Are heavy Overhead Presses and Dumbbell Presses the linchpins of a conventional shoulder workout? That’s what we’ve always been told this, and for many years I trained with that in mind. But despite strength improvements, I never achieved truly standout shoulder definition.
To make matters worse, with the conventional approach, I was constantly struggling with shoulder joint problems. (Avoid them with proper technique.) So instead of doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, I changed the way I was training, opting for unconventional shoulder workouts focused on high reps and supersets as opposed to low heavy reps.
Try doing four sets of lateral raises, 30 reps each set, super-setted with four sets of 30 front raises, and tell me you can still lift your water bottle to your mouth.
Finish with a rear deltoid exercise for good measure. Pick a heavy weight and do standing side laterals with a limited range of motion. Keep your back straight and do partial swings—i.e., bring the dumbbell about a third of the way up—until you hit your count of 30 to 40 reps. Drop down to a dumbbell around ten pounds lighter and immediately pump out another 30 to 40; then fall back some more and do another 30 or so reps.
Don’t ignore the basics completely. Overhead Presses and regular rep ranges do have a place in a strength training program; but don’t be afraid to mix up the angles and exercises along with them. You may become a better, more well-rounded athlete, and that’s ultimately what we all want, right?