Still looking to blow up your shoulders in the least possible amount of time? Then this joint-safe delt destroyer is the perfect addition to your routine.
The latest Men’s Health Fast Finisher is a torturous twist on the classic lateral raise. Co-created by Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel and Mathew Forzaglia, NFPT, CPT, founder of Forzag Fitness, the goal remains the same: Keep it Exciting, Efficient and Effective (aka the Fast Finisher “three Es”).
For this version of the lateral raise, all you’ll need are a set of light dumbbells and an incline bench. A creative combination of light weight, dropset, and tempo factors will have you (and your shoulders) surprised by how much you can do with very little.
“The best part about [this lateral raise is] you can do it with light weights, and you’re going to take yourself to fatigue — it’s perfect for the end of the workout, ”Samuel says. “That’s what we do on Fast Finishers.”
Stage 1: Lateral Raise
Raising the incline bench to its max setting keeps you lower back safe, core engaged and prevents you from rocking.
From here, perform a normal lateral raise using strict form — abs contracted, arms out as far as possible, hitting the side delts, and getting a slight shoulder blade squeeze on each rep — for as many reps as possible. You’ll quickly find out why going light is the way to go here.
“Nothing complicated here” Samuel says. “But trust me you do not need to go heavy… you get a lot out of this with light weight.”
Stage 2: Poliquin Raise
Once you start to fatigue, you’ll switch over to a move called the Poliquin raise.
Now your arms are at 90 degrees, making your arm lever a lot easier to manage when you’re driving up the weight. The key point here is slowing down the movement on the way down — this is referred to as eccentric overload.
“So what’s happening,” Samuel says, “as he’s not strong enough anymore to get traditional lateral raises, but can resist the weight on the way down. So we’ve made it easier for him to get the weight up to max height. And then he’s got to extend his arm, suddenly, gravity is longer on this lever, and he’s going to try to take three seconds to lower the weight. ”
Stage 3: Short-Lever Lateral Raise
When you’re no longer able to control the eccentric reps of the Poliquin raise, we switch to the final step of this finisher, a shorter level variation of the lateral raise. Still keeping a tight elbow position, you’re going to do as many reps of this lateral raise variation as possible. You’ll continue to fatigue, you’re driving more blood into the shoulders, and getting a really, really good shoulder squeeze on every single rep.
When this is complete (and your delts will be glad it’s all over), you’ll wind up doing anywhere from 25 to 30 reps total.
“Your shoulders will be on fire,” Samuel says. “So use it on your shoulder workouts. Use it at the end of the push day if you have to. Get a little more shoulder burn out of that hit it for two sets have fun with it. ”
Perform 2 sets total.
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