Training for Cannonball Shoulders

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Big, broad shoulders are a general hallmark of a man who is in shape. Many women have swooned over guys who cantraining for cannonball shoulders fill out a t-shirt with a nice set of shoulders on top of the rest of their physique. So if that doesn’t describe you then you should keep reading.

The shoulders can be a tough muscle group to work properly. They get involved in both chest and back workouts so there is always the concern of overtraining. Also, as such a well used joint a lot of people deal with some sort of shoulder injury at some point in their lives.

No problem, we have a workout to help with all of that!

Cannonball Shoulders

I like to split my body over three days with Chest/Shoulders/Triceps being worked on the same day. But unlike a lot of people I start with shoulders first and chest second. A big chest is nice, but bigger shoulders are much nicer. Instead of a standard routine I always open with some rotator cuff work; this helps strength then area nicely as well as provide a good warm up.

This program is broken down over 4 weeks with each workout being done twice in a week. Start with Workout A for Week 1 and then switch to Workout B for Week 2. Then resume with Workout A again followed by Workout B.

Workout A

  • External Rotation with Dumbbell – Pick a light weight dumbbell in the 8 to 15 pound range for this rotator cuff exercise. With your elbow tight to your side and arm across your ribs, hold the dumbbell in your hand and slowly rotate your forearm away from your body keeping your elbow pressed to you side. Go as far as comfortable before swinging back slowly. Do 20 reps per side.
  • Shoulder Stretch – Grab a towel or band with your right hand. Place your right arm up and bend at the elbow so your hand is touching the back of your neck. Reach your left hand behind you back and grab the bottom of the towel or band and gently pull to stretch the shoulder joint. Do 20 seconds on each side.
  • Lateral Machine Rear Deltoid Fly – Use a moderate weight for 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
  • Standing Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises – Use a moderate weight for 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
  • Barbell Upright Rows – Use a heavy weight for 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps.
  • Smith Machine Push Press – Use a smith machine for standing shoulder presses. Use a very heavy weight and use your legs for an extra push to cheat the weight up for 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps.


Workout B

  • Wall Pushups – Place your hands shoulder width apart and do 30 slow reps to warm up the shoulders.
  • Internal Rotation with Cable Machine – The motion is the opposite of the external rotation. You can use a cable crossover machine and start with your hand away from your body and rotate your forearm towards your ribs for 20 reps per side.
  • Cable Side Lateral Raises – Use a moderate weight for 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
  • Kettleball Rear Lateral Raises – Use one arm at a time with the other hand resting on your knee for balance. Use a moderate weight for 3 sets of 8 to 12 reps.
  • Hammer Machine Shoulder Press – Use a heavy weight for 2 sets of 6 to 8 reps.
  • Dumbbell Upright Rows – Use a moderate weight for 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps.

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