T Nation

Back or Shoulders


can somebody show me where the back starts and where the shoulders end because sometimes i feel like im working my back a little on shoulder days and that im working my shoulders on back days. and if you can point me into the direction of the best lifts to target each muscle seperatly


You can't be fucking serious...


I'm not an expert on any of this... but I'm pretty sure that most pulling exercises involve the rear deltoid. And most overhead pressing involves your traps for stabilizing.

I don't think you need to target each muscle separately.


Now whats the point of having a beginers section if all you get is abuse when you ask questions even if they do seem stupid to the more experienced ???

I have been wanting to ask a few questions myself and this sort of response puts people off.


good answer. A machine press can isolate the delts better then dbs can. And you absolutely will hit the rear delts with rows and whatnot.

While we have "shoulder" and "back" muscles, they are all connected to make you a functioning human.


Well its really common sense.

Move your arm/shoulder and you can feel your traps/lats/pecs and other numerous muscles move. They all work together. You can't really 100% isolate a single muscle as there are almost always supporting muscles that will get involved.

Maybe if the OP posted what exercises he were doing also. It is not uncommon to do a upper back/shoulder workout on the same day because both muscle groups are being used.

Shoulder muscles get involved in so many exercises many people don't even find it necessary to have a shoulder day.


the only pulling exercise i do on shoulder days is a face-pull to target the rear deltoid

if i do lat raises, bent over lat raises or front raises, im targeting the upper trapezius as well as the rear delts

on back day, i pull below the deltoid, often below the pecs, tryin to work the traps, but avoid working the deltoid

i also do upright rows on back days, as they work the whole traps muscle

in short, what you are feeling is normal, but concentrate on isolating the movements further, i.e., dont be feeling all of your seated rows on backday in your rear deltoid. that would be bad and wrong


I just did a little bit of research:

If you were interesting in trying to work the muscles as separately as possible, then you probably wouldn't be doing overhead pressing and would instead stick to strict lateral, bentover, and front raises. When you use momentum for raises, you'll use your traps as well (this is only a bad thing if you're trying to isolate your shoulders more).

I can't think of a way to get rid of your rear delts in rowing, but I think that the closer to your torso you keep your elbows, the less rear delt your use. You could also pre-exhaust your lats or mid-back with exercises like pull-overs or incline dumbbell shrugs before rowing.

Again, I'm not sure why a beginner would really want to focus so much on isolating your muscles like this, but if that's your program and it's working for you then I'd rather be helpful then not.




For bodybuilding purposes, the shoulders are just those two rounded points at the top left corner and top right corner, connecting the arms to the trunk. Everything else on the trunk, from the neck to the waist, is the "back."

Some people train traps (the big chunk of meat running from the neck to mid-back) on shoulder day, but I disagree with it.

That's normal (though not necessarily a "good" thing"), depending on the exercises you're doing and your technique while doing them.


Check which exercises are listed by the majority of members, and choose those to target your intended bodyparts.

Out of curiosity, what does your shoulder workout and back workout look like right now?