Rarely does a day go by that I don't see someone doing an exercise terribly wrong or with bad form, but I know people can get a bit touchy if you try to correct them. So, I thought I would cover a couple common mistakes I see during shoulder workouts here on the blog. You all know how much I love working shoulders but it's important to make sure you are targeting the right muscles, especially because with a lot of shoulder exercises it's easy for larger muscles to take over.
People often neglect the rear delts because well, you can't see them-- but that doesn't mean they're not there! Developing your rear delts is an important factor in creating that round, capped shoulder everyone wants. The biggest mistake I see with this exercise is pulling the cables too far back-- you do not want your hands to go back past your shoulders. Instead, stop when you are making a perfect T with your arms. Also, make sure you are not squeezing or flexing your back because then you are working those muscles instead of your shoulder. Lastly, it's a small muscle so don't go too heavy.
An exercise I love adding to the end of my shoulder workout for a great burnout is lateral raises using the machine. So often though I see people going WAY too heavy on these and using way more muscles than just shoulders. Here's what you should do:
- Sit with your butt toward the back of the seat and lean your chest up against the pad so you're at an angle. This will help target that medial head.
- Start at a reasonable weight (think about what you use when you are using dumbbells for this exercise)
- DO NOT use your entire forearm to push. Only place your elbows on the pad and use only your elbows to push.
- Stop once the top part of your arm is parallel with the ground. Going higher than this causes the traps to take over.
I like doing 3 or 4 sets of these at the end of my workout and I'll drop set each set. I start with 20lbs, do 12-15 reps then drop to 10lbs and do 12-15 more and repeat 3 or 4 times.
Hope that was helpful and you're able to add these techniques to your next shoulder day!