Jaime Cash is an IFBB pro figure competitor and physical therapist, who is part of the team at two Max Muscle stores in Colorado. For the next six months, she is going to be sharing workouts that will help you get ready for your own appearance on stage, be it bikini or figure. Our first feature is all about the shoulders! This workout routine will build size, strength and roundness on your shoulders. These exercises will target the anterior, medial, posterior deltoids, trapezius, rhomboids and muscles of the shoulder girdle. You can superset or drop set any of these exercises to increase the intensity.
During this workout, pay close attention to each detail and positioning of your body. Training shoulders from several angles will allow you to display dense and round shoulders caps on stage. If you’re a figure competitor, it is very important to emphasize your posterior delts in your shoulder workouts, as this builds balance to your shoulders. Aesthetically pleasing shoulders will contribute to your V-taper in your back and enhance your waistline. Train shoulders twice a week, one heavy workout and one lightweight workout, leaving at least three full days of rest between workouts.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
Sit down on a low-back seat or incline bench with legs out in front. Grab a dumbbell (DB) in each hand. Bring the DBs up just outside and above your shoulders with palms facing out. Keep your core tight. Don’t let your elbows drop too low. Exhale, press the DBs straight up overhead until your elbows are extended but not locked out. Stop just before DBs touch each other and return to start position. Muscles worked: anterior and medial deltoids.
Do 4 sets of 8-10 reps on heavy days; 4 sets of 12-15 reps on light days. Rest: 2 minutes between sets
Standing Upright Row with Rope
Grab the rope between your fingers with your palms resting against the balls of the rope. Standing with legs together, knees slightly bent, shoulders back and abs tight, shrug and elevate your shoulders to your ears before you begin to pull the rope up. Then pull the rope in an upward arc motion (the shoulder is a ball and socket joint) as you bring your elbows out to the sides and the rope towards your chin. Keep your hands at elbow height as they move toward the sides of your body. Muscles worked: medial and posterior deltoids.
Do 3 sets of 10-12 reps on heavy days; 3 sets of 12-15 reps on light days. Rest: 1 minute between sets
Standing Barbell Front Raise
Stand with feet together, core tight, shoulders back, holding barbell with hands shoulder-width apart and palms down. Keep your wrists down as if you were holding the barbell by your finger tips. Face sideways towards the mirror so you can see where to stop the movement. Keep your abs tight and don’t swing during the motion. (Dropping your wrists down as you bring the barbell up adds more load on the anterior deltoid.) Exhale as you raise the barbell up, stopping when your arms reach a 90-degree position from your shoulder joint. Muscles worked: anterior delts and pectoralis major.
Do 3 sets of 12 reps heavy days; 3 sets of 12-15 light days. Rest: 1 minute between sets
Kneeling Lateral Raises with Dumbbells
Kneel on bench, core tight, shoulders back, holding a dumbbells (DB) in each hand at your sides with palms facing the outside of your thighs. Keep your neck relaxed, look forward and don’t arch your back. Keep thumbs rotated down slightly and squeeze shoulders at the top of the motion. Exhale as you raise both DBs away from the sides of your body, keeping in line with your shoulders or slightly higher. Return to start with DBs at the sides of your thighs. Tip: Keep tension on your medial deltoids by not touching DBs to your thighs at end of motion. Muscles worked: medial deltoids.
Do 3 sets of 10-12 heavy days; 3 sets of 12-15 reps light days. Rest: 1 minute
Standing Face-Pulls with Rope
Stand facing the cable pulley that's set at high. Grasp the rope with palms down, feet together, knees slightly bent, core tight, head up and lean backwards slightly. Exhale, keep your abs tight, pulling the rope towards your face and let your elbows flare out as you squeeze your rear delts. Tip: To really blast your shoulders, superset this exercise with bent-over rear delt raises! Muscles worked: posterior deltoids.
Do 3 sets of 10-12 heavy days; 3 sets of 12-15 light days. Rest: 1 minute between sets
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raises
Sit on the end of a bench with feet together flat on the floor. Bend over and bring your chest towards your knees holding the DBs with palms facing to the outside of your calves. Keep your eyes looking down at start position with head in a neutral position. Exhale and lift the DBs up and out to the sides of your body, staying bent over and your arms in good alignment with your shoulder joints. Squeeze at the top then slowly return to starting position. Tip: Keep your arms bent at a slight angle with hands turned in. Make sure you can see the DBs in your peripheral vision. Don’t raise your arms too high! Muslces worked: posterior delts, trapezius, rhomboids, muscles of the shoulder girdle.
Do 3 sets of 12-15 reps. Rest: 1 minute between sets
(This is the first of six workouts Jaime Cash will share to help you get ready for your first competition. Get ready!)
*Photo by Brett Seeley (BrettSeeleyPhoto.com)