Training Your Shoulders at Multiple Angles

the rack front door

In the pursuit of strength gains, hitting a plateau in your bench press can be disheartening. Often, we overlook a crucial factor in our training regimen: the angle of our presses. Diversifying your pressing angles not only revitalizes your bench press but also promotes shoulder health and overall strength. Let’s delve deeper into this multi-angle approach to shoulder training.

Understanding Angles: The Key to Progress

Four Pressing Categories: When it comes to upper body presses, we can categorize them into four main categories:

  • Overhead Press: Targets the anterior deltoids and triceps while engaging the core for stability.
  • Incline Press: Places emphasis on the upper chest and anterior deltoids, offering a variation from the traditional flat bench.
  • Flat Press: The classic bench press movement, primarily targeting the chest, shoulders, and triceps.
  • Dips: A compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, and triceps, with a focus on vertical pressing.

The 90 Degree Principle: Stephane Cazeault introduced the concept of the 90 Degree Principle, advocating for training two pressing angles that are 90 degrees apart within a training block or microcycle. This ensures balanced stimulation and adequate recovery, reducing the risk of overuse injuries.

Crafting Your Training Strategy

Strategic Planning: Organize your training blocks or microcycles with a strategic rotation of primary and secondary lifts. For example:

  • Block 1 Day 1: Flat Bench (primary) and Overhead Press (secondary)
  • Block 1 Day 2: Overhead Press (primary) and Flat Bench (secondary)
  • Block 2 Day 1: Incline Press (primary) and Dips (secondary)
  • Block 2 Day 2: Dips (primary) and Incline Press (secondary)

Variety Breeds Progress: Enhance your workouts with a variety of angles and adaptations:

  • Experiment with incline press angles ranging from 15 to 75 degrees to target different areas of the chest and shoulders.
  • Alternate between neutral and pronated grips to challenge different muscle groups and stimulate growth.
  • Incorporate unilateral exercises to address muscle imbalances and enhance overall stability.
  • Utilize various training implements such as barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, and bodyweight exercises to keep your workouts engaging and effective.

Consistency and Tracking: While diversity is crucial, consistency is paramount. Keep track of your workouts and progress to identify trends and make informed adjustments along the way.

Conclusion: Unlock Your Full Potential

By embracing a multi-angle approach to shoulder training, you not only overcome bench press plateaus but also foster balanced muscle development and reduce the risk of injury. Remember, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, so don’t hesitate to experiment and find what works best for you. If you’re seeking guidance or support in optimizing your upper body lifts, reach out for a complimentary consultation with one of our coaches at our personal training gym in Decatur. Together, let’s unlock your full potential and elevate your training to new heights!

In Health,

Lauren Shull

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