull downs – Do not do these exercises behind the head because this impacts the rotator cuff negatively. These exercises should be done with the bar being pulled in front of the head, pulling the bar towards the sternum bone. When practiced behind the head, the problems that will arise from the pinched shoulder muscles will far outnumber the benefits of the exercise.
Military press – This exercises too, as the lat pull downs are best done in the front instead of the back. The best results will come when the lower back is immobilized and you use dumbbells to work out the scapular muscles. Avoid pulling it in the front since this can cause an inflamed rotator cuff and weak neck muscles.
Upright rows – When you do these exercises, ensure that your shoulder is does not move more than 90 degrees as such movement directly affects the rotator cuff and deltoid muscles. The best results from these exercises are when the movement is stopped at 90 degrees as this prevents adding extra pressure on the shoulder muscles.
Lateral dumbbell raises – Understand that the amount of pressure exerted on the rotator cuff when you raise your hands at abut 90 degrees is about 90%. This means that the brunt of the weight falls upon the rotator cuff muscles, while the target is the lateral deltoid. The result is that instead of building you are destroying the shoulder muscles. Done wrong, this is one of the most dangerous exercises you could ever do.