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.
What if I were to tell you that you could build an incredibly lean, strong and chiseled physique with only your body as a tool. Think about that for a second. There would be no need for an expensive gym membership and no need for bulky home gym equipment. Imagine the possibilities, imagine the freedom.
You’re travelling, you’re stuck at the office, the gym is closed, you don’t have time to commute….. All the typical excuses just don’t apply anymore. You could do a month long trip and you wouldn’t have to worry about losing strength or muscle. You are the gym and you can always get a workout in. This is just one of the many benefits of bodyweight training and trust me when I tell you there are many more.
Getting Leaner is Easier with Bodyweight Training
To become proficient at bodyweight training you need to be very lean! The less fat you have on your body the more proficient you will be. I have always found that bodyweight training makes it quite easier to lean down. This is because dieting and bodyweight training complement each other. Getting leaner and losing fat improves your bodyweight training performance. On the other hand dropping weight tends to decrease weight training performance. It can be frustrating to see your weights go down as you get leaner and subconciously you may blow your diet to try and maintain your lifts. Whereas with a bodyweight training routine you know damn well if you keep the cals low you will have an easier time moving your bodyweight through space. Even a 3 or 4 lbs drop in weight tends to improve bodyweight performance noticeably.
A lot of people have been asking me if they can workout from home and still get awesome results. The answer is obviously YES. In this article I am going to show you my very simple but surprisingly awesome home gym workout routine. Without further ado lets get started!
What you will Need
1. Power Tower or Pull up Bar and Dip Stand
2. Dipping Belt (to add weight to specific exercises)
Forget about all the expensive fitness gimmicks and gadgets you are bombarded with on a daily basis. The truth is if you want to melt away fat like there’s no tomorrow and build a FIT and ATHLETIC physique than all you need is your own bodyweight to perform an intense burpee workout.
After performing a few reps of the burpee you will soon realize the effectiveness of this exercise. In fact intense burpees are used all over the world in boxing gyms and prisons to build fit and functional physiques. Burpees will literally blast your stamina through the roof and morph you into ‘ready’ shape. No other exercise on its own stands close to the burpee!
Everyone has different views on how the burpee should be performed. Some say with a pushup and others say without a pushup. Well I believe it depends more on your current fitness levels. Here are the burpee progressions