If you’re looking to build a massive and powerful chest, then you need to pay attention to your shoulders. That’s right, your shoulders play a crucial role in maximizing bench press performance and achieving gains in strength and size. But how exactly do you train your shoulders to improve your bench press? In this article, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about how to train shoulders for a huge bench. From the best exercises to the optimal training frequency and intensity, we’ve got you covered. So, whether you’re a seasoned lifter or just starting out, get ready to take your bench press to the next level by developing strong and powerful shoulders!
Brief anatomy of the deltoid muscle group
The deltoid muscles are a group of three muscles that form the rounded contour of the shoulder. These muscles are the anterior, middle, and posterior deltoids, and they originate from the clavicle and scapula and insert into the humerus bone of the upper arm.
The anterior deltoid head is located on the front of the shoulder and is responsible for shoulder flexion, which is the movement of the arm forward and upward. This muscle also assists in shoulder abduction, which is the movement of the arm out to the side.
The lateral deltoid head is located on the lateral aspect of the shoulder and is responsible for shoulder abduction. This muscle works in conjunction with the supraspinatus muscle to lift the arm out to the side.
The posterior deltoid head is located on the back of the shoulder and is responsible for shoulder extension, which is the movement of the arm backward. This muscle also assists in shoulder abduction and is essential for movements such as rowing and pulling exercises.
Collectively, the deltoid muscles play a crucial role in shoulder movement and stability. They work in conjunction with other muscles such as the rotator cuff muscles and the trapezius to facilitate movements such as shoulder flexion, abduction, and extension. Additionally, the deltoids play a vital role in maintaining proper posture and shoulder alignment, which is essential for preventing injuries such as shoulder impingement and rotator cuff tears.
In terms of training, the deltoid muscles are often targeted with exercises such as shoulder presses, lateral raises, and front raises. These exercises help to develop the strength and size of the deltoids, which can enhance overall shoulder performance and aesthetics. It’s important to note that proper form and technique are essential when performing these exercises to prevent injury and maximize results.
The importance of strong shoulder for bench pressing
When it comes to building a strong and impressive chest, most people think of bench pressing as the go-to exercise. However, what many fail to realize is that having strong shoulders is just as crucial for maximizing bench press performance.
Your shoulders play a crucial role in stabilizing the weight during the bench press exercise. The anterior deltoids, in particular, are responsible for helping to lower the weight to the chest and drive it back up during the concentric phase of the lift. Without adequate shoulder strength and stability, you run the risk of losing control of the weight, which can result in injury and poor performance.
In addition to providing stability during the bench press, having strong shoulders can also help to improve overall pressing power. The triceps and pectoral muscles, which are the primary muscles involved in bench pressing, are heavily reliant on shoulder strength to generate force and power. By strengthening the shoulders, you can improve the leverage and mechanics of the bench press, allowing you to lift heavier weights and achieve greater gains in strength and size.
To develop strong shoulders for bench pressing, it’s essential to incorporate exercises such as overhead presses, lateral raises, and face pulls into your training program. These exercises target the different regions of the shoulder muscles and can help to develop overall shoulder strength, stability, and mobility.
It’s important to note that building strong shoulders takes time and consistency. It’s essential to focus on proper form and technique when performing shoulder exercises to prevent injury and maximize results. Additionally, it’s important to listen to your body and gradually increase the weight and intensity of your training program over time.
Having strong shoulders is just as important as having a strong chest for maximizing bench press performance. By incorporating exercises that target the shoulders, you can improve stability, power, and performance in the bench press and achieve greater gains in strength and size. So, don’t overlook the importance of strong shoulders in your training program and start incorporating shoulder exercises into your routine today!
A lot of people tend to argue if shoulder pressing is necessary for a huge bench press and if you treat your bench press seriously, you have probably wondered if shoulder pressing is really that important or are these theories being preached by OHP fanboys. Well…the truth lies somewhere in between and in this article, I will explain to you what do I mean by that.
One of the really important things in strength training is the strength ratio. It’s simply the ratio between one lift and another. By comparing the results of various lifts, you can get the idea of how strong does one need to be to not inhibit the other. Another useful insight about it is that you can track and analyse your gains to see how do increasing a certain lift or accessory influence the other one. At a certain stage of development, it comes in very handy, you can trust me on that. The whole idea came from Charles Poliquin as he was the one to popularise the term “Structural Balance” in S&C.
When it comes to shoulder pressing, the ratios say that under typical circumstances, you should be able to OHP no less than 60% of your biacromial bench. On the other hand, an OHP at 70% or stronger, would stop carrying over so effectively to the bench press itself. The shoulders should be just strong enough to be able to bear the weight you are trying to bench. To put it simply, if your shoulders are too weak, they will stop you from benching huge weights and that’s when you need to focus on shoulder presses a little bit more. However, if they are too strong, you will simply waste time by trying to get them even stronger as the carryover will be diminishing even more the stronger they get. It will not be detrimental to your bench performance but there are much more efficient ways to bring up your bench.
How to train shoulders?
This is a bit tricky as the stronger your get, the more specificity you will need and as shoulder pressing can be treated as GPP for a bench presser or powerlifter, however, when you’re at a beginner level, shoulder pressing a bit heavier and with more volume can serve as a great pressing variation with quite a decent carryover.
Beginners are generally instructed to focus on pressing in the sagittal plane a bit more to develop a stronger base. Advanced lifters are usually told to pump the shoulder, spare the CNS and avoid pressing very heavy to ensure complete recovery from the heavy bench sessions and intermediates meet them somewhere in between.
5 awesome shoulder exercises to increase your bench press
Allow me to present you a list of useful exercises that I use with my athletes to bring their shoulder strength and bench press up. These exercises are to be treated as accessories or variations that intend to support your main lifts, not vice versa.
- Neutral Grip DB Shoulder Presses and Arnold Presses
- Single Armed Landmine Presses and Rack Viking Presses
- Seated Barbell Shoulder Press from the pins (dead stop)
- Single Armed Standing DB or KB Shoulder Presses
- Push Press and Push Jerk
These exercises have helped me and countless athletes increase their shoulder strength and bring their bench numbers up when shoulder strength was limiting them. The trick is to remember that you are only focusing on your shoulder training as much as you need, without overdoing it because all you’re trying to do is to reinforce your weak points. If you are focusing on the bench press, the shoulder exercises should only be used as assistance lifts and not as your bread and butter.