Shoulders can be stubborn to get growing, and often times it comes down to execution. Many trainers, coaches, and programmers these days are starting the trend of easing up on heavy pressing work, because the shoulder is a complex joint (I’ve often said the most complex joint, but a former client of mine who was a dentist took strong exception to that…citing the jaw as vastly more complex) and it’s involved in some manner with nearly all upper body movements. Put a lot of miles on your shoulders “odometer” without properly taking care of it, and it’ll come back to bite you hard – and not in a good way.
So without a ton of pressing, isolation movements like the lateral raise become even more important. Always a staple for building a nice, impressive cap, the lateral raise is a deceptively complex exercise. The more you think about it – the setup, the posture, the movement focus, arm/hand positioning – the more likely you are to get it right. This is NOT a grip it & rip it movement. You’ve got to be careful and mindful of a lot of key points to really nail it effectively.
Check out my 3-minute clinic video here:
Side note: there is a variation of this movement I refer to as “chicken wing lateral raises” where you START with the elbows bent at 90 degrees (as if halfway through a hammer curl rep) and maintain that bend throughout the movement. This variation is completely and utterly worthless – if you study the physics/dynamics involved it’s pretty clear as to why but I’ll spare you the free body diagram. I know it can FEEL like it’s working, but it’s not. You’ve just found the easiest possible variation of an exercise which is a good sign you’re on the wrong path.
Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Feedback? Get in touch with me and let me know!