There are many ways to build muscle, but when it comes to getting the most bang for your buck (and your time), you can’t beat shoulder workouts with cables. Cables allow you to work each of your shoulders’ three heads independently, making it easier to target and strengthen specific muscles within the shoulder complex. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best shoulder workouts with cables to help you build muscle fast and maximize your results in the gym!
Cable Lateral Raise
This exercise is performed by attaching a rope handle to one cable station and an ez bar handle (or straight bar) at another. Stand in front of both weight stacks, grab both handles, and hold them at your sides. This will be your starting position. Now raise both arms out to your sides until they are just below shoulder level and you feel a stretch on your shoulders. Tip: Maintain a firm grip throughout the movement so that you can use all of your arm muscles. Slowly go back to the starting position while maintaining a natural arch in your lower back. Repeat for reps before switching sides or if doing unilateral moves repeat for reps on one side before switching over to do it on another side as well as recommended.
Seated Low Row
The seated low row is an ez bar upright row variant that is a great exercise for adding size and thickness to your delts.
Seated Reverse Fly
The seated reverse fly is another cable exercise that you can use to build muscle in your shoulders. You’ll need a cable pulley station and a chair. To do it, sit on a chair facing away from the weight stack, holding each end of an ez bar attached to a high-pulley station. Bend at your hips and lean forward as far as you can while keeping your back straight (so it’s bent 90 degrees). Then squeeze your shoulder blades together, lift your arms up toward one another and squeeze them again for reps. That’s one rep; do about 15 or so per set if you want to build muscle fast.
The Cable Upright Row is another variation of a traditional upright row exercise. It uses a pair of handles that are attach to an overhead pulley. In order to perform a cable upright row, you must use some form of resistance like free weights or resistance bands. To execute, stand next to the bench with your feet about shoulder-width apart, lean forward slightly and grasp a handle in each hand using an overhand grip (palms facing in). Your arms should be extended towards but not touching your chest and your back should be parallel with or only slightly arched (not overly rounded) at all times. Aim for three sets of ten repetitions per arm 3-4 days per week.
If you want to build shoulders without going heavy, start with cable shrugs. A good way to vary your shoulder workouts is by using cables for everything from bent-over rows to upright rows. While there are several different ways you can do these, you’ll get better results when you start standing upright, holding a rope or an EZ bar attachment in each hand. Pull your shoulders up toward your ears and squeeze them at full extension (you’ll actually be kind of shrugging your shoulder blades). That’s one rep. Do 12 reps in three sets of four every other day. You can also just hold on stationary handles—try that variation when you need something more challenging that cable shrugs provide.