The 10 “Commandments” of Shoulder Training (THOU SHALT NOT!!)

  • Published: 20 August 2017
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    If you want to build bigger shoulders there are definitely some things that you are going to have to do, and other mistakes you will have to avoid in your shoulder training. In this video, I’m going to give you the 10 “commandments” of shoulder training to help you not only build more muscle in your shoulder workouts but avoid injury to this precious joint along the way.

    The shoulder is probably the most important joint in the body when it comes to upper body function. Without a healthy shoulder joint, you will find it difficult to perform virtually any upper body workout or exercise. Beyond that, from an aesthetic standpoint, there is nothing that caps a complete physique more than a pair of well developed delts. If you are going to build your delts to their maximum capacity you are going to want to make sure you obey the first commandment of shoulder training and that is to not skip the rear delt exercises.

    I don’t know what it is about the rear delts but they just don’t seem to get the same attention that the middle and front deltoids do. Make sure you are incorporating not only enough exercises for this muscle group but be sure that they are the right exercises if you want to get them bigger. Beyond that, you can add additional volume for your rear delts by making some slight tweaks to the way you perform exercises on your back day.

    The behind the neck press is one of those shoulder exercises that simply needs to be avoided. I say that knowing that there are far healthier ways to press heavy weights overhead without placing your shoulder joint in a compromised and unnatural position. The landmine press, jammer press, arnold press and even good old fashioned barbell press can all be performed with the elbow in front of the body to dramatically improve the safety of the shoulder exercise without compromising the gains you will see from doing it.

    In an effort to build bigger shoulders, we tend to focus a lot on not just pressing but in using heavy weights all the time. This is a big shoulder workout mistake. The deltoid muscle is a relatively small muscle group that responds well to targeted tension with lighter weights. If you never felt just how this can work, just perform a side lateral dumbbell raise with half the weight you normally use in one and a half rep style. You’ll be a believer instantly.

    Often times, the shoulders and the exercises for your shoulders do not incorporate a position of lengthened tension. This prevents this muscle group from experiencing the same eccentric muscle damage that other muscles that can be stretched during the exercise can. That is, unless we make some modifications for doing that. Watch how the side lateral and front raise can be done with cables to add that extra stretch for the delts to not miss out on this anymore.

    The shoulder muscles are commonly injured, and the solution we come up with is to avoid training them all together to allow them to heal. We still soldier on with our chest, back and arm workouts however. This is a mistake. The old use it or lose it phenomenon is in place here and you need to realize that there are many options for continuing to train even when the shoulder is a bit irritated. Instead, the focus should be on minimizing the other exercises you are doing like the bench press and pullup that could be aggravating your shoulders more than any direct training.

    Finally, the upright row will always be a bad option when it comes to building bigger shoulders more safely. Avoid this movement and instead make the switch to the dumbbell high pull. You will find that not only is your shoulder development not compromised but you will see better gains and far less pain in the long run by making this change.

    As you see, you can build bigger shoulders if you avoid some of the biggest shoulder mistakes while improving some of the things you are currently doing in your shoulder workouts. The ATHLEAN-X Training Systems at can help you to get everything right by training like an athlete. See how to get the most out of your training in my step by step, day by day instructions and workouts.

    For more shoulder workouts and shoulder training videos for building bigger delts, be sure to subscribe to our channel here on RUclip at
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Comments • 2 373

    ATHLEAN-X™   1 years back

    Want to win an ATHLEAN-X program for free, no strings attached? Click the link below to find out how!

    • Itz Chépitó Garcia
      Itz Chépitó Garcia  3 weeks back

      How about thou shall not swing it with the back? Yes/no?

    • Bradley White
      Bradley White  1 months back

      Jeff Nippard said using the cable machine with a rope is a safer way to do the upright row and missing a thumb and index finger it is a little easier as far as grip goes, I was just wondering what your honest opinion is and if there is something safe but doable for me while I'm working on my grip. I've been working out for a year and have seen significant improvement but I'm always looking to do better, thank you!

    • Wrestling
      Wrestling  5 months back


    • Judah Legge
      Judah Legge  7 months back

      Do a neck training video, Jeff.

