Fitness and Weight Loss The workout you need to do if you want bigger, stronger shoulders

The shoulder is a very hypermobile ball and socket joint that needs to be hit from many angles and directions for structural balance and injury prevention.

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Metamatrix colossal shoulders complex play

Metamatrix colossal shoulders complex

(Thomas MacDonald)
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It'll make you better at pull ups, too.

It’s often said that the shoulders are the lynchpin of the upper body. The shoulder is a very hypermobile ball and socket joint that needs to be hit from many angles and directions for structural balance and injury prevention.

That’s why I always incorporate shoulder complexes like the one outlined below to start and/or end my upper body training sessions. It’s a perfect supplement to any of the upper-body workouts in my newest fitness program with Men’s Health, METASHRED EXTREME.

The Colossal Shoulders Complex

Do each move for 30 seconds with no rest between moves:

1. Seated bent-over lower-trap Y raise
2. Seated bent-over overhand-grip reverse fly
3. Seated lateral raise
4. Seated front raise
5. Seated modified upright row
6. Seated Cuban press

That’s 1 round. Do 3 to 5 rounds, resting 1 minute between rounds.

This is 3 minutes of straight shoulder work, so be ready for a serious muscle burn, baby!

In terms of weight selection, as with all complexes, you need to select a weight that allows you to execute the move you are weakest at. In the case of this complex, that will be exercise #1 or #2.

And go lighter than normal to get better results, especially in the beginning!

This complex is all about detailing those delts and building superior stamina for your smaller postural and stabilizer muscles in the shoulder girdle. Most guys will get crushed with a light pair of 8- to 12-pound dumbbells, especially if they use a straighter-arm position and less momentum on the single-joint moves like raises and reverse flys.

Beyond sculpting a set of superhero shoulders, complexes like this will also give you the structural integrity you need to push and pull weights (and your bodyweight) like a boss. In particular, this will really help trainees who struggle with pullups.

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