Smart Shoulder Training for Bulging Delts and Traps

This workout focusses on both shoulders and traps – two muscle groups that are logical when grouped together. You’ll be using both isolation and compound movements. Compound involve lots of muscle groups engaging at once, and that means you can rack up the weight. Don’t be afraid to spend enough time resting and recovering though as you don’t want to do yourself an injury.



The Workout

The workout is fairly straight forward but really ticks every box when it comes to hitting the shoulders and the traps from every angle to give you that ‘hulk’ look that comes from huge shoulders.


Dumbbell Shoulder Press (3 x 12-16)

To start with you’ll be performing dumbbell shoulder presses while sitting on a bench to take some of the pressure off of your back. You can start dropping the number of reps slightly and moving the up as you go, and if you really want to blast the shoulders you can finish on a drop set. Drop sets mean you keep going through failure by simply lowering the weights rather than stopping.


Lateral Raise (4 x 10-12)

Lateral raises involve raising two light(ish) weights up out to your sides into a crucifix position. Use slow repetitions and you’ll widen out your shoulders as you go.


Again you can finish on a drop set. Aim to keep the number of repetitions the same each time as you drop the weights and this is called ‘running the rack’.


Reverse Pec Dec (3 x 10-14)

Forgetting the rear deltoids is a big mistake that a lot of bodybuilders make. To avoid it, make sure you introduce reverse pec dec into your training. Here you’ll be facing the pec deck and pulling the pads out behind you. As you train, try not to let the weights rest at any point and that way you’ll ensure the pressure stays on your delts all the way through the movements.


Superset: Front Raise with Upright Row (2 x 10-14)

Now you’re going to finish on two exercises that can easily be supersetted and which involve similar movements but work different slightly areas. Start holding the barbell and pull it directly up in front of your chin to do the front raises while using an underhand grip. You should be swinging the arms forward as you do in order to engage the shoulders.  Next up is the upright row, using an overhand grip and bringing the barbell directly up in front of you. This will target your shoulders as well as your lats and biceps to a degree. The rows will also hit the traps slightly, getting you ready for the shrugs.


Barbell Shrugs (4 x 8-12)

To finish you’ll be using shrugs. Here you simply hold the barbell and shrug it directly upwards without moving your arms at all. This directly engages the traps, and if you don’t regularly train your traps normally you’ll find that even just this small amount of work is enough to really stimulate them to grow.

So there you have it, a great workout that will hit every angle of your shoulders and traps. Give it a go and then get ready to buy some new shirts… you’re not going to fit in the old ones any more!

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