8 Reasons Why You Can’t Build Your Shoulder Muscles

Can’t Build Your Shoulder Muscles

Most people have a weak point in their physiques, for some it’s every single bloody part, but let’s concentrate on bodybuilders or aspiring bodybuilders.

They’ll train and train but their abs will always be weak, or their biceps will be poor compared to their triceps, or maybe it’s the calves.

One area that seems to affect more people than any other is the shoulders, you’ll see people training shoulders twice or three times per week but still not being able to build them up properly.

If you are one of those people then you NEED to read this article. In it we will discuss all of the reasons why your shoulder muscles are still poor.

Reason #1. You don’t train them enough

A lot of people tend to react to difficulty by ignoring the problem, even if they don’t know they’re doing it. As a result, people who say that they struggle to build their legs, tend to neglect them.

Same with calves, or arms, or yes shoulders! If you are struggling to build your shoulders then maybe it’s because you’re not training your shoulders enough.

Consider adding in an extra 3-4 different shoulder exercises into your week.

Reason #2. You don’t train hard enough

Are you lifting heavy enough? Are you training to muscular fatigue? Do you walk out of a shoulder workout physically and mentally drained?

If not, ask yourself if you treat shoulders with the same amount of respect that you treat chest. If not you might realise why your shoulder gains are not as impressive.

Reason #3. You try to be too clever

Are you throwing drop sets in? Do you try front delt raises that transform into lateral raises? Are you experimenting with differing rep ranges? Is there a Bosu Ball anywhere near you right now? If you answered yes to any of those questions and you are struggling to get bigger shoulders, then maybe you’re overcomplicating things.

Lift heavy standing shoulder presses (or push presses) for three to four sets, and give yourself extra long rests in between sets.

Try this out twice per week (with some additional exercises that we will mention in a bit) and check your results.

Reason #4. You neglect the middle and rear delts

Heavy shoulder pressing, combined with heavy bench pressing, and close grip bench pressing etc are really good ways to work the front deltoids. But the front deltoids are only part of your deltoids.

Not paying attention to the other two can lead to under-grown and unbalanced shoulders.

Try adding in some rear delt and middle deltoid exercises, this will increase overall size, lessen the chance of shoulder injury, create more balanced looking shoulders, and help you increase your lifts.

Reason #5. You don’t pay attention to traps

You will never be able to shoulder press, front raise, side raise, or perform an Arnold press without big traps.

The trapezius muscles will also help to make your shoulders appear broader and more rounded.

Try to work them as regularly as you do the deltoids. Use barbell shrugs, upright rows, and farmer’s walks to build these muscles.

Reason #6. You aren’t doing face pulls

Face pulls are a great exercise for the rear delts, the rotator cuffs, and other small muscles of the shoulder.

It is a great warm up, will improve range of motion, and will help strengthen these crucial muscles, leading to bigger, more rounded shoulders.

Start each shoulder and chest workout with three sets of face pulls.

Reason #7. You aren’t eating enough

The fact of the matter is that it is almost impossible to build muscle when you aren’t in a caloric surplus (not including brand new lifters).

Eat lots of protein if you want to build your muscles, also eat lots of carbohydrates, and prepare to put on some body fat.

This is a sad but inevitable part of bulking, and shying away from doing this will leave you with small and weak shoulders.

Reason #8. You aren’t sleeping enough

One of the most underrated factors when it comes to trying to build muscles is the issue of sleep.

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for adequate recovery from exercise. Most of muscle protein synthesis occurs while we are in a deep sleep.

Getting countless bad nights in a row can increase Cortisol (the stress hormone that can cause muscle loss) and lower testosterone and growth hormone (both required for muscle gain).

Aim for at least eight hours, more if you have had a particularly intense session.

Bottom Line

Be consistent, work hard, eat well, train your shoulders often, don’t neglect your middle and rear deltoids (or your trapezius), and make sure that you are getting adequate sleep.

Do all of these things and you can expect big boulder shoulders in no time.

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