4 Workout Steps To 3D Shoulders



Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Heavy compound exercises incorporate several working muscles and are one of the best ways to increase strength and muscle hypertrophy. Dumbbell shoulder press is an exercise that will help increase upper body stability and strength


Start in a sitting position with your back against the support. Have a slight gap between the middle of your spine and the surface of the support

Kick your knees up to help propel the dumbbells to shoulder height. This will be the starting position. Having a spotter help you to control the weight to a supported starting position is recommended

Retract your scapula before the movement. In the majority of shoulder and back exercises, retracting your scapula will allow for better support and also allow muscles to properly activate and execute movements

Press the dumbbells in a vertical motion above your head. Note: Several people will focus on pressing with their forearms, however you want to mindfully move the weight with your shoulders. Driving the weight upwards through your elbow joint will provide proper shoulder activation

Control the weight back down to the starting position and repeat

Sets and Reps: 4×8-12, increasing the weight per set approaching the lower end of the rep range on the last set

Standing Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Dumbbell lateral raises are a basic movement to target the lateral head of your shoulder, but a smaller muscle called the supranational is incorporated in this exercise. The supranational is activated in the first part of the motion when first raising the dumbbells. Building the size of the supranational will help to stabilize the shoulder socket in other lifts


In a secure standing position with your feet shoulder width apart, bring the dumbbells next to your side

Lift the dumbbells up and to the side to shoulder height causing your arms to become parallel with the ground. Do this without bending or changing the angle of your elbow joint from when you started the movement

Tighten your core to help your body to not swing during the movement

A key point to this exercise is to make sure that when you’re raising the dumbbells up, that you are letting the dumbbell hang below your elbow socket. If you were to draw a parallel line from your elbow at the end of the movement, the dumbbell should be slightly below it. This will allow for greater shoulder activation and tension on the muscle

Lower the dumbbells down to the starting position

Sets and Reps: 4×10-12, AMRAP last set

Face Pulls

Face pulls primarily target the rear head the posterior head of your shoulders. Developing the posterior head of your shoulders will be what really rounds out your shoulders for that 3-dimensional look


The posterior head is also a major muscle worked in rowing motions. Increasing the strength of the posterior head will improve rowing motions that could roll over in to making progress in back development

To set up, put the cable at a position slightly above eye level on a pulley machine

Then put on a rope attachment

Stagger your feet to give your body support throw the movement

Grab the rope with a pronated grip

Pull the rope directly towards your face while also separating your hands

Squeeze at the peak of contraction when pulling the rope towards your face

Control the weight slowly in the eccentric part of the movement

Sets and Reps: 4×12-15, tempo is a 2 second squeeze with a 3 second eccentric

Upright Rows

To hit all heads of your shoulders, upright rows are one of the most effective exercises. Ending a workout with this tri-set will bring you to exhaustion and maximize hypertrophy. For this tri-set, adjusting the hand position is all that is needed

Get a barbell that holds an amount of weight that you can comfortably do several reps with

In a standing position, pick up the barbell with a wide overhand grip approximately 6-12 inches outside shoulder width

Keep a straight back and let the bar hang around your thighs
Use your shoulders to raise the bar and bring your elbows up and to the side. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise it. The movement should be performed to where you are almost touching your chin. Drive the motion with your elbows and always keep your elbows above your forearms


Lower the bar back to the starting position next to your thighs and repeat for the desired repetitions

After finishing a set with a wide grip, immediately do a set with a shoulder width grip, and after the set with a shoulder width grip, immediately do a set with a close grip (hands almost touching)

Sets and Reps: 3×10-12 each set


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About Tamer El Sheikh

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.
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