Best Shoulder Workout For Mass In 2022

Are looking for The Best Shoulder Workout For Mass, so your 3x t-shirt drapes across your torso like a king’s robe. You look like an NFL linebacker in full pads. You appear to be smuggling two bowling balls under your ears. This is what it feels like to be a freak, to walk among the rank and file, your silhouette–eliciting awe with each approaching step.

It is just another day in the life of the Animal. This is how it feels to have a monstrous best shoulder workout for mass straight out of Frankenstein’s lab.

To achieve the status of the growing grotesque takes a plan, some common sense, and a whole sh!t load of hard work. Consistency, dedication, and focus. But you knew all of that, and you’ve got what it takes and then some. Sh!t, that is how you got here in the first place. So let’s skip the small talk and get down to the Best Shoulder Workout For Mass in 2021.

Your deltoids assist in every kind of bench press and flye movement on chest day, not to mention helping out with heavy curls, rows, and just about anything else that involves your upper body. They do, however, demand to be trained on their own and given their due respect.

This Best Shoulder Workout For Mass can be broken into two categories: presses and raises. For your educational enrichment, we will break down both to their nuts and bolts.

Best Shoulder Workout For Mass Routine

The Lateral Raises

Of all isolation movements, the lateral raise may be the most integral to building a complete physique, as they directly blast the three heads of the deltoid, packing much-needed meat onto one of a bodybuilder’s most prized body parts.

Best Shoulder Workout For Mass
Shoulder Anatomy

Three different raising movements are necessary for the complete development of the shoulder girdle, but they are not of equal importance. The most essential of all raises is the side lateral raise.

1. Side Lateral Raise:

The side lateral raise, performed either with a dumbbell, cable attachment, or on a machine is a must for creating “the look”–the illusion of extreme width.

Dumbbell lateral raise
Side Lateral Raise.

This exercise is so important because it is the only movement in the bodybuilder’s arsenal that directly hits the cherished and so often neglected medial head. This sort of raise responds to both high and low reps and can be performed optimally in both simultaneous and unilateral fashion.

For an electrifying shock set, line up 4 sets of heavy dumbbells in order from heavy to light. Your heaviest pair should allow for 6 tough reps. The lightest under normal conditions you could use for a relatively easy 20. The middle ‘bells should fall somewhere in between ball-busting and laughable.

Starting with the big boys, bang out as many reps as possible, holding the ‘bells in front of you with your elbows just slightly bent and then raising them out to your sides to just about ear level, lowering them slowly on the negative… Then immediately drop them and move on to the next lighter pair.

Descend from heavy to light, taking each set to failure. Do this ritual of torture twice more and you won’t be able to lift your arms from your sides. That should wake those slumbering side delts like an ice-cold shower in December.

2. Rear Delt Lateral Raise:

The next in line in order of bodybuilding significance is the rear delt lateral raise. This movement slaps muscle onto the posterior head of the deltoid and facilitates real-deal upper body thickness. Cats with poor rear delts disappear when they turn to their side.

Rear Delt Lateral Raise
Rear Delt Lateral Raise

The strict execution of this movement is vital to its efficacy. Think of reversing the arc of a dumbbell flye–the opposite of hugging a big old tree. Bent forward, dumbbells hanging in front of you, raise them upward and outward, emphasizing the contraction in your rear delts at the top.

To take this exercise to the next level, try lying face-first on an incline bench- this will restrict your movement, making it impossible to cheat and making you capable of bombing your rear delts with even the lightest of weights.

Rear Delt Lateral Raise
Incline Bench Rear Delt Lateral Raise.

The ideal machine version of this movement is one of my absolute favorites: reverse pec deck flyes–an awesome variation on an old school gem. Try 4 sets ranging from 15 on your first down to a grueling 8 on your last set.

Pec Deck
Pec Deck

3. Front Raise:

Last on the firing line is the front raise. Last simply because it focuses on the most used and abused portion of the deltoid. Your front delts get absolutely destroyed on chest day, simply because of how much they come into play when supporting the taxing tonnage hoisted handling the barbells and dumbbells of a serious pec session.

Front Raise
Front Raise

For this reason, we place them last on shoulder day and only perform 3 sets. With ‘bells hanging at your sides or a plate or light barbell at your waist, raise the weight straight in front of you, without twisting your hands–toy soldier style. These can be done one arm at a time or with both simultaneously. Perform three sets of 12, 10, and 8 respectively.

Shoulder Workout Tips

To add a little spice to your delt training and to cut the painful monotony of lateral raises, try grouping the three movements together into a vicious but well-choreographed giant set. Grab a moderate pair of dumbbells and sit on the edge of a bench. Lean forward and perform 10 reps of bent lateral rear delt raises.

