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Before engaging in a shoulder exercise regimen, one must first understand the anatomy of the shoulder, types of programs available, and potential risks of the exercise.

Before engaging in a shoulder exercise regimen, one must first understand the anatomy of the shoulder, types of programs available, and potential risks of the exercise.

The shoulder is comprised of three major bones and two major muscle groups.

The clavicle (collarbone), the humerus (upper arm bone), and the scapula (shoulder blade) are the major bones that comprise the shoulder.

The deltoid and trapezius (rotator cuff) are the major muscle groups that hold the shoulder together and allow for movement of the shoulder .

The head of the humerus fits into the glenoid (rounded socket) of the scalpula. The trapezius muscles or the “rotator cuff” are a combination of muscles and tendons that keep your humerus centered in the glenoid. They cover the head of the upper arm and attach it to the scalpula.

The anterior edge of the shoulder blade is the acromion, which is in front of the humerus.

Trapezius or Rotator Cuff

The trapezius muscles or the rotator cuff are an extension of the back muscles. They begin in the neck region and extend to the middle of the back. The muscles are design to aid in the function of lifting the shoulders upward.

The rotator cuff is a network of four linking muscles: the supraspinatus, the infraspinatus, the subscapularis, and the teres minor. The muscle lie over or cover the “ball” of the shoulder or the humerus. These muscles hold the humerus in place and are involved in the rotation of the shoulder.


The upper part of the biceps muscle is comprised of two tendons that attach to the bones in the shoulder. The long head attaches to the glenoid, the top of the shoulder socket and the short head attaches to the “bump” on the scalpula called the coracoid process.


The deltoid is comprised of the anterior (front) deltoid, the lateral (side) deltoid, and the posterior(rear) deltoid:

The anterior deltoid controls the motion of the shoulder that raises the arm to the front of the body.

The lateral deltoid controls the motion of the shoulder that allows the arm to be raised to the sides.

The posterior deltoid controls the motion of the shoulder that allows you to raise your arm to the rear.

Since the shoulder is a major part of the body that is involved in daily activity such as lifting, brushing the hair, washing the back and other tasks, one must perform preventative exercises to reduce risk of injury. The individual must also be prepared to perform rehabilitation exercises should such an injury occur. This article will address anatomy, exercise, prevention, injury, rehabilitation and other shoulder related topics.


Implement a regular training regimen and commit to performing the regimen as instructed. Exercise at least 3 days per week with rest in between is typically sufficient.

Perform more repetitions with lighter weights. Typically, 3 sets of 15 repetitions with lighter weights are more apt to achieve desired results, than 3 sets of 10 with heavier weights.

Alternate various muscle groups daily. If you’re working your front deltoids one day, focus on the rear deltoids the next.

Rest is the most important step of the muscle building process. Get 8 hours of sleep every night and never weight train more than two days in a row. Try to have a day of rest in between weight training. Rest helps to build muscle tone and aids in the healing process.

Last but not least improve your diet. Eating foods high in protein like fish, eggs, chicken, lean beef and non-milk products, helps the muscle to heal and aids in the toning process. Drink lots of water and stay away from refined sugars, fried foods and starches, as well as, alcohol and sugar-laden beverages.

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I run for my aerobic exercise. You can run, walk, dance; whatever you prefer. Just be certain to do aerobics at least 3 – 4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes each workout. If you are using HIIT or something on that order, obviously you will be spending less time getting in your aerobics.

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