    • Knight Operator
      Knight Operator  7 months back

      **Please help!: i have bad shoulder impingement that led to bad doctors advice, and total stoppage of training for 8 years. Never went away, i know now that was wrong, and i needed to train the rear shoulder and back to correct a misaligned cuff, to avoid shoulder impingement. I need to strengthen my rotator cuff and the muscles that help roll the shoulder back into proper position/alignment like he said. any advice or links to videos to help me train as i start working out again would be much appreciated all. i'm just getting started again, today, but this is my main focus, because if i cant correct the impingement, i will never be able to lift again. Thanks for any input.

  • Jerry Kontos
    Jerry Kontos  2 days back

    What is your opinion of Handstand Balancing and presses? How would you train for them?

    • Kevin Collins
      Kevin Collins  6 days back

      What about traps ?

      • Troth Asauras
        Troth Asauras  1 weeks back

        Love it when you go over thou shalt not do exercises. So many times at gym you see stuff or try stuff and don't know if you are hurting yourself. Thanks

        • Vicente Fosco
          Vicente Fosco  2 weeks back

          3:58 that chest though

          • Marcel V.
            Marcel V.  2 weeks back

            haha just watches the video where hes explaining how to do lateral raises correctly without risking shoulder impinchment, but gues what, he does them wrong himself

            • Jeremy Shelton
              Jeremy Shelton  2 weeks back

              #11 helped me just now. Thanks. glad the big guy didn't stop at just 10.

              • Julian Roberts
                Julian Roberts  2 weeks back

                Awesome video Jeff

                • Gangleri _01
                  Gangleri _01  2 weeks back

                  Rear delt out of sight, out of mind. =/

                  • Optimus Prime
                    Optimus Prime  3 weeks back


                    • Thomas Sullins
                      Thomas Sullins  3 weeks back

                      2:38 Raymond. 2:16 Jesse??

                      • I Dunno
                        I Dunno  3 weeks back

                        I know it’s a two year video, but can you do a shoulder workout for those with the rare posterior shoulder dislocation.

                        • Mauro Go
                          Mauro Go  3 weeks back

                          Very nice, quality information. Thanks, Jeff.

                          • Brian Lamptey
                            Brian Lamptey  3 weeks back

                            The Athletic trainer at my battalion actually recommended this channel among others. He knows what he's saying, he's not just saying this stuff for content.

                          • Fire X
                            Fire X  3 weeks back

                            Shoulda watched this before bc I got no rear delt and now my arms jus have half round delts

                            • The Mann
                              The Mann  3 weeks back


                              • MrGuy Unknown
                                MrGuy Unknown  4 weeks back

                                Jesus: This world is nothing without me
                                FacePulls : Hold my wire

                                • Lokesh Vaghela
                                  Lokesh Vaghela  1 months back

                                  U r genius

                                  • felipe367
                                    felipe367  1 months back

                                    2:03 wouldn't that be a variant of an upright row which are wretched?

                                    • Isaac Solis
                                      Isaac Solis  1 months back

                                      What if the voice of God in this video is actually Zyzz? 🤯

                                      • jason blackman
                                        jason blackman  1 months back

                                        i tore my labrum and didn't have surgery and it bothers me at times and pull-ups do hurt some especially when i do them more frequently and heavier. What would be good alternative? I just hate giving them up

                                        • Nerea
                                          Nerea  1 months back

                                          10:09 thats kinda hot ngl 👀👀👀 thanks for this vid, i want nice round shoulders

                                          • WithTheBears
                                            WithTheBears  1 months back

                                            I can't believe we get this knowledge for free

                                            • Nathan Girard
                                              Nathan Girard  2 months back

                                              Hey Jeff, can we see a video of you're max weights for lifts like squat, bench press, etc

                                              • Joeking haha
                                                Joeking haha  2 months back

                                                Aww your so cute, your just a little guy, like a puppy.

                                                • Rosemary Del Prado
                                                  Rosemary Del Prado  2 months back

                                                  Thanks...appreciate the valuable information!

                                                  • Dr.Riddhideb Barman
                                                    Dr.Riddhideb Barman  2 months back

                                                    Thanks Jeff .

