Muscle Sport Magazine

Want Cannon Ball Delts? It’s All Time Under Tension

When you leave the gym on shoulder day, you should be completely exhausted (as any other day if you take your workout seriously) but not in any high degree of pain. It’s very easy to injure your shoulders and curtailing your routine to eliminate the movements and amount of weight used that cause you the most discomfort should be your first order of business. But a fringe benefit of that is you will now be able to perform the reps the way they should have been done in the first place – slow, strict and with more time under tension.


Even the compound movements for delts such as behind-the-neck or military presses can be performed in such a fashion that they are almost like an isolated one. By using a weight that you – and not your spotter – can do for at least 10 reps in a controlled manner will put the correct amount of emphasis where it should be and not the final few reps being just thrown up with momentum and a shorter range of motion.

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When it comes to the isolated movements such as side or front dumbbell lateral raises, keeping the weight off your leg will result in  a prolonged time under tension and that will be the key in getting the so-called ‘cannonball delts.’ Rounded off shoulders will not happen overnight, mind you, and takes years of proper training and nutrition to get them. But make the most of that time by doing each and every rep the proper way to hasten the process.

By using a pair of dumbbells that is too heavy for you, the swinging and momentum takes the majority of tension away from where it should be and that is a waste of time at best and the road to injury at worst. Besides, you will look like a dick doing this and not what you may think; swinging 60s around for four shitty reps won’t make you look strong, cool or appealing to the hot sweaty sports bra-wearing chick nearby.


Try grabbing half that weight and do 12 slow reps. She’ll notice the vascularity and striations way before your four-rep scream set.


Photo: Simon Lau



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