The Best Barbell Only Shoulder Workout

101 best workouts the best barbell only shoulder workout clean and press

101 Best Workouts Of All Time is the ultimate answer to the question “What workout should I do?” No matter what equipment you have available, from a fully-stocked supergym to a pair of mismatched dumbbells in your garage, or nothing but your body weight alone, you can build muscle, lose fat, and sculpt the physique you’ve always wanted.

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Olympic weightlifters typically have big, broad shoulders, and they use barbells almost exclusively in their training. The deltoid muscles simply don’t need a lot of training variety if you’re regularly exploding big weights off the ground and overhead. This workout incorporates weightlifting movements to build your delts, but don’t be disappointed if other muscles happen to get bigger and stronger, too. 


The clean and press is frequently called the most functional exercise of all, because it works every last muscle in your body to perform a basic movement pattern—picking something up and raising it overhead. The high pull isn’t done with heavy weights, but the speed you perform it at recruits all the biggest and strongest muscle fibers. Note that we’re also having you perform it with an extra-wide snatch grip. This makes the move easier on your shoulder joints, so you don’t inadvertently break them while you’re trying to build the muscle that surrounds them.


Complete all sets for the clean and press and then move on to the snatch-grip high pull.


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Sets: 4 Reps: 6–8 Rest: 90 sec.

Stand with feet shoulder width. Keeping your lower back arched, bend your hips back to lower your torso and grasp the bar with hands shoulder width. Extend your hips to lift the bar off the floor. When it gets past your knees, jump and shrug the bar so that momentum raises it and you catch it at shoulder level. Brace your abs and stand tall. Press the bar straight overhead.


Sets: 4 Reps: 6 Rest: 90 sec.

Set up as you did for the clean and press, but grasp the bar with hands double shoulder width. Explode the bar upward until it’s at chest level and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Try to push your chest out as you lift the bar and contract your upper back completely.

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