T Nation

Should I Change My Shoulder Routine?


side view pic of my left delts:


currently my shoulder day looks like:

db ohp 3 sets
bb ohp 3 sets
standing lateral raise 3 sets
standing rear delt cable flye 3 sets

I also ladder down twice for each exercise which I don't think really counts.

I've been reading through some of the big guys' threads (Akuma's most recently) and I get the feeling that I should address what I think looks like my front delt totally overshadowing the medial and rear delts.

I'm thinking of adding db upright rows before lateral raises, and adding face pulls before rear delt flyes. or should I rather change my db ohp out to the sides instead of keeping a fairly neutral grip?

edit: it had just occurred to me to keep the ohp the same and do more sets of lateral raises at my working weight.


Do you sell shoes?


no ID, I'm just a poor man looking for a decent pair of jeans (and delts).

  1. Train weak points more regularly, how often do you have your shoulder day? As an example once a week may not be enough
  2. Train weak points first on shoulder day, make them a priority
  3. Tinker with setup of lat raises to get the most out of them


  1. once a week, so I can hit everything. I can possibly make this slightly more frequent (once every 4-5 days) without affecting other lifts.
  2. so... lateral raises before ohp?
  3. I can "feel" my medial delts pretty well on lateral raises even while cheating, and i can keep my traps out of the movement.


IMO- If you want to do two Presses, start with BB, then go to DB.
I always like more Lat head focus, as that will get the delt Popping out more. Maybe throw in an extra exercise (or two if you drop one of the pressing movements. that is if you DO have an overdeveloped front head). Also, How do you laterally raise?

Dunno if it was said around here at all, but it finally clicked for me one day- Doing the Bell Raises i learned from a competing BB at my gym, Seeing Bodybuilding training videos of Lateral raises performed- They had their grip the same way, Knuckles faced forward rather than straight outward.

So ive started doing all my Lateral raises like that. Next, if you're only going to do 1 movement for Rear delts, id up the reps/sets. When i only had one, i did Reverse cable flies from a high position and shorter ROM for reps of 12-15 for 5 sets.

Just looked at your photos on the link you posted. I wouldnt really say you have a overwhelming front delt, So id still keep in a front movement to keep them sharp. Perhaps your routine could turn into something like:


Front DB raises------(Coming across the body and turning the palm so that the pinky is higher than the thumb.)

DB Laterals----------(Could go single arm, to ensure focus on keeping the movement in your delts and out of your traps, keeping the knuckles forward and slightly tilting your palm towards the to, IE Pour the pitcher)

Cable laterals ------(Same Arm focus. You can do these with your feet touching the machine, griping the handle that should be on it, and leaning away from it, this can give a wicked stretch).

Reverse Cable flies- (Limited rom, ensuring you keep the weight in your rear delt, and not spreading it throughout your upper back).

Also, personally, i wouldnt do any upright rows. Ive heard those can be pretty dangerous on your should joint.


damn speak of the devil (or demon, in this case)...

lol I had to turn off my music and read all of that 3-4 times. I've tried "pour the pitcher" before but I was doing it too high with trap involvement at the top. I do my lateral raises knuckles out with my arms straight as much as possible but I notice that I have to use less weight than with the other movement.

I think I can get away with just one ohp as I can already feel a good amount of front delt involvement in my incline bench and flat bench (less so on the flat bench). plus I've been getting a lot of trap and tri involvement at ohp lockout and it's sapping my tricep work depending on my training schedule for the week.

I'll give it a shot and log how it feels.


also I didn't mean "overwhelming" as in huge, but rather that the front looks bigger than the medial and rear


It doesnt have to be "Empty the pitcher completely," but just a little pour. I know that when i do that with my knuckles facing forward, i can feel a deep Lateral head recruitment, all the way down to the insertion. If you feel like youre having Trap involvement, id suggest slowing things down, both physically and progressively.

Mind/Muscle connection is extremely powerful. Slow the rep down, drop the weight, do them 1 handed, do them seated, do them angled (your feet are touching a wall while your upper body is leaning away from it and you're holding onto something. Sorta puts your body at a 45degree angle). All these are things you can play with.


Meh. Thing is, if you neglect it now, then down the road you'll be saying the same thing for the front head. Dont neglect it completely, just dont blast it like your lat head. If you keep two pressing movements, yea you can probably get away for awhile without any front head movements, but if you drop to one, id throw in 1 front.


I tried the front raise as you suggested. at first I think I was going too far over to the middle as I was getting a bit of pec stimulation, but then I brought it over only so that my first knuckle was at my torso's midline, and twisted my pinky up only so far as to keep tension off my bicep, any farther and my tricep got some tension.

I had to lighten the lateral raise ten lb compared to my previous working weight so I could really feel the nuances of the movement. doing them one arm at a time also helped a lot. I raised my elbow just short of when my trap would kick in, do the pinky twist, and boom extra delt tension.

the cable lateral I did strictly and held at the top where I got extra tension at the distal insertion.

I did face pulls about 20-30 lb lighter than I have in the past and stopped the set when I no longer felt stimulation in my rear delts.

for rear delt cable flyes, usually I'll go full rom but I stopped feeling rear delt tension at some point... then I kind of supersetted a 1/3-1/2 rom and got rear delt stimulation for another 5-6 reps.

I was stupid pumped after. my medial delt was almost up to my front delt and my rear delt was so pumped the whole shoulder looked much rounder rather than falling off on a downward slope from my front delt.

I'll see if I can recover enough to add the medial and rear delt work after my chest session.



i'll have to try that one and see how it feels


Be prepared to be humbled. Make sure you don't rest the weight on your hip between reps, so as to maintain constant tension. Your med delts will be crying, I promise. I recommend trying it first with a 10lb DB to get used to the motion.


ah, I didn't see that the weight didn't rest on the hip. is there less tension at the top than a cable lateral raise though?


those DB laterals on an incline bench are brutal. Start with 10lb.


And do you have a lateral delt machine? They are great for a high rep finisher.


yes I'm pretty sure one of those is by the front of the gym


Incline Laterals are definitely a ball buster. I started with 10s myself. think I maxed my raise at 35. Havent done em for quite a while tho. But yea, that should give you an idea of how hard they are lol. Just make sure you dont allow your arm to come too far forward/back.


  1. Try and add a few sets to another workout, perhaps at end of chest session?
  2. If you feel they are lacking, honestly I didn't think they were lacking but we all have our own body goals/issues
  3. Then ignore that line then buddy


yup I'll see if I can throw in the medial and rear delt work after my chest session. looking forward to my delts blowing upppp.

have you ever seen that pic of Dave Tate all cut up? lol I'd like to look a bit more like that.