When it comes to the “best shoulder workout”, you have to consider training all three heads of the shoulder. These include the front delt, mid delt (or “side delt”) and the rear delt. These three heads are what really build huge shoulders and give a “3d shoulders” or “cannonball” look. Although all 3 heads will be activated to an extent during all shoulder exercises, as shown in the literature certain shoulder heads can be emphasized by choosing the right shoulder exercises and manipulating the way you perform them. It’s also important to note that the front delts already get sufficient activation in many pressing movements. Thus, you should focus more on the development of the lateral and posterior (mid and side) delts in order to build bigger delts. In this video I’ll go through the best shoulder exercises and the best shoulder workout for mass based on scientific literature and our anatomical understanding of the shoulder muscles.
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Pietro Boselli for the anatomy:
Jeff Nippard for the “science-based workout series” idea:
Shoulder involvement in pressing movements:
Posterior deltoid and injury:
Behren & Buskies EMG study:
Overhead press variations:
Reverse pec deck:
EMG graphs credit: