Top 5 Exercises for Getting Ripped Shoulders

While you may be expecting to read an article like this on a bodybuilding website, we thought we’d share our views on getting ripped shoulders on our physiotherapy site.

At Surrey Physio, we see many people who get injuries to their shoulders. Sometimes, we see people just seeking advice about improving the size or strength of their shoulders, especially for sports performance or for bodybuilding (body improvement).

Getting ripped arms, chest, shoulders and core are key masculine desires, especially from younger man. The “shredded” appearance is a popular choice for men, but many do not achieve these kinds of results naturally. The majority of bodybuilders who have ripped or shredded shoulders use performance enhancing drugs such as anabolic steroids and growth hormones.

At Surrey Physio, we always advise against the use of performance enhancing drugs, simply due to the potential and severe side effects that these chemically produced drugs can cause. However, we commonly see athletes who take drugs. Our approach is natural and holistic. Build muscle slowly and do the right functional exercises for your shoulders.

Being ripped might look good, but ultimately having a ripped appearance requires a significant amount of muscle strength training, and fat weight loss. This gives the ripped or shredded appearance, with clear muscle definition and striations.

The most commonly worked shoulder muscle is the deltoid. There are three parts to the deltoid (front, middle and back, known as anterior, medial and posterior). The deltoid is triangular shaped, and gives some width to the torso. From an injury perspective, as physios we often look at the weakness of the rotator cuff muscles. However, these small muscles are well hidden and sit deeper in the shoulder as stabilisers. The big prime movers like the deltoid really take over when the weight of load increases.

In a simple nutshell, getting ripped shoulders usually involves three things: steroids, hundreds of hours of weight training, and body fat loss. Steroids are unfortunately the drug of choice because they help aid muscle strength, recovery and fat loss, but we always advise against taking them due to the side-effects on the internal organs like the liver.

Let’s look at some natural ways to build strength in your shoulders:

Top 5 Exercises for Ripped (Strong) Shoulders:

1. Lumbar Rotation: Lie on a bed or floor. Bend your knees and keeping your feet flat on the bed or floor, rotate your hips to one side creating a rotation through your lower back. Only go as far as feels comfortable, you do not need to get your knees to the floor. Return to the opposite side. This is an excellent lower back mobility exercise, especially if you have acute lower back pain or disc problems.

2. Child’s Pose: Kneel down on the mat, and rest your buttocks on your heels. As you keep your buttocks on your heels, roll forwards and slide your arms forward creating a gentle stretch and lengthening in your back.

3. Side Flexion: Stand up straight, and bend to the side by running your hand down the outside of your leg. Keep the movement slow and fluid. Repeat to the opposite site. This is a good mobility exercise for the lower and upper back.

4. Chair Rotation: Sitting in an upright position, rotate your upper body by moving your hand towards the opposite side of the chair back-rest. You can let the head follow, but progress by keeping the head straight forwards, thus making the rotation stronger. This is a great exercise to do while sitting for long periods of time if you feel your back is getting stiff.

5. Superman: Lie on your front, and lift your opposite arm and leg, keeping them straight. Hold this position, and then relax. This exercise helps to arch your lower back (to create what is known as a lumbar lordosis) while strengthening the lower back and buttock muscles.

Getting ripped shoulders really is not an easy thing to do without significant conditioning. However, with time and persistence, it is possible to get ripped shoulders.

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