As a bodybuilder, strong shoulders are paramount for your workouts and physique. They play a crucial role in executing chest workouts with proper form and contribute to achieving the desired torso taper look. Given their intricate nature, it’s essential to incorporate a combination of compound exercises to effectively build shoulder muscles, just like Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere demonstrate in their comprehensive shoulder (and arm) workout routine.
Canadian bodybuilder Chris Bumstead is the current face of Mr. Olympia’s Classic Physique. The jacked professional has won that division four years in a row, so we’re enthralled by the chance to pick some tips about developing boulder shoulders from him. He shared this collaboration and the routines recently on his YouTube channel.
You can’t talk about Chris Bumstead without mentioning Iain Valliere; he’s been there from the start of Bumstead’s career and even introduced him to bodybuilding. After being Bumstead’s coach through three of his wins, they parted ways for Valliere to focus on his Men’s Open career last year. Iain Valliere hopes to surpass his 11th-place Mr. Olympia finish last year and has already secured his direct qualification for the 2023 Mr. Olympia by winning the Toronto Pro Supershow this year.
While announcing the end of their coach-client relationship last year, Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere pledged to continue to support each other. So while they may not be training together officially, it’s no surprise that both Canadians do routines together and continue pushing each other. Chris Bumstead says,
This Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere shoulder workout shows them using machines and free weight movements. This provides the right amount of weight resistance and variety to sufficiently target all aspects of the shoulders. CBum and his former coach also took the opportunity to train their arms using compound exercises targeting the biceps and triceps.
The cable lateral raise is a great way to get capped shoulders. It primarily builds the middle deltoid head, the rounded muscle at the top of your shoulders (1). Cable lateral raises also engage your anterior delts, posterior delts, and supraspinatus while recruiting your obliques and abs for stabilization. Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere start with some sets of this isolation exercise to warm up their shoulders.
The machine shoulder press is another exercise that isolates your shoulders and helps you build that broad, capped look. This exercise mainly builds all three deltoid heads but also works on your pecs, rotator cuffs, triceps, traps, supraspinatus, and rhomboids. CBum and Valliere did the machine shoulder press as their first compound exercise of the day, starting with regular sets before rounding off with an intense superset.
The seated dumbbell lateral raise is a great exercise for building strength and enhancing muscle growth in the lateral delts. This exercise also strengthens the stabilizing muscles of your shoulders and recruits your traps. Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere did supersets of this routine seated to remove the need for stabilization from the torso, which helps to focus the growth on your lateral delts.
The reverse pec deck flye targets and effectively trains your rear delts (2). This exercise is useful because this muscle group is small and usually hard to target, as with many posterior workouts, the traps and lats tend to take over. Bumstead and Valliere also did supersets of this one before the next shoulder-building exercise.
The overhead press is a compound exercise that builds the muscles of your chest, shoulders, arms, and upper back, primarily hitting your delts. Doing this movement while standing also recruits your abs and lower back muscles. Chris Bumstead and his former coach did a few sets of the standing overhead press with barbells before heading to biceps and triceps movements.
The skull crusher isolates and builds all three heads of your triceps brachii. This routine is usually done lying down using a barbell, EZ bar, dumbbells, or kettlebells and is an excellent way to increase the definition of your arms. Bumstead and Valliere used an EZ bar to do skull crushers for their routine.
As the name suggests, the bicep curl is a great exercise primarily targeting your biceps brachii (3). This exercise also works muscles in your upper and lower arm, like your brachialis, and even targets your delts. Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere did some sets of the bicep curl using dumbbells before heading to the next exercise.
The tricep dip is a bodyweight exercise that effectively targets all three heads of the triceps brachii. This routine also builds the muscles of your core, shoulders, and chest. Tricep dips were Chris Bumstead and Iain Valliere’s final triceps workout, so they did a few sets to failure before heading to their final exercise.