How to Get Bigger Shoulders 

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If you want an impressive, V-shaped upper body, having broad, muscular shoulders is key. Bigger shoulders not only look great, but they also contribute to overall upper body strength for activities like lifting, pushing, and pulling.

At GYMGUYZ, our certified personal trainers are experts at designing customized strength training programs to help clients achieve their fitness goals, including building broader, more defined shoulders. Here are some of their top tips for getting bigger shoulders:

Focus on Compound Exercises

Exercises that work multiple muscle groups like the shoulders, chest, and back are extremely effective for adding size. Staple compound movements like overhead presses, lateral raises, front raises, upright rows, and pull-ups/lat pulldowns should be the foundation of your shoulder routine. These hit the deltoids from multiple angles for maximum growth.

Go Heavy (But Not Too Heavy)

You’ll want to lift heavy enough weights to maximally overload the shoulder muscles, but not so heavy that your form breaks down. The shoulder joints are relatively unstable, so proper form is critical to avoid injury. Aim for weights where you can complete sets of 6-10 reps with good technique.

Increase Volume

In addition to lifting heavy weights, you’ll need to crank up your overall training volume for shoulder growth. Higher volume (total reps x weight) leads to greater muscle fiber activation and fatigue, which is the stimulus for growth. Effective strategies are adding more sets, reps, exercises, or training days for shoulders.

Don’t Neglect Rear Delts

The rear deltoids often get overshadowed by their bigger front delt brothers. But hitting rear delts hard with moves like bent-over reverse flyes,face pulls, and reverse pec deck flyes is crucial for giving your shoulders that full, 3D look.

Eat for Muscle Growth

Even a great shoulder workout plan won’t be enough on its own – you need to support it with a calorie surplus and high protein intake to build new muscle tissue. Eat at a 300-500 calorie surplus from your total daily expenditure and consume 0.7-1 gram of protein per pound of body weight.