Chris Hemsworth emphasized shoulder training over chest training when preparing for the movie Thor.
Well built, muscular shoulders are a true sign of strength, power and masculinity. When building a fit, capable and stunning physique shoulder strength and development is absolutely critical. Unfortunately in todays day and age shoulder development is more often than not a weakness. People are obsessed with building huge chests and impressive bench press numbers. When was the last time someone asked you how much you could overhead press? Or how many full range handstand pushups can you do? Probably never!!! As a result shoulder training becomes an afterthought. Some people are even content with a few sets of half assed lateral raises for their shoulder training. If you want to build a truly impressive and highly capable physique you need to do a complete 180 and reevaluate your strength training routine.
Handstand Pushups – The Holy Grail of Shoulder Training
From my experience full range handstand pushups are the single most effective exercise for building sheer shoulder strength and muscle! When your body is free moving and your hand are fixed (closed chain movements) there seems to be greater muscle recruitment and less stress on the joints. Squats, handstand push ups, dips, chin ups, dead lifts are all closed chain movements. Leg press, shoulder press, bench press and lat pull down are all open chain movements. Aside from chest training I have always had the best gains sticking mostly with closed chain movements.
I have spent several months using full range handstand pushups almost exclusively and my shoulders have increased in strength and size. As well this carried over to seated dumbbell presses as I was noticeably stronger on this movement even without training it.
Progressing to the Handstand Push up
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