Q: In many of your workouts, you suggest forward-lean laterals. What are those, and why should I use them instead of regular standing lateral raises [for medial-delt-head mass]?
A: The deltoid is a unique muscular structure. It controls the movement around a ball-and-socket joint, so the fibers wrap around the area in bundles, moving in many directions. You can see that in this photo of Jonathan…
MRI and EMG studies reveal that raising the arm at different angles innervates different fiber bundles in the deltoid. Even slight angle alterations cause unique activation patterns in the individual heads. That means doing your lateral raises and upright rows with your torso at various angles will more fully develop the deltoid muscles.
Our Positions-of-Flexion delt-mass program is a good example—no waste with full-muscle stimulation. You start with dumbbell upright rows. Note that at the top your upper arms are in the same position as a standing lateral raise…
The next exercise is the stretch-position move, incline one-arm laterals. It provides unique resistance on the medial and rear heads as the arm moves down and in front of the torso. The movement pattern is slightly different than the upright row, but that’s not the only reason you use this exercise…
It’s the most effective at stretching the medial delt head at the bottom of the movement. Remember the animal study we discuss in our e-books that got a 300 percent mass increase after only one month of stretch overload—talk about anabolic acceleration.
Next is the contracted-position exercises. Standing laterals would too closely duplicate the movement pattern of the DB upright rows. A better choice is to do lateral raises with a slight forward lean. You can do those seated, as in the photos of Jonathan below, or you can do them face down on a high-incline bench. The key is to have your torso angled forward so you hit the fiber bundles toward the rear of your medial-delt head.
Larry Scott, the first Mr. Olympia, was a master at the seated forward-lean lateral raise, and he credits the move with helping him overcome his narrow-shoulder appearance (coconut-sized delts will do that). Hitting those fiber bundles along the backside of the medial head gives the muscle much more fullness and jutting roundness.
After the forward-lean laterals, you can do an overhead-pressing exercise for the front-delt heads and the front fiber bundles in the medial head, another unique angle.
Finish with bent-over laterals, which primarily hit the rear, or posterior, head. Plus, they also effectively work some of the very back fiber bundles in the medial head if you keep your palms facing the floor.
That simple routine, a couple of sets for each exercise, provides all the unique angles and delt-fiber activation you need for massive, round shoulders—you’ll look much bigger with wider delts, even in clothes (careful, those seams will be stretching). That type of efficient, multi-angle mass-building approach is the key to 3D POF’s big results in less time.
Till next time, train hard—and smart—for BIG results.
—Steve Holman and Jonathan Lawson
NO MORE SHOULDER PAIN
Shoulder pain can affect your workouts forever. That’s not good!
That’s why we’re recommending advice from injury specialist Rick Kaselj, MS. His tips can help make your shoulders nearly bullet-proof.
Here are a few general tips from Rick (he goes into more detail in his program)…
Top 5 Tips To Bullet-Proof Your Shoulders
- Build Tension in Your Lats. When doing shoulder exercises, activate your lats and keep your shoulders happy.
- Prime Up Your Muscles. Most people do a warm-up that just lubricates the joint, but you need to activate and turn on all the muscles in your upper body.
- Technique, Technique, Technique. This is the number one reason why people injure their shoulders. You can’t go to the gym every day and work on your max lift.
- Watch Out for Fatigue. Cooking your smaller muscles in your shoulder complex, and that increases the risk of shoulder injury and pain.
- Work on Your Shoulder Blade Muscles. Many strength coaches will say you’re wasting your time on this, but if you want to have bullet-proof shoulders, you need to work on them.
Get all of Rick’s tips and tricks for pain-free workouts below: