I’m a hardgainer who is underweight and on the skinny side. I’m looking to broaden my shoulders and make my deltoids bigger. I follow a weight training workout routine that consists of dumbbell lateral raises, forward lateral raises, and upright rows which I do 6 times a week. However, the results have been minimal. What can I do to broaden my shoulders more effectively?
The exercises you’ve been performing are excellent for shaping the shoulders but you need to include more mass building exercises into your routine to overload your deltoids and pack on as much muscle mass as possible. Exercise like the Military press and seated barbell deltoid press are excellent movements to start your shoulder workouts with. Make sure you include them at the beginning of your workout when you have the most energy and then add the shaping movements at the end of your workout. Here are a few of the key mass building movements for your deltoids which will help you build a solid foundation and give your shoulders that broad look you’re searching for:
There are other factors that are extremely important for overall muscle growth. Proper diet and sufficient rest are the real keys for growth of the targeted muscle group. If you are aiming at any kind of growth, first make sure you are not overdoing it by exercising the same muscle group 6 times a week. That is way too much! You should focus on hitting a muscle group 1-2 times per week for the best results.
You will grow by lifting weights and gradually increasing the weight for every set while reducing the number of reps. This process requires a diet that ensures growing muscles will get enough nutrient dense ingredients they need to become larger. This includes eating 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day along with clean carbs and healthy fats.
You can get your protein from chicken, steak, fish, eggs, cottage cheese. A fast-acting whey protein shake after your workout will be a great way to start muscle recovery and growth immediately after exercising, followed by a complete meal an hour and a half later, consisting of protein, healthy starchy carbs and steamed or raw vegetables. Make sure you are not training the same muscle group two days in a row. If you want your muscles to grow, you must let them rest and recover! The period of recovery is the period of growth, so do your work at the gym and let the body repair all those micro tears in your muscle fibers.
Other than that, the muscle needs constant challenge to keep growing, so change the exercises you are doing regularly. If you keep doing the same exercises for a long period of time, the muscle will get used to the motion, hit a plateau and won’t keep growing. Try alternating the exercises you are already performing with cable rear deltoid rows, kettlebell presses and standing lateral raises.
While performing each exercise, make sure that the movement is very slow since that slow contraction is exactly what’s forcing the muscle to work and grow. If the movement is too fast, this may lead to a loss in proper technique and injury. The muscle must be completely in control of the movement, and if you can only do 3 reps, do just three, but do them with perfect form. You want to perform the exercise correctly and not cheat since cheating won’t get you anywhere. Also make sure to stretch after every workout, since stretching will relax and lengthen the muscles, helping with blood flow and recovery.
Basically, what you have been doing is being aware of the recipe, but mixing the ingredients the wrong way. Packing on lots of quality lean muscle is a serious project, especially for an underweight person, and it takes knowledge and dedication. You must lift hard and heavy with the right exercises, while getting enough rest after training in order to fully recover. You also need to pay attention to what you are eating each day in order to maximize how the nutrients are utilized by your muscles so you can keep growing and getting bigger.