Raise The Plate For Shoulder Development!

Shoulder development is very important, and so is shoulder strength. Take the front delts for instance. They area important muscle for most pressing movements. Learn why...

Shoulder development is very important, and so is shoulder strength. Take the front delts for instance. They area important muscle for most pressing movements. Shoulder and chest. So, these small muscles can become over developed and over worked.

What Movements For Deltoid Development?

There are three type so deltoid movements performed for shoulder workouts:

  1. A Pushing Exercise
  2. A Side Exercise
  3. Rear movement

Now if you work regularly on all three movements you will develop a set of broad thick strong shoulders.

Now this may hold true for some. But, I've learned over the years that front delts can become over powering for many. Think about it, if you do front presses or behind the neck presses and then front dumbbell raises you're over working that very small muscle. Why? Stop doing it. Just do the isolation movement, the front raise. Front plate raises to be exact. Heavy Front Plate Raises!

Doing this single movement will not only shape your front delt to superior size but also give you the strength needed for all other pressing movements. Ok, what I'm trying to say is that by just doing front plate raises you gain the power and strength as you would from doing Military front presses and at the same time, shape the muscle too. Front raises isolate the anterior deltoid heads with minor stress placed on the traps.

How To Perform

Front raises with two 35lb weights.

  1. Start by taking a shoulder width stance.

  2. Stand with your arms straight down holding on to the plates right in the middle of the two plates. (Resting the plates on your thighs.)

  3. Keep your torso as motionless as possible through the exercise & do not sway or rack to get the weight up. If you are doing this it's too heavy, back off.

  4. Moving just your arms with some explosion raise the plates to the height of your shoulders. I usually try and look through the hole.

  5. Then lower slowly trying not to drop the weight into your thighs.

  6. Repeat!

I do only front plate raises in my shoulder routine. I work my way up to a either two 45's or a 100-pound plate for sets of six.

Sample Routine To Add To Your Shoulder Routine

  • 25lbs - 15-20 Reps / 1 Sets (warm-up)
  • 2-25lbs - 6 Reps / 1 Sets
  • 2-35lbs - 6 Reps / 1 Sets
  • 2-45lbs - 6 Reps / 3 Sets

Note For The Workout: If you prefer you can use a DB or a barbell over the plate raises. Your hand spacing can be shoulder width apart. Always move the dumbbells or bar in a slow and controlled manner.

Click here for a printable log of the ADD ON Routine.

Curtis' Sample Shoulder Routine

A variation to the 'normal' side lateral is the side lateral with a barbell. Use a straight bar instead of dumbbells. Easy, right? Well, I hope by now you've figured out that these shoulder movements are not easy. This form of side-lateral can be done seated for more difficulty or standing, just like the original.

Either way, this is probably the toughest movement of them all. Grasp a small straight bar or EZ curl bar in each hand, keep it "straight" so when you raise the bar your thumbs are facing the mirror and the bar is parallel with the floor. Keeping the bar steady is very difficult to accomplish. Perform 3 sets of 20. If you can?

Click here for a printable log of the ADD ON Routine.

Front raises with two 45lb weights.

I start with one 25 for 15-20 reps as my warm-up. Then pick up and hang on to two 25's for eight reps. Next set is two 35's for a set of eight. And then 3 sets of six with two 45's or a 100-pound plate. Sound easy? Give it a try. Then tell me if your shoulders have the power to handle a pair of 45's or that 100-pound plate or does your grip give out because you cannot hold on to two plates or that 100 pounder?

If You Could Have Anybodys Shoulders, Who's Would You Want?
[ Click Each Picture To Enlarge! ]

Dexter Jackson Larry Scott
Rich Gaspari Arnold Schwarzenegger
Ronnie Coleman David Henry

About The Author

Curtis is a contributing writer for various health, bodybuilding, and collegiate sports publications. Curtis has a B.S. in Sports Administration and is a Level I USWF Olympic Coach. He is a collegiate strength coach who has worked with many high-level athletes ranging from NFL stars to top-level bodybuilders. Powerlifting State and Regional champion in the 242 and 275 classes.

He is also an AAU and USPF referee. Curtis was a three-year Varsity football letter winner, All-greater Rochester Lineman in high school, and then Junior College and University All-conference lineman. E-mail him at rampages@mindspring.com.