                                                    • Zetsuke4
                                                      Zetsuke4  2 months back

                                                      The advice on stretching the lateral delts by going towards midline for eccentric soreness (anti abduction) in front of body or behind body is good. Normally I adduct to my sides and that’s it I don’t go towards midline any further by going behind I will try from now on

                                                      • Zetsuke4
                                                        Zetsuke4  2 months back

                                                        I reached advanced/elite level now especially with my medical background strong in anatomical knowledge, physics, and nutritional biochemistry. I get everything jeff says now and already learned it from the past 300 videos I took Time to watch

                                                        • Joao cantiga
                                                          Joao cantiga  2 months back


                                                          • Junaid Muhammed
                                                            Junaid Muhammed  2 months back

                                                            Thank Jeff amazing workout ♥️♥️♥️

                                                            • Jack Henry
                                                              Jack Henry  2 months back

                                                              Jeff, I really like your channel, and I get a lot of great tips. HOWEVER, your physique is very suspicious. Can you please answer: have you ever used any type of anabolic steroids? Are we to believe your physique is 100% natural? I am asking because you are giving people FALSE HOPE they can achieve a body like yours. You are contributing to the many myths of the fitness industry. IF you have used anabolics, please come clean. I have so many friends who abused anabolics and it ruined their lives. IT would help if influencers like yourself held honest conversations about it.

                                                              • Lawrence Wambugu
                                                                Lawrence Wambugu  2 months back

                                                                Jeff salvaged my damaged shoulder when I was contemplating resting it for months

                                                                • Drew Borgholthaus
                                                                  Drew Borgholthaus  2 months back

                                                                  Seriously Jeff, thank you! I’ve had 3 shoulder surgeries in the past 4 years and have seen 4 different physical therapists, all for labrum tears and biceps tendinitis. I’ve paid tens of thousands of dollars to fix this shoulder and to me, regaining the use of it is worth almost any price and here you are giving me BETTER advice for free. You’re making me second guess my future career path of becoming a dentist as I believe the world needs more PTs like you!

                                                                  • ValleyStyle 956
                                                                    ValleyStyle 956  2 months back

                                                                    Thanks for forcing your anatomy just to show us 😬

                                                                    • Gray Eagle
                                                                      Gray Eagle  2 months back

                                                                      Bow n arrow = rear delt

                                                                      • Drew Zachary
                                                                        Drew Zachary  3 months back

                                                                        THAT WAS SO MUCH INFO SO FAST. Thanks jeff

                                                                        • Dusten Cross
                                                                          Dusten Cross  3 months back

                                                                          What happened Jeff??? When's the next video in this series!!???

                                                                          • AD The Killer
                                                                            AD The Killer  3 months back

                                                                            Bbig Love

                                                                            • Arslan Hafeez
                                                                              Arslan Hafeez  3 months back

                                                                              Should i avoid bench press if suffering from pain in shoulder joint ..?

                                                                              • William Rock
                                                                                William Rock  3 months back

                                                                                Can I do these with resistance bands ? Thx

                                                                                • Meredith Shippey
                                                                                  Meredith Shippey  3 months back

                                                                                  What is the difference between the highboy row and the upright row?

                                                                                  • coleplaninz
                                                                                    coleplaninz  3 months back

                                                                                    Great videos man, I'm always trying to train healthier!

                                                                                    • Vibin Roger
                                                                                      Vibin Roger  3 months back

                                                                                      Honestly I feel like I should be paying for these commandments videos

                                                                                      • Liam Genkens
                                                                                        Liam Genkens  3 months back

                                                                                        Actually changing my life with this shit please never stop

                                                                                        • Skeet Stahmer
                                                                                          Skeet Stahmer  3 months back

                                                                                          Enough with the special intros

                                                                                          • Larry Davis Videos
                                                                                            Larry Davis Videos  3 months back

                                                                                            How effective are push-ups for building up your shoulders ? I'm limited by space and equipment . Thanks for this video .

                                                                                            • Ben Bar-on
                                                                                              Ben Bar-on  4 months back

                                                                                              With all due respect , you gotta stop dissing the back shoulder press. The explanation is simply wrong; It would make sense if the scapula was fixed to our ribs but thank whomever they are not and can retract and provide a safe and healthy way to align with the Humerus for a great exercise. If the trainee have enough flexibility in the Pectoralis and feels no discomfort it would be a shame not to work in that range. Every mover lifts things above his head and to the upper back/shoulders and they are not in at all in the statistics of population who dislocate shoulders.