Every now and then I believe that you need to change up your workouts in order to prevent plateauing. Normally I stick to a rep range of 8-12 reps per set, but for this shoulder workout I lowered the weight so that I could do 20 reps for each set.
All exercises were done with five sets of 20 reps.
Side laterals (dumbbell) – This can be done seated or standing, but I prefer to stand. Start with a pair of dumbbells at your side. You will then raise your arms straight out to your side and hold for a count. Once I get to the top of the movement, I like to turn the dumbbells so that my elbows are facing up and my palms are to the rear. Return to the starting motion and repeat.
Dumbbell overhead press – Seated with a pair of dumbbells held by your side at shoulder level, press the weight directly overhead, hold for a count, and return to the starting position. I bring the weights together at the top of the movement without letting them touch, and I do not lock out my arms.
Rear lateral raise – This move can be done in many different ways, but I prefer to use dumbbells. I perform this exercise by lying face down on an incline bench that is set at a 45 degree angle. My chest is against the bench, and my knees are in the seat. Your arms will hang straight down with a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms until they are parallel to the floor, hold, and then return to the starting position. Much like a standard lateral raise, I turn my arm so that my elbows are up and my palms are facing behind me.
Front raise – Holding an EZ curl bar with an underhand grip in front of your thighs, raise the bar directly in front of you until your arms are parallel. Return to your starting position and repeat. This is an exercise that I often substitute cables or dumbbells for to constantly challenge myself.
Barbell shrugs – Hold a barbell with your arms extended in front of your thighs. Slowly raise your shoulders straight up, keeping the bar close to your body and squeeze at the top. Return to your starting position and repeat.
The goal in this routine is to choose a weight that provides a challenge while hitting the desired reps, so don’t go so light that you are not providing yourself with a challenge. Also, feel free to alternate between dumbbells, barbells, cables, and machines to provide a different challenge.