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‘Back to Front’ Shoulder Training

Have you ever begun a training session with shoulder press?

Have you ever felt pain in your shoulders the next day or when you rotate your arm around?

When I trained shoulders I used to hit all the multi joint exercises like shoulder press and upright row first then move on to the isolation exercises like side laterals and front raises last. For some time my shoulders would click and pop and occasionally give me grief.

The shoulders are made up of many muscles but the main workers are the rear, side and front.

I decided after sometime to experiment and change the order of the exercises in my workout, hoping it would bring upon less painful results.

My new pattern for training shoulders is a ‘back to front’ method.

This means training the posterior deltoid muscle then the lateral deltoid and finally the anterior deltoid.

I have been doing this for some time now and have not had any trouble with my shoulders what so ever. I found that it pumps blood to the shoulders and gets the surrounding deltoid muscles ready for the big pressing.

This method also helped focus on my weaker points like the rear deltoid. By doing them first I have all the energy I need to give them a good workout.

I have felt that by the time I get to shoulder press I am plenty warmed up enough and have found no loss of performance in my lifts, in fact they have gone up!

So for anyone who feels discomfort after training shoulders I would suggest trying it this way for a change. If worked for me and if it works for you please leave me feedback.

Here is an example ‘back to front’ shoulder workout:

If you have any questions, please use the comment form below or post a thread on the forums.

Article by - Neal Cooper
— Neal @ 9:48 pm, July 19, 2006


  1. thank you for all your work itis really grate

    Comment by azeddine — December 12, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  2. This is exactly what I have been looking for. The way I was doing my shoulder series, I was unable to complete everything because early in my workout, I was exhausting the muscle groups I needed for later exercises.

    Comment by Randy — December 13, 2007 @ 5:25 pm

  3. This sounds like a good slant on a training area that i’ve always found hard to “hit” effectively. will keep you informed if strength gains go up.
    Thanks Any Mac U.K

    Comment by Andy Mac — November 28, 2008 @ 11:31 am

  4. Great site, great information. Thank you for all your effort, providing this amount of information is not an easy task, especially with all the video records. Thank you once again, happy holidays!

    Comment by BiH_dude — December 23, 2008 @ 5:38 pm

  5. Thanks for the great articles and vids..
    This is a great site.

    Greets from Amsterdam.

    Comment by AFCA — February 6, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

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