Cable shoulder workouts are an excellent type of exercise to incorporate into your weight training. The resistance cable machines provide increased strength, endurance, stamina, and also "tones" muscles as well. There are a group of exercises you can do that isolate your deltoids (shoulders) on the cable machine, and they are best used in place of certain exercises on specific training days, or for “burn outs”. Burn outs are where you do a high amount of repetitions with a low weight setting until the specific body area being worked can go no longer, and feels a “burning” sensation.
Upright rows would be the first exercise to consider performing on the cable machine. This exercise targets both the trapezius and the deltoids, and can be performed differently to isolate specific muscles more than another. The way you do this is by your grip on the bar. If it is wider then you are working out your deltoids more. A closer grip, however, is for working out the trapezius. You can use a straight bar if that is all you have available, but it is recommended to use the curved bar for a better exercise. Put the weight setting to a moderate weight and grab hold of the bar palms down. Choose either close or wide grip, then stand up straight and tall grasping the bar with both hands. Pull the bar upwards towards your chin following closely to your body, and make sure your elbows are slightly up. They should be trying to touch your ears when at chin level.
This is one of the primary cable shoulder workouts you should consider incorporating into your exercise regimen!
Side Lateral Raises
This exercise is used to specifically target the medial (middle) muscle of your deltoids. Your deltoids have three different muscle heads, and all need to be worked out. For the cable machine, set the cable to be at floor level and with the single hand grip. The side you are going to be lifting towards should be opposite to the cable machine. For example, if you are going to be doing lateral raises to the right, stand sideways to where your left arm is near the cable handle. You can choose to pull the cable to where it is in front of you or behind, whichever is more comfortable. Keeping your arm straight, pull the cable upwards to where your arm is parallel to the floor, pause and then bring back to starting position.
Front cable raises workout the deltoid that the name implies, which is your anterior (front) deltoid. This is one of the basic cable shoulder workouts that is rather easy exercise to do, and you will have the cable machine in the same setting as with side lateral raises. Stand with your back to the machine, and a step to the side from whichever arm you are going to use. With arms straight pull the cable up and to the front until parallel with the floor, slowly lower back to staring position.
Standing Shoulder Press
The standing shoulder press is perfect for hitting two muscles in one exercise. The deltoids worked are the front and the middle. Take your position to where you are in the middle of both cable pulleys with them both set closest to the ground. Grasp the handles with grip in the palm of your hands, and then press upwards to get into position. Once you are at the “pressed” stage start by lowering your arms to where they are parallel with the floor, and then press back up. Do not go further down because it may be too much resistance and strain placed on your shoulder. Refrain from learning bad techniques such as using your legs to help with the movement, and this especially applies toward any of the cable shoulder workouts being discussed.
Bent over Rows
Bent over rows are for your posterior (rear) deltoids and can be done with a barbell for the cable machine, or with the single hand grip. With the barbell attached and set to the floor again, grasp the bar with both hands and stand back up. Without rounding your back, keep it straight and lean forward at a 45 degree angle and pull the bar to where your diaphragm would be. If using single hand grips pull it all the way inwards to the side of your ribcage.
These five cable shoulder workouts are sure to isolate your deltoids as a whole after your workout has been complete. Make sure to stretch plenty of times before, during, and after your routine for shoulders because if they get injured you are out of luck. Your shoulders and back muscles are needed for almost all the exercises performed for both the upper and lower body regions.