How Do I Build Boulder Shoulders?

Building boulder shoulders is probably one of the hardest things to do in bodybuilding. It's a look that many people want but don’t know how to go about training. In today's blog I'm going to list some exercises/ways to go about training them to grow your shoulders a little faster.

So, lets get started!

When it comes to development of your shoulders in general heavy weight really seems to stimulate growth especially in the 6-10 rep range. For the most part your shoulders respond pretty well to heavy weight, you don't need to be maxing out but what I'm saying is any kind of heavy press (incline or flat) is typically going to work them to a degree but to hit them pretty hard military press whether standing, seated or even on a smith machine is a huge exercise to really help target them and hit the front delts.

A big lift such as military press will be good for overall shoulder development and mass. However, to round your shoulders and make them a priority you’ll have to work all three sections to make them pop. 

Your shoulders have 3 different sections: front, side and rear delts- all 3 should be worked if you want to show off each striation of your muscle. However, out of those 3 sections I believe the front delts need the least amount of isolation work and here’s the reason why…

I believe they need the least amount of attention because they’re worked so hard already from any kind of pressing that you do throughout the week, so your most likely taxing them pretty hard a couple times a week without even trying. Therefore, I believe side and rear delts should be prioritized more for isolation work. A lot of people seem to neglect the side and rear delts for some reason and tend to hit the front more often because of the reasons we discussed already.

When it comes to focusing on the shoulders directly, the side and rear delts should be isolated and worked with a higher rep range around 10-15 reps for best results. If the front delts are a lagging body part and you want to work them as well then, I think the same rep range of 10-15 reps is a good target to hit. There is no reason to work the shoulders in low rep ranges for isolation work because you already hit them in this rep range already elsewhere. Also going too heavy on isolation work for shoulders will break down form extremely fast resulting in injuries and lack of focus in the target muscle.

 You can work your rear delts indirectly with some back exercises but if their a lagging muscle then try to focus on them some more. Working all three sections are going to help with separation which will result in a more aesthetic physique. Working muscles around your shoulders such as your traps, chest and back are going to make them stand out even more.

There's many special techniques that you can use for your front, side and rear delts to cause muscle damage as well. Things like drop sets, super sets, giant sets and many more variables can be manipulated to take your physique to the next level. We will go into more detail about those techniques in future blogs so if you like what you see subscribe to our email list and stay tuned.

Below I listed just a few exercises to help target each area.

Front Delts: Can be targeted with any kind of front raise whether it be barbell or dumbbells. Other exercises to hit the front delts include underhand front raises, standing over head press, and smith machine shoulder press. 

Rear Delts: bent over reverse fly’s, reverse peck deck machine, and standing cable reverse fly.

Side Delts: dumbbell lateral raise, barbell upright row and machine lateral raises.

(If you try any exercises out make sure to tag us or let us know what you think)

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Author: Patrick Reckner- Certified Personal Trainer/ Sports Performance Specialist




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