Without hesitation, sit upright and perform 10 reps of side raises. Finally, complete 10 reps of seated simultaneous front raises. This sh!t will burn like kerosene over an open flame. Go through this circuit three times, raising the weight just slightly on each. This will deep fry your delts and add a little bit of needed variety. Try it, it’s a motherf_cker.

Shoulder Workout With Barbell

It is one of the most basic and simple displays of strength. Pick up an object and lift it over your head. The more daunting and hefty the object, the more impressive the feat.

No display of power is as cut and dry. At the same time, however, there may not be a movement so singularly responsible for the broad-shouldered, mile-wide appearance of the hardcore bodybuilder. The shoulder press is as core and rudimentary an exercise as there is, and as such must be a staple in the routine of any trainer worth a d@mn.

A compound, multi-joint movement, the shoulder press has an impact on the human torso in proportion to the effects of the squat on the legs. The weight pushes down, with gravity as its best friend, folding the arms and compressing the chest, the heavier you go, the harder it is to breathe.

The negative is slow and grueling; you can feel the weight of the world pressing down upon you. You hit bottom and have no choice but to fight. You’re against the world, it is push back or die. So you shove with all your might, onward and upward, each inch feeling like a country mile.

Your triceps strain to assist your struggling delts and your abs are locked tight, protecting your core from doubling over. Your feet are about to push through the dusty gym floor.

You steady yourself and lockout hard at the top, pausing in a moment of inner triumph while your arms extend upward victoriously. Your jubilation is short-lived, however, for you know that this set has just begun. The bar again begins its descent.

The Shoulder Presses

Shoulder presses are the cornerstone exercise in any serious Shoulder Workout For Mass. Either placed at the beginning of your session or later after pre-exhausting with an array of lateral raises–you haven’t really trained shoulder if you haven’t hoisted some heavy iron overhead.

The pressing movement can be performed effectively using a barbell, dumbbells or even on a machine. Your average Animal should perform at least one kind of pressing for each delt session and can oftentimes benefit from using two such movements for the sake of variety and the utilization of different physiological pathways.

1. Military Press:

Performed seated or standing, it gets no more brutal than the military press. The name alone reeks of grave circumstances. Using a loaded barbell, unrack the weight and hold it overhead. Slowly lower the barbell to chin level and explode upward forcefully.

Military Press
Military Press

One can either take the movement to full lockout or stop just short of a lockout and continue to rep. After a considerable warm-up, perform 4 sets starting with 15 for the first set, followed by sets of 10, 8, and a final widow maker of 4-6.

A good alternative to the traditional free weight version of the military press is the same movement replicated on a smith machine- which provides the advantage of being locked into one fixed plane. It is a good idea (especially for the sake of your rotator cuffs) to employ an experienced spotter, one who knows their way around a gym, particularly on your heavier sets, as unracking and re-racking the weights can be an awkward and dangerous proposition.

Smith Machine Military Press.
Smith Machine Military Press

2. Behind The Neck Press:

On days when you desire to add a little bit of cayenne pepper to your deltoid recipe, there is an old school variation of the military press that is not to be overlooked. The behind neck press, often shunned for its reputation as a hazardous exercise, can provide remarkable results when executed properly and in a cautious manner.

shoulder workout for mass behind the neck press
behind the neck press

It would be more appropriately titled the “behind the head press” because that is the actual safe range of motion for this movement. Seated at a military press station or in the power rack, lower the bar slowly to the midpoint on the back of your skull. Press upward again to lockout or to a point just short thereof.

Lowering the bar any further is entering into the red zone where injuries can and do happen. Follow the same set and rep range prescribed earlier for the standard military press.

3. Dumbbell Press:

The seated dumbbell press is quite possibly the most effective of all shoulder presses in that, like all dumbbell movements, it forces both arms to work independently and in unison. The trainer has to focus on balance, simultaneous movement, and even tempo to properly carry out the movement.

Seated Dumbbell Press
Seated Dumbbell Press

Seated with the dumbbells on your upper legs, kick them into a pressing position. Push upward powerfully, squeeze at the top and lower slowly. These can be done in place of the military press or on days that you are feeling especially brutish, in addition to the old standby. Perform 3-4 sets ranging from 12 reps down to a vicious set of 4-6.


So this was my best shoulder workout for mass, your delts are now battered and deep-fried. You are emotionally exhausted and physically drained. The writing is on the wall, and you can read it as clear as day: “Only The Strong Survive.”

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