Why and When to do it
This is a shoulder cable complex I came up with a little while ago. Well to be honest I am a little reluctant to take full credit for this, since I am always keeping an eye out for new training ideas. So it is quite possible that I was influenced by something I saw someone else doing.
*Sorry the lighting in the gym wasn’t too great!
I have been using this lately either at the beginning of workouts for the purpose of “activation” of the shoulder muscles before beginning my main exercises. If so, I perform the exercises very slow and deliberately, focussing on concentrated contractions.
Or this serves the purpose of pre-exhausting the shoulder muscles before performing compound exercises. In which case, I will perform the exercises in more of a pump set fashion, emphasising controlled and constant tension.
Otherwise, I might perform the shoulder cable complex at the end of my workouts, after completing my main compound movements. If so, again it will be performed in pump set fashion as a “finisher”, with a focus on feeling the burn.
A complex is simply a series of exercises performed as a circuit back to back with minimal rest.
The exercises in this shoulder cable complex are to be performed for a minimum of 8 reps each, for a total of 3 to 5 circuits, using the same weight for all exercises. Don’t rest between exercises, but rest about 30 seconds between circuits.
At a cable station, remove the handles, and set the pulleys at the lowest setting. You’ll only need a very light weight for this. Grip the cables in opposite hands across the front of the body.
There are only 3 exercises here:
1. Trap / Front Raises – grip the cables with the carabiners sticking out from the top of your hands (thumb side). Keep a neutral spine, with your scapula retracted, trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. Keeping your arms fairly straight, raise your arms out in front above your head, keeping those shoulder blades together, and engaging and squeezing your traps at the top of the movement. Hold the position overhead briefly, before lowering your arms back down to your sides. 8 – 15 reps
2. Bent Over Rear Delt Raises – change your grip on the cables so that the carabiners are now protruding from the bottom of your hands. Bend at the waist 90 degrees, keeping your lower back engaged, with a natural arch in your back. Keeping your arms fairly straight, thumbs facing each other, raise your arms out to the side inline with your ears. At the top of the movement hold the position briefly, contracting your rear deltoids hard, before lowering your arms back down. 8 – 15 reps.
3. Side Delt Raises – keeping your grip on the cables the same, stand up straight, neutral spine. Focus on keeping your scapula retracted, trying to squeeze your shoulder blades together. With your hands by your sides, thumbs facing forward, and keeping your arms relatively straight. Raise your arms out to the sides to ear level. Hold the position and contract your medial deltoids, before lowering your arms back down. 8 – 15 reps. Rest about 30 seconds before repeating.