6 Mar , 16

The Best Shoulder Workout

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Todd Lamb - Specforce shoulders

The best shoulder workout is one that works for you specifically, and I take you through a mass building protocol at the end of this article.

Now saying, “one that works for you specifically…” might seem like a bit of a cop out when you have gone through the trouble of searching for and finding an article titled the best shoulder workout, so I promise I will deliver however there are a few key points that are important to discuss before I send you out into the world to move weight.

It has been my experience, through my life as an Operator, that shoulders are an over used poorly trained body part.  It actually surprises me that more damage isn’t done when I see what guys are doing or not doing.

As is typical with Law Enforcement and actually many men in general, is that they focus primarily on the anterior muscle development which results in shoulder imbalances. The best shoulder workout should be focusing on all three shoulder muscles heads.

Imbalances often result in impingement. Heres what the medical brains have to say about the types of impingement.

  • Subacromial impingement is a frequent and painful condition among athletes, particularly those involved in overhead sports such as baseball and swimming. There are generally two types of subacromial impingement: structural and functional. While structural impingement is caused by a physical loss of area in the subacromial space due to bony growth or inflammation, functional impingement is a relative loss of subacromial space secondary to altered scapulohumeral mechanics resulting from glenohumeral instability and muscle imbalance. The purpose of this review is to describe the role of muscle imbalance in subacromial impingement in order to guide sports physical therapy evaluation and interventions.

Often times the result is either chronic shoulder pain, over use injury, or if you continue to ignore the signs, you can enjoy a tear in the rotator cuff. Rotator cuff tears and SLAP tears are the most common among Operators and the general public as it turns out. The best shoulder workout - Specforce

When choosing the best shoulder workout for your own needs, I highly recommend finding one that hits all three heads in order to maintain proper function and muscular balance .

The beauty  about  shoulder training is that by and large it doesn’t have to be overly heavy. In fact rather than lifting heavy weights you can focus on muscle tension throughout the range of motion create a high level of activation in your muscle fibres.

With the popularization of more demanding training protocols such as Crossfit or SpecForce Alpha, and even the resurgence of Olympic lifting, your shoulders must be trained properly.

Trust me when I tell you, this form of training is a saviour for people who have a tendency to over do training, or focus solely in one area of the body. As someone who has sustained a full depth tear in my rotator cuff (supraspranatus), this has enabled me to not only fully recover but actually get stronger in many key lifts.

Here is  a mass based routine which in my view could be categorized as the best shoulder workout for its simplicity, use of relatively light weight and it’s versatility in that you could do this at the end of an upper body day and still have the relative muscle strength to perform the exercises safely without compromising your health.

Here is the Alpha Nation Best Shoulder Workout

A1 – Seated Dumbbell Press

3 Sets – 8 reps, 10 reps , 12 reps (1st set is 8 second is 10 etc.)

1 Minute Rest

A2 -Rear Delt Raise

3 Sets – 8 reps, 10 reps , 12 reps  – you can do these either face down on an incline bench or seated and bent over.

1 Minute Rest

A3 – Standing Lateral Raise

3 Sets – 8 reps, 10 reps , 12 reps

1 Minute Rest

A4 – Upright Row

3 Sets – 8 reps, 10 reps , 12 reps

When you see a SpecForce workout you will note that preceding each exercise is a letter and a number. If it is an A for example as outlined above you will do all the exercises in the “A” group before doing anything in the “B” group. Obviously in this workout there is no B group. So you will do  A 1, 2, 3, 4 and then start back at A1 for your second set.

Keep the tension in your muscle throughout the complete range of motion rather than using momentum to move the weight.

There you have the best shoulder workout, now again this is specific to an individual based on your personal goals. Certainly this particular workout maintains a balanced approach for all 3 muscle heads. I will be adding variations of shoulder workouts on a continuous basis but use this one to begin to create balance.


Todd Lamb is one world's most trusted sources of Health and Fitness information and programming. He has dedicated his life to the service of others having served as a member of the Royal Canadian Regiment in the Special Service Force and as 17 year veteran Police Officer with 10 years on SWAT and 4 as a Team Leader. Todd is dedicated to transforming the lives of 1,000,000 men through honest science based information backed up with years of practical experience in Tactical Operations. Todd is a Best Selling Author of multiple best selling fitness programs and the book STAND APART

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2 thoughts on “The Best Shoulder Workout

  1. Sobharani kosaraju

    Since I deal with women and in india lot of women doesn’t like too much sculpting for arms I plan frontal, lateral n rear deltoids. Upper shoulder ,chest n upper back .biceps n triceps along with cardio in different angles n variations every alternative day.

    1. Todd

      Hey Sobharani, certainly approaching it every other day provides a nice balance and as you know it always depends on individuals goals.


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