Think of shoulders as three smaller muscles. “Most men focus on pressing exercises, which target the anterior and medial heads of the deltoid, but not the posterior head,” says Ron Thomson, a strength and conditioning coach. This can create an imbalance that pulls your shoulder joints out of alignment. The end result: Rounded shoulders that appear smaller and interfere with your arms’ rotation, increasing your risk of injury. Thomson’s workout hits all the heads of the deltoids and “restabilises your shoulders, pulling them into perfect alignment for more energy, power, and injury protection,” he says.
Standing Military Press
(anterior and medial deltoids, triceps)
Using a squat rack and a weight you can lift for eight repetitions, hold the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart. Keeping your back straight and your face forward, slowly press the weight overhead until your arms are fully extended, elbows unlocked. Pause, lower the bar to your chest, and repeat. After eight reps, remove enough weight to allow you to do another six to eight repetitions. After that, strip enough weight to allow six to eight more reps.
Watch Your Form: Don’t rush. Think two seconds up, two seconds down.
Negative Shoulder Press
(anterior and medial deltoids, triceps, upper trapezius)
Place a bench in front of a squat rack. Use half the weight you can lift eight to 10 times. Grab the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and sit on the bench, feet flat on the floor. Press the bar overhead for a count of three, then take six seconds to lower it to the front of your chest.
Watch Your Form: The slow pace can make you shake and cause the weight to shift forward, which could stress shoulder tendons. Concentrate on lifting and lowering in a straight line.