5 Muscle Building Hacks For 3D Boulder Shoulders

If you’re looking to build that wide, powerful, v-shaped physique, with big, broad shoulders, you’ll want to learn these easy-to-implement techniques, the 5 muscle building hacks for 3d boulder shoulders…

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One Key Exercise

The key to getting that wide, powerful upper body and v-shaped physique is properly performing lateral raises. Lateral raises are the key exercise for targeting the hard-to-hit lateral head of the shoulder (often referred to as “side delts”).

The lateral head is the most important of the 3 shoulder heads if you want to increase your upper body width and your overall delt thickness to give you those truly 3-Dimensional delts.

Although most think a lateral raise seems like a pretty basic and intuitive movement, the truth is that most lifters make a ton of crucial mistakes when performing this exercise, reducing it’s overall effectiveness and increasing the risk of injury simultaneously.

So here are 4 quick hacks to improve your technique on your lateral raises and achieve optimal stimulation of those side delts.

5 Muscle Building Hacks

Hack #1: Use Lighter Weights

Most guys I see in the gym doing lateral raises go and grab the heaviest pair of dumbbells they can manage to swing up in the air.

Then they proceed to somehow manage turning a side deltoid, isolation exercise, into a full body movement by heaving the weight up in an uncontrolled manner, swinging their upper body back and forth.

Although this may give your ego a little stroke, all you’re really doing is drastically reducing the involvement of your side delts and increasing your chances of a shoulder injury at the same time.

Remember, the objective is not just to move the heaviest weight you can from point A to point B (unless you’re in a powerlifting meet); to stimulate hypertrophy and actually build muscle, the only thing the lateral head of your shoulder (or any other muscle on your body) will respond to is the amount of direct tension that it’s placed under.

So do the exercise properly, use a light enough weight that you can minimize the use of momentum, perform the exercise under full control and really feel the shoulders being activated each rep.

Hack #2: Keep Your Core Tight

Keeping your abs flexed and your core tight is one of the best ways to increase tension on the side delts during a lateral raise as it helps reduce the swaying of your body backwards as you raise the weights and takes out the involvement of your spinal erectors.

Remember to keep the core tight, prevent swaying back as you raise the weights and you should feel a huge difference in your ability to activate your side delts.

Hack #3: Get Your Lean On

That’s right, instead of standing straight up like a soldier at attention throughout the exercise, give those knees a slight bend and lean your upper body forward at roughly a 70 degree angle.

Standing too upright shifts the line of pull on the muscle to the anterior deltoid (front head of the shoulder) and reduces the tension on and activation of the lateral head.

Hack #4: Keep It At Your Sides

Too many guys perform the lateral raises with their arms bent at 90 degrees and the weight out in front of their bodies instead of to their sides.

This again is going to reduce stimulation of the side delts and instead stimulate the anterior delts more. So to target those side delts specifically, maintain only a slight bend in your elbow (10-30 degrees) and raise your upper arms directly out to your sides, rather than in front of your body.

Hack #5: Use Cables

Due to the pull of gravity in a straight-down line and the circular range of motion of the lateral raise movement, you have little to no tension on your side delts in the bottom half of the movement using free weights.

Cables provide a superior tension curve in comparison to free weights as they enable you to maintain constant tension on the lateral head of the shoulder through the entire range of motion.

So try out your lateral raises with a cable machine next time and notice the difference in your ability to contract your side delts on each rep.


So to summarize, if you want those 3D boulder shoulders and that big, powerful, V-tapered, physique, remember to use this 4 muscle building hacks for your next shoulder workout.

  1. Use Lighter Weights
  2. Keep Your Core Tight
  3. Get Your Lean On
  4. Keep It At Your Sides
  5. Use Cables

Put these 5 muscle building hacks to work and you’ll be well on your way to explosive growth in those shoulders and building some real, 3D boulders.

– Tyler Johnston “The APE Coach”

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