Deload Workout #2: Shoulders

Here’s another deload workout (read here on my “deload” approach) — this time for shoulders.  Because I accidentally sliced my hand open last week cutting an avocado, I actually followed up the deload week with a week of no lifting for arms (I still managed to get a few leg workouts in!). While I have been super restless and can’t wait to get back to my normal routine, I think this forced rest period will almost undoubtedly be great for my body. 🙂

  • 3 rounds of 7 reps each: strict press, barbell front raise, dumbbell lateral raise with flipped grip, dumbbell front raise to reverse raise, and rear delt raises
  • 3 rounds of 10 reps each: upright row, 45 degree raise to lateral raise, and dumbbell front raise with flipped grip
  • 3 rounds of 5 reps upper cuts (1/arm) and punches (1/arm) with dumbbells
  • 3 rounds of 10 reps each: bent arm pushouts with palms facing in and bent arm pushouts with palms facing down
  • 3 rounds of 10 reps each: cable rows and pull-acrosses

A. Start with 3 rounds of 7 reps each:

(1) Strict Press:  Start with the barbell at chest level, with your arms slightly wider than shoulder width.  Push the bar straight overhead, with the barbell slightly behind your head at the top of the movement.  If you are deloading, choose a weight that feels very easy for 7 reps.

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(2) Barbell Front Raises: Start with your arms straight down by your sides, holding the barbell with a slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width grip.  Raise the bar with straight arms until it is out in front of your chin.  You will likely have to drop the weight down to make it easy for 7 reps.

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(3) Dumbbell lateral raise with flipped grip: Start with arms straight down, holding the dumbbells with your palms facing inward.  Raise the dumbbells out to the sides with your palms facing the floor, until your arms are parallel with the floor.  At the top of the movement, flip your palms up to face the ceiling, and lower to the starting position.  Repeat for 7 reps.

(4) Dumbbell front raise to reverse raise: Start with arms straight down, holding the dumbbells with your palms facing toward your thighs.  Raise the weights up straight in front of you until your arms are parallel with the floor.  As you bring the weights back down, extend your arms straight back behind you, until they are about 6 inches to a foot behind your things.  Repear for 7 reps.

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(5) Rear Delt Raise: Finish with 7 reps of rear delt raises.  With knees slightly bent, bend at the waist until your upper body is nearly parallel with the floor.  Start with your arms down and the weights near your thighs.  Lift the weights to your sides, with your palms facing the floor.  Lower and repeat for 7 reps.

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Rest for 30 sec – 1 min (you can take as long as you need since the workout is supposed to be “light”) and repeat for 2 more rounds before moving on.

(B) Next move on to 3 rounds of 10 reps each:

(1) Upright row: Using a light barbell (likely the same weight as your strict press), grab the barbell about shoulder width apart.  Lift the barbell up with your elbows pointed high to the ceiling.  Lower and repeat for 10 reps.

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(2) 45 degree raise to lateral raise: This move is a mix between a front raise and a lateral raise.  Start by lifting the dumbbells out at 45 degree angles, or about half-way between where you would lift the weight for a front raise and a lateral raise.  Push the weights out to the sides until your arms are straight out to the side.  Lower and repeat for 10 reps.

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(3) Dumbbell front raise with flipped grip: Start with arms straight down, holding the dumbbells with your palms facing toward your thighs.  Raise the weights up straight in front of you until your arms are parallel with the floor.  At the top of the movement, flip your palms up to the ceiling, and lower to the start position.  Lift the weights again, this time with your palms facing the ceiling, and turn your palms down toward the floor at the top of the movement. Repeat until you reach 10 reps.

Once you finish all three exercises, rest as long as you need before repeating for 2 more rounds.

(c) 3 rounds of 5 reps upper cuts (1/arm) and punches (1/arm) with dumbbells  — I especially love that you can hear some random dude from the gym saying “don’t hit me” at the end.  🙂

(D) 3 rounds of 10 reps each:

(1) Bent arm pushouts with palms facing in: Start with your arms bent and the weights out in front of your waist.  Push the weights out to your sides, with elbows by your stomach, until the weights are slightly behind your back.  Repeat for 10 reps.

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(2) Bent arm pushouts with palms facing down: Repeat the same exercise as (1), this time with palms facing toward the floor.

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(E) 3 rounds of 10 reps each:

(1) Cable one-arm rows: Stand far enough away from the cable machine that you can feel some tension with your arm bent at the elbow and out in front of you.  Then pull the weight back until your hand reaches your side. (We used peg 10 as the right height, but I’m super short! 🙂 )

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(2) Cable one-arm pull-acrosses: Stand with your side facing the cable.  Your elbow should point toward the cable machine, with your hand out in front of you.  Push the cable attachment across your body.  Return to the start position and repeat for 10 reps/side.

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