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How To Build Defined Shoulders with 5 Effective Exercises

How To Build Defined Shoulders with 5 Effective Exercises

Posted by Prolab Nutrition on 1st Mar 2022

Building defined shoulders can further improve a person's overall aesthetics and drastically enhance one's physique. Not to mention, the shoulders are responsible for a wide range of upper body motions. They also play a significant role in maintaining the functional and structural integrity of both men and women.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) report, approximately 70 % of the human population will suffer from a shoulder injury at least once in their lifetime. Luckily, with the right shoulder workouts, this is avoidable. In this blog article, we will discuss some of the best shoulder workouts to get defined shoulders. Without further ado, let us get started!

What Are The 3 Shoulder Muscles?

Before you begin a shoulder workout, it is important to understand the anatomy of the shoulder muscles and how they function together. Generally, shoulders consist of two major types of muscles; deltoids and the rotator cuff. Located on top of the rotator cuffs, deltoids provide shoulders with their shape and form and are also responsible for most shoulder movements.

Deltoids are the outer part of the shoulder muscles. They form the bulk of the shoulder muscles and are the most engaged while doing the best shoulder exercises to build defined shoulders. The deltoid consists of three primary muscles, including:

Front Anterior Delt - Front part of the shoulders responsible for the arm's forward movement

Middle or Lateral Delt -Middle part of the shoulders responsible for side-to-side arm movement

Posterior Delt - Rear part of the shoulder responsible for backward arm movement

The rotator cuff is the muscle that stabilizes the shoulder joints. It is through these muscles that you can move your shoulder joint in any direction. These muscles have four main muscles that come from the scapula and connect to the humerus's tip. Although these muscles are not responsible for the aesthetics and physique of the shoulders, exercising them ensures that they are healthy and robust to prevent any injuries.

Training the following muscle groups adequately can help ensure you build defined shoulders. This group includes the following muscles:

  • Infraspinatus: Responsible for the lowering and raising of your upper arm
  • Supraspinatus: Aids in raising the arm away from the body,
  • Teres Minor: Enables external shoulder rotation
  • Subscapularis: Allows rotation of the upper arm bone (humerus)

What Does It Mean To Have Capped Shoulders?

If you do not work out your shoulder muscles, they will likely have a narrow look, despite your shoulder width. Great-looking shoulders are often referred to as rounded or 'capped' shoulders since they have distinct roundness. If you have a broader hip structure and a narrow shoulder bone structure, having capped shoulders will enhance the overall aesthetics of your body. Keep reading to learn the best exercises to create defined shoulders.

How Do I Get Muscle Definition In My Shoulders?

To get muscle definition in the shoulder requires a variety of weight resistance movements to ensure that each aspect of the shoulder is sufficiently targeted. Because the shoulder is intricate, combining lifts like the shoulder press, side and lateral raises, reverse flies, and upright rows. However, it is important to understand that if your shoulders are underdeveloped they can quickly fatigue. Additionally, because the shoulder is a combination of muscle groups and joints one should pay careful attention to not injure or overuse the muscle group.

It is best to begin every should workout with mobilizing stretches and warmups to increase range of motion. It also a good idea to start with light-weight and gradually work your way up. It is better to squeeze and contract the shoulder to prevent injury rather than using a weight that is too heavy.

5 Exercises To Help You Build Defined Shoulders

1. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

Performing the seated dumbbell press will allow you to work all three delt shoulder muscles at the same time as well as your triceps. Start with finding a stable bench to sit on and then grab a pair of dumbbells that are manageable weight. Settle into your preferred upright sitting position and lift the weights to reach your ear level. Ensure that your shoulders are at a 90-degree angle, and then push the weights upwards.

Do not lock your elbows as you push the weight upwards as it may cause injury to your joints. Maintain a slight bend in your elbow and use your shoulder muscles to lower the weights back to the original position gradually. Start with a higher rep range between 8-12 reps and target 3-4 sets.

2. Plate Press Out

You can either choose to use a barbell or a heavily weighted plate to do this workout. Grab onto your weighted plate in the position of nine and three o'clock and position it close to your chest. Push your hands out parallel to the deck and slowly return to the original position.

3. Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Performing side and lateral raises does not require heavyweights. Slowly raising and lowering the weight in your hands will ensure that the shoulder is effectively being isolated without recruiting other muscle groups to raise the weight.

Start by standing or sitting up straight while holding a dumbbell or plate in each of your hands. Hold them down near your hips and by your sides. Once you are ready, raise your hands up and away from your body on each side. Make sure that they are parallel to the sides of your body and then slowly lower them. Do them in two or three sets of eight to twelve of these workouts.

4. Seated Arnold Press

Sit using a bench with a slightly less than 90-degree angle to ensure you are comfortably upright. With a dumbbell in each hand placed slightly below your chin with your palms facing you, press each dumbbell overhead rotating your wrists as you go up until your palms are facing out. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position carefully rotating your wrists again so that your palms are facing you again.

Make sure your head is facing straight, your chin is up, and your neck is straight. Do this movement slowly so that you can feel the resistance in your muscles.

5. Dumbbell Reverse Delt Fly

A good workout routine to strengthen your posterior deltoids and increase their muscle definition is the rear delt flye. Also known as the dumbbell reverse fly, this routine involves several upper body muscles, but will mainly focus on the posterior deltoids.

Begin in a static position while standing upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your waist until your upper body is almost parallel to the ground. Bend your elbows slightly and start to contract your rear delts to bring the weights up until they reach out your sides. Ensure that you press your shoulder blades together at the top of the rep.

Once you achieve this position, bring the weights back down slowly until you reach the starting position. Maintain the tightness at your core. As you get more comfortable with this workout, feel free to change up the rep and set ranges to challenge yourself more.

The Best Muscle Recovery Supplements

Building defined shoulders will take time and require proper recovery and supplementation for your muscles. Allowing for rest provides your shoulder muscles to heal and grow. Recovery after training also reduces the risk of injury. There are several ways that you can speed up muscle recovery after a workout, enhancing your overall fitness and wellness in no time.

One of the best ways to provide your muscles with adequate nutrition is to use the right supplements to support repair and growth. Supplements increase the nutritional intake of any athlete.

Below are three muscle-building supplements that can help reduce recovery time and increase sports performance.

1. Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA's)

BCAA's are popular because they are very effective at helping athletes recover from workouts faster. BCAAs enhance muscle protein synthesis and prevent muscle soreness. They consist of three amino acids, isoleucine, leucine, and valine, fueling new muscle growth and countering its depletion. Furthermore, several studies have shown that quality BCAAs aid in weight loss and energize the muscles.

Prolab's BCAA Plus is a muscle preserving formula of branch-chain amino acids that also include a blend of Vitamin C and Vitamin B6 to increase energy production and further supports protein synthesis.


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2. Creatine Monohydrate

Also known as Creatine Monohydrate, this supplement accommodates higher intensity training, resulting in muscle increase and definition. Applicable as both a pre-and post-workout formula as well as a single-ingredient powder, creatine is safe to consume, affordable, and very easy to find. Additionally, it is one of the most effective supplements available on the market for exercise performance.

Prolab's Creatine Monohydrate is a pure micronized creatine monohydrate that can increase muscle strength and rapid intra-workout recovery, and fuel maximum muscle power development.


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3. Whey Protein

As the primary muscle repairing nutrient, proteins contain essential amino acids that serve as the body's building blocks. By consuming proteins after a workout session, the amino acids repair and rebuild your muscle tissues. One way to increase the daily intake of protein in your diet is by eating whole foods like eggs, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, and lean cuts of meat.

You can also add a quality whey protein supplement, like Advanced Essential Whey to your diet. Whey protein quickly absorbs in the body to begin muscle repair, rebuilding, and support lean muscle mass.


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If you are wondering how to get defined shoulders, use the best shoulder exercises to help build strong, capped shoulders. Ideal for both men and women, these shoulder exercises will bring you one step closer toward a desirable V-shape. Building your body to have defined shoulders and a slim waist is a sure way to further enhance an aesthetic physique.