Neil Hill, the founder of the Y3T training system, knows his bodybuilding stuff. He is not trainer to world-class bodybuilding stars like James Flex Lewis and William Bonac for nothing.
Hill recently shared his methods to instantly boost shoulder development via his newsletter:
1) Lead with deltoids
This first point requires some visualisation. When you’re doing side lateral dumbbell raises to target the medial head of the deltoids you need to lead with that muscle when beginning the concentric phase. Initiate the movement with this part of the shoulder!
So many people will push outwards using torso momentum, their arms and ultimately lose the entire point of the exercise. Lead with the medial head, allow that to instigate the movement and keep the tension within that area.
Remember the purpose of this exercise is to isolate the outer head of the deltoids, not necessarily lift huge weight! This approach does also apply to other isolated deltoid exercises as well.
2) Disengage the traps
The second part to improving deltoid recruitment is to relax the traps, almost try and visualise disengaging them. This goes for all raise exercises including side raises, front raises and rear raises.
If the traps are overly engaged in the movement it means two things:
1) You will lift heavier weight
2) You will lose focus on the deltoid you’re trying to isolate
Again, these things defeat the purposes of training the deltoids. Referring back to my above point, by leading with the deltoid you’re trying to target and relaxing the traps you’re going to get far more engagement within that area.
This does require forgetting about your ego which for some is hard.
3) Cut out momentum
Shoulders are potentially the worst muscle group when it comes to seeing people using far too much momentum to lift the weight along with arms. Using momentum to swing weight in any direction only serves one purpose for bodybuilding usually, that’s your ego. Momentum and time under tension are the polar opposites of one another.
You need to time under tension to stimulate growth! By applying the first two points and then this one, you’re going to feel the deltoids much more instantly under load.
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