Hitting the Shoulders From All Angles

Guys I have a questions. For most of my training “career” I’ve done compound movements(oly lifting/ and full body before that). Now I’m doing a bodybuilding style routine and would like to know how to hit the shoulders from all “angles”.

So here is what I think I should be doing:

Overhead press

DB shoulder press


Lateral raises

Reverse Fly’s

Does That cover all 3 “heads”?


For the most part, yes…but this is something that you adjust to fit your own needs. You have two over head pressing movements…which is fine if you get a benefit from doing both. It can be time better spent elsewhere if you can hit them well enough with one movement.

Post a picture of your shoulders now. My guess is, they are lagging big time in the lateral head and posterior head…meaning both overhead movements may not even be necessary.

In general, I do overhead presses (using a machine…the HS is best for this but so are others like the Cybex machine (plate loaded), shrugs, lateral raises and reverse pec deck. That generally takes me about an hour by itself but I tend to think I have shoulder development on lock at the moment.

Pick a movement that address the part of your delt that lags most. Do that first. Training like a bodybuilder means you have to put your ego aside and accept slightly lower poundages in your military presses for the sake of bringing up your lateral delts.

Ideally you want to hit the strongest (aesthetically) areas last.

This is what I did to bring up my lateral delts

Machine lateral raise
OH machine press or dumbell press
Cable side lateral raise
Face pulls
Wide grip upright rows in the Smith (to hit the middle delts a bit more and warm up the traps)
Smith shrugs
Dumbell shrugs

The volume was lower for both lateral head movements because of the extra focus.

Thanks guys, two of the most developed on here. Here are some pictures…I know, I’m skinny.



Keep the OH pressing first. You don’t have any serious imbalances. You just need more size. I don’t necessarily think that you need 2 overhead presses back to back but I would recommend dumbell front raises or barbell front raises at some point in the middle of the delt session, after a lateral raise movement


Oh and the amount of volume you give to your front delt should reflect how and when you bench press.

Thanks Bonez, I guess I’ll experiment with that next shoulder day.