Broad built shoulders has first to do with one’s skeletal structure for the most part. Your
But anyone regardless of their bone structure can thicken up the Deltoids and add size and thus the illusion of broader shoulders. Lending to the effect of a more athletic build.
In the Eighties the ladies wore these suits with built in shoulder pads, it was all the rage. I tore them out. I build up my Deltoids and decided I would like to fill out the jacket myself.
First off, the shoulder girdle muscles are: Pectoralis Major, Serratus Anterior, Trapezius Rhomboids and Levator. These are not the muscles that build up the should to give it that round full capped look. But you had better have a strong shoulder girdle and have these muscles conditioned, so as to endure the loads required to maximally work the Deltoids: your true “shoulder” muscles. The ones you want to build and why you are reading this article.
For the girdle— conditioning can be any exercises or sports that get the shoulder blade (the scapula) moving against resistance or gravity. Rowing, Lat pulls, pull-ups, push ups, bench press, pitching a baseball, throwing a football, boxing. You need as strong and able muscles of the girdle (those muscles listed above to stabilize the scapula effectively (i.e., hold it in place) so you can stress the Deltoids maximally.
On a side tangent. The shoulder can be prone to injury. The most common is the rotator cuff tear or irritation. When you have rotator cuff issues the shoulder can be hard or impossible to work. The best advice on this seek physical therapist or osteopath to find out what is going on before you do further damage to your shoulder joint (glen humeral joint) trying to beef up your Deltoids. And what ever you do DON’T EVER… I MEAN EVER use pain blockers and push through. Heal first then work. NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflamatories are a good choice to soothe minor aches. But DON’T MASK INJURIES and train.
There are a couple of other injuries that happen in the shoulder. Sometimes the supraspinatus tendon gets impinged as it lies under acromion (a bony process that can squeeze down on it (impinge it) and cause pain. The supraspinatus is one of the four rotator cuff muscles. It is the one prone to injury. The other three are: Infraspinatus, Teres Minor, and the Subscapularis. They won’t bulk up your Deltoids, but they do need to be injury free to train the Delts effectively.
Sometimes it is Bicipital Tendon instability that is the issue. Usually the culprit is the long head (the lateral tendon) and the pain comes from the front and top of your shoulder. In this case avoid front raises and even bench pressing. Exercise you can do for Delts in this case without pain, are: laterals, reverse flyes. The best advice I can give here if you attempt an exercise and there is pain. DON’T do it. Go to doctor find out first what is going on it could be rotator cuff, it could be Bicipital Tendon instability, it could be Supraspinatus impingement. It most like is not what we call a dislocated shoulder. You would know that the head of the Humerus pops out of the shallow fossa of the scapula and its terribly painful (from what I have heard). You will not be able to any shoulder work and should seek medical attention. Lastly it could be what we call a separated shoulder. The place where your Clavicle (collar bone) meets the Scapula (shoulder blade) is a critical joint we call the Acromioclavicular joint. You can call it the AC joint. If the joint fibers here tear or even partially rupture you have a “separated shoulder.” Most shoulder work is out of the question.
LETS TRAIN DELTOIDS!
Start maybe 60% intensity for fifteen or twenty reps.
Now increase intensity say 75-80% dropping your reps down 8- 10. Intensity is measured by One Rep Max but an easy way we (brainiac exercise physiologists not me) have figured out is lower reps around 8-10 that are very difficult to complete but still allowing for good form is most likely around the intensity you need to build. Heavy training, i.e., higher intensity training is shown to increase natural testosterone production. And yes ladies— you make testosterone too!
8-10 reps rest 1 to 2 minutes.
(Jump right in since you are warm to low intensity).
Use barbell or cables. Again this exercise focus is on all three heads.
I think it always best to work the larger and more complex groups first than to isolate. If you fatigue a small muscle that is called upon in heavy workload and its already been taxed out it will burn and not allow the maximal effort for that entire group. And to build you need high intensity.
Some isolation for the Deltoids:
8-10 reps rest 1 to 2 minutes.
Reverse Flyes, (use dumbbells or cable to focus on posterior deltoid).
8-10 reps rest 1 to 2 minutes.
Perform Side Lateral Raises next. The focus here is the middle Deltoid and that supraspinatus –a rotator cuff muscle (yes the one with the tendon that plagues us with impingement and irritation). But if you are good to go do this:
Side Lateral Raises
You’ll want to let your Deltoids recover so as to build and repair. Don’t train them again if they are even remotely sore. That is usually 48-72 hours. As with any growth routine, you should be consuming enough high quality nutrition, namely protein to build muscle. Protein intake for bodybuilders is about I gram of protein for every kilogram of bodyweight. (The RDA recommends about .8 grams—but that is for the average “Joe Shmoe” desk jockey). Water helps your muscles look full and better yet function optimally. Muscles fatigue more quickly when you are dehydrated, so for building you need to be hydrated. And of course adequate sleep is required for reparation of of catabolized protein. Muscles breakdown, Proteins dismantle and they need hormonal direction to rebuild. You need to get to delta waves in your sleep cycle in order to release endogenous HGH (human growth hormone) to repair those dismantled Deltoids. Thus SLEEP, NUTRITION, HYDRATION, and TRAINING METHODS are all integral to optimum muscle growth. Now get out there and train your shoulders!