5 Cable Shoulder Workouts to Build Massive Delts

Stephen Romero - June 21, 2022

With its emphasis on compound, multi-joint movements and muscles groups, cable training can be an excellent way to build up your shoulders without the added bulk that you’d typically get from performing exercises with free weights. With that in mind, here are five cable shoulder workouts to help you achieve massive delts with minimal effort!

1) Use a Wide-Grip Barbell Upright Row

Standing upright with a shoulder-width grip on a barbell, pull it straight up in front of your body until your elbows are slightly bent and your hands are near your chest. Lower under control and repeat. Make sure you don’t use too much weight, or you’ll risk injuring yourself. You should feel a burning sensation during each rep. If not, lighten up.

2) Do One Arm Pushdowns

While one arm pushdowns aren’t that fancy of a move, you can get some serious time under tension with them. Set a cable machine at chest height so that when you sit down on it, your arm will be parallel to your torso. With palms facing each other, grasp an overhead rope in both hands and let your arms hang straight down with shoulders retracted (retracting is pulling your shoulder blades towards each other). Pull one handle towards your armpit so that it touches then extend back out so it’s straight again—do 12 reps and then switch sides. Do 3 sets.

3) Do Seated Lateral Raises

Lateral raises are great for targeting your deltoids in a different way than you can with any other exercise. The seated variation of lateral raises can focus more on lower and mid-deltoid development; standing variations typically target all three deltoid heads equally. To perform seated lateral raises, simply sit down on a bench holding weights in each hand, then lift your arms up to shoulder height at a moderate pace—one that doesn’t compromise form or make it hard to breathe. Try 3 sets of 8-12 reps on each side when you perform these cable shoulder workouts as part of your workout routine. This exercise is best done immediately after an overhead press since you’re already warmed up from doing another overhead movement.

4) Take Advantage of Fat Gripz

Fat Gripz are simply rubber grips you place over your regular barbell or dumbbells that make it harder to hold on to, forcing your hands and forearms to grow. If you’re going after huge delts and traps, Fat Gripz can be a valuable piece of equipment in your arsenal. Just don’t be surprised if your biceps get a little help from them too. For an effective shoulder workout with cables, try these five great cable exercises that will leave you covered in sweat…and have massive delts begging for mercy.

5) Mix Things Up with Face Pulls

Although cable face pulls don’t look like they’d hit your shoulders all that much, they actually target every muscle in your shoulder. Sure, when you do them as part of a cable shoulder workout, your deltoids are getting bombard. But face pulls also increase external rotation strength, which is especially helpful for overhead motions like front raises and overhead presses. You can even replace lateral raises in your shoulder workout with face pulls—it’s a different kind of stimulus and can be just as effective for building bigger delts! However you implement it into your next cable shoulder workout, cable face pulls are an extremely valuable movement pattern that deserves more attention than it gets.

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Stephen Romero

Stephen Romer has decades of experience and expertise in consultative marketing, sales, management, tech, and lifestyle. He has given notable seminars, featured on media for his exceptional writing skills.


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