Superb Shoulders



By: John M. Di Fazio II


Excellent deltoid development can bring a premiere yet balanced look to any great physique. Great shoulders stand out, whether on the stage of competition, in the gym, or in day to day life. Building strong and developed shoulders also helps with posture and strengthens important areas around the upper vertebra to create support for the neck and the muscles that maintain our upper spine. As the main muscles of the shoulders, the deltoids extend from the ridge of the shoulder blade, (scapula,) to the end of the collarbone, (clavicle.) The three heads of the deltoid muscles are the anterior deltoid, (front shoulder,) the lateral deltoid, (side shoulder,) and the posterior deltoid, (the back shoulder.) It’s important to strengthen and develop all three heads of the deltoid. Many train the anterior and lateral heads regularly, but neglect the posterior head. The posterior head greatly aids posture and is an area that displays well in regards to a well-balanced physique. I always train my trapezius muscles on my shoulder day. The trapezius is another group of muscles that benefits posture and also add volume to a great, balanced physique.

Here is an outstanding super-set shoulder workout that I created which also incorporates the trapezius muscles:

Deltoid Day: Super-Sets:

SUPER-SETS: Super-Sets are comprised of two different movements and body parts, combined rapidly, and executed together in a succession of 4 sets per overall movement. For example, when training Traps and Deltoids, a combination may be Dumbbell Shrugs and Lateral Deltoid Dumbbell Raises. Do 15 Shrugs, and immediately do 15 Lateral Deltoid Dumbbell Raises, returning immediately to another 15 Shrugs, and back to another 15 Lateral Deltoid Dumbbell Raises. That succession of 4 movements completes two rounds. Rest one to two minutes after the two rounds, and proceed to the next super-set combination.

Seated Dumbbell Press x 15 reps & Barbell Shrug x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Front Dumbbell Raise x 15 reps, alternating arms & Barbell Shrug x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Lateral Dumbbell Raise x 15 reps & Dumbbell Shrug x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Seated Rear Deltoid Dumbbell Raise x 15 reps & Dumbbell Shrug x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

Bonus Rounds:

Buckets of Water x 60 seconds & Barbell Shrug x 15 reps

(2 consecutive rounds)

(Buckets of Water is an exercise that I created based on an old Kung Fu exercise in which an individual would laterally hold a bucket of water in each arm at arm’s length, with the arms completely straight for an allotted amount of time. A pair of Dumbbells will do fine, but yes, I’ve done this exercise with real buckets of water as my Sifu, (Teacher,) conditioned my abdominals with a piece of dried bamboo. The objective was to strengthen the body while conditioning the core without spilling any of the water and without lowering the buckets before your time was up. Fun!!!)

You can see my deltoid development in the bicep pose below which also clearly displays all three heads of the deltoid muscles, the anterior, the lateral, and the posterior.

Enjoy the workout, and enjoy the RESULTS!!! ~ John D.

This article is also featured in this month’s editions of Fitness Rx For Men and Fitness Rx For Women!

Best Shoulder Workout and Exercises

Best Shoulder Workout and Exercises