When you are starting any routine with the goal of putting on as much mass as possible, combination exercises are usually the best bet. When you perform a combination exercise, you are using more than one joint, hence its name. This allows you to lift more weight and progress at a faster rate.
To get the most benefit out of your exercise, you want to do little repetitions with a lot of weight.
Switching up your routine and do something that your body isn’t used to will ensure that you see the best results.
Building mass in the shoulder is best done with the traditional shoulder press exercise. This exercise can be preformed either sitting or standing, however if you are just starting it is recommended that you begin in a seated position for extra support.
This exercise can also be done with either dumbbells or a straight bar, dumbbells are recommended here because you will have a greater range. You will be able to expand your arms further upward and bring your hands closer together. Using a dumbbells also helps to develop stabilizing muscles that wouldn’t get that work from using a straight bar.
To do this exercise, sit down in a chair with good back support so that your back and legs meet at a 90 degree angle. You want to then take your dumbbells, bring them to chest level with your palms facing outward, hands positioned slightly outside the shoulders. This is your starting position.
Take the weight, and press it using your shoulders bringing the weights above your head(they should almost be touching). Hold the weight at this position for 1-2 seconds.
Bring the weights back down to the starting position to complete one rep. Do these reps as slowly as you can to get the most benefit out of the exercise.
Using a mirror here as a guide can be helpful in maintaining correct posture.
If you are an experienced athlete the shoulder press may seem like the same old boring exercise to you. If you want to switch things up, there is another more challenging variation that you can do which was developed by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself.
Instead of starting with your palms just outside of your shoulders with them facing outward, start with the weights at your chest with your palms facing inward. Take the weight, and twist it to the outside as you go up, and then perform the press as normal.
This will give a little variation to your workout using your shoulders and arms as well.
Since we are doing the seated shoulder press to gain mass in this case, we want to use heavy weights and lower our repetitions as a result. The goal here is to lift enough weight to where we almost can’t finish our set but not too much.
Ideally you want to do at least 3-4 sets for 6-8 repetitions each. If you feel that this exercise is too easy, add more weight. Remember we are doing this to gain mass so doing more repetitions isn’t as beneficial.
You should be getting exhausted to the point where you have to decrease the weight as you progress through your sets.
When it comes to shoulders everyone automatically thinks of shoulder press and military press, the number one exercise that everyone sees performed routinely at their gym. Afterwards they usually go to bent arm side raises because that exercise is also performed sitting down in a similar position.
If you are an athlete who wants to avoid ruining their throwing arm or just someone who doesn’t want to potentially develop tennis elbow, straight arm side raises are the best bet.
These are done in a standing position, with a pair of dumbbells which are held at the side at arm’s length, with palms facing forward. Slowly raise the weight upwards to a position where your arms become parallel with the floor, and then slowly descend back to the starting position to complete one repetition.
Make sure to keep your back straight and that your movement is in one plane(do not move your arm backwards or forwards when going up and down, keep it straight). You shoulder should be the only joint working here, do not flex your arm at the elbow.