"Shoulder Strengthening Exercises - How to Press to Success Like 1960s Strongmen!"

Can you press to success?

Follow these 4 shoulder strengthening exercises tips from the swinging sixties.

Your Best Shoulder Exercise?

Reckon lateral raises are the best shoulder exercise? Many strength and fitness gurus would appear to believe so. And what about the shoulder press? While these exercises undoubtedly work the shoulders, sadly, your average or typical trainee struggles to gain on such specialized training...

This presents the ordinary Jane and Joe with a problem.

Yet what if there was a faster and more effective solution for building and strengthening your shoulders without directly training them at all?

Is this really possible?

Let's find out.

Abbreviated Shoulder Training 1960s Style

If you want to build your body, and your shoulders in particular, abbreviated strength training is an effective solution. Concern with balance - the size of your arms, and shoulders, etc. - should only come after you've developed considerable size and strength.

So why is abbreviated strength training so effective?

Reducing your workout or routine to its absolute skeleton minimum allows you to pour forth 100% of your efforts - there are no distractions, and no syphoning off of valuable energy or effort, and more importantly, no excessive demands upon recovery. Moreover, such concentrated effort allows you to add significant poundage. The benefits to you? Your arms, chest, and shoulders will grow.

Consider an abbreviated routine which adds:

  • 100 lbs to your squat exercise
  • 150 lbs to your deadlift
  • 60 lbs to your bench press
  • 50 lbs to your parallel bar dip
  • 30 lbs to your chin up.

Make THESE kinds of gains, and how can your shoulders fail to get stronger? Indeed, stick with enough productive cycles, weight train progressively, and you WILL build strength and size.

Please don't think your shoulder muscles will atrophy because you aren't training them directly with shoulder strengthening exercises. Instead, spend your time wisely by getting strong all over, and your shoulders will gain in strength along with the rest of you.


Shoulder Strengthening Exercises - Your Best Shoulder Exercise in 4 Simple Steps


    1. Deadlift to Build Your Shoulders and Arms. 

    The deadlift is one of the best shoulder strengthening exercises bar none. Moreover, if you want to build your arms along with the rest of your body, this movement is the lynchpin to your muscle building routine.

    Why is the deadlift exercise so effective in building your shoulders and arms? Simply, no other exercise works your body musculature as vigorously or as thoroughly as this beast exercise.

    Consider how the traditional barbell deadlift effectively targets all the major muscle groups, including your arms and shoulders, and you can understand why this exercise should be front and centre of your strength training workout. For more, see Deadlift Technique

    2. Shoulder Shrugs Exercise. 

    To minimize excessive inroads into your recovery abilities, consider substituting a shoulder shrugs exercise for your deadlift every few workouts.

    Not only will this change of exercise allow you to enjoy the benefits of the barbell shrug, but it will help you avoid fatigue and over training.

    For now, ignore shoulder strengthening exercises like the upright row exercise when building your shoulders, and instead select this proven mass builder.

    3. Building Shoulders with Bar Dips. 

    If you want to strengthen your shoulders and build your chest at the same timethe dip exercise should be your number 1 upper body exercise choice.

    Some fantastic physiques have been built using the dip exercise, including the bodybuilder and strongman, "The Biceps From The Bronx" Marvin Eder. This exercise can do the same for you.

    Aim to tie weights around your middle as soon as you are able. Like the strongmen of yesteryear, you will build strong shoulders in addition to impressive arms.

    An excellent abbreviated routine for shoulder and overall strength development, would be the hex bar deadlift coupled with the parallel bar dip. Why? These two exercises combined target all the major muscle groups including your shoulders and arms. Get strong in these two exercises, challenge yourself to weight train progressively by adding more iron to your bar, and you are guaranteed to grow.

    4. Barbell Shoulder Press for Shoulder Development. 

    The barbell shoulder press is an excellent addition to your strength training workout. If your recovery abilities allow it, this exercise can significantly add to your overall strength and shoulder development.

    The overhead shoulder press can be executed in a handful of ways. However, for our purposes, the standing military press, or the press behind the neck, are the two best options.

    Don't be afraid of using big weights on these overhead pressing movements either. Randall J. Strossen in his bestselling book "Super Squats", tells how the strongmen of the 1960s have been doing so with great success: in the mid 60s, weighing 215 lbs, Mel Hennessey did an extremely strict standing press behind the neck with 300 lbs, while Paul Anderson and Doug Hepburn - two of the strongest men to ever lift a barbell - routinely completed overhead neck presses close to 400 lbs.

    These guys knew how to press to success!


    Want to see how an embarrassingly scrawny long distance runner nicknamed "Skinny Vinny" gained 41 pounds of rock-hard muscle then became a Canadian Fitness Model Champion? For more, go to Fast Muscle Building Workouts


In Summary

The 1960s didn't only give us the Beatles and the Mini skirt. It also showed how if you want to build your body - and your shoulders in particular - abbreviated training is an effective solution.

The strongmen of yesteryear knew the benefits of shoulder strengthening exercises - these same proven methods can do the same for you.


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