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Cap your shoulders for extra width


Make no mistake, developing broad shoulders is a top requisite for any aspiring bodybuilder. This is because they are simply essential for creating that much sought after “V-Taper” which looks mightily impressive while also creating the illusion of a smaller waist.

It’s a look that’s increasingly in vogue and it probably comes as no surprise that in order to maximise this “look” we have to pay particular attention to the breaking down/training of the side deltoids.

If this is a goal of yours to create additional shoulder width quickly then I suggest a two-pronged attack after a thorough warm up:

1) Priority Training (there’s a separate article on this) and begin each shoulder routine with 4-6 working sets to failure of 6-12 reps of the below exercise.

2) Incorporate single arm, side lateral cable flyes from behind your back.

The focus of this tip is to concentrate more on point number 2.

Normally I would advocate the use of dumbbells over and above cables, but there is always an exception to the rule and when singling out the side deltoids, (for me anyway) there’s no better natural movement that offers this range of motion AND continuous tension.

This is because the source of the resistance is directly in-line/against the natural raising of the arm. The negative movement actively stretches the fibres of the side deltoid as the resistance seeks to pull your arm right across the rear of your back, offering you the ideal platform for a greater range of motion.

By standing literally a foot in front the cable crossover machine you can take the handle (from its lowest setting) and begin the side lateral movement from the rear of your body.

Make sure that the raising of the handle is in a perfect straight line against the plates/resistance, so you’re not raising it to the front or the rear but in a straight line – in order to maximise the efficiency of each rep.

The reason for the reverse handle is simple, you can generate (with the resistance) a greater range of motion as the weight will pull your hand right across your lower back.

The greater range of motion we use = greater range of muscle we stand to develop.

As you raise your hand from behind you, be sure to keep your fist in the same fixed position right up to the point that you reach “eye level” – then raise your little finger over your thumb as you lift the weight several inch higher.

This will create a greater muscular contraction and therefore squeeze more blood into target area – “capping off” your shoulders nicely.

I cannot stress the importance of this old “bottle top” technique as rep by rep, set by set it makes a genuine difference to the overall development of the muscle. The term “bottle top” comes from the movement used when taking the top off a bottle of beer – you naturally elevate your little finger over you thumb.

This coupled with 4-6 working sets to failure right at the beginning of your shoulder workout (when you’re at your freshest) will combine to give you a seriously potent strategy for adding extra width, yielding potentially amazing results.


Disclaimer: All exercises on this site are intended for healthy individuals without any present medical conditions. If you are currently experiencing any bone, joint, or musculoskeletal pain, we advise you to consult a licensed health care professional prior to commencing any of the exercises suggested within this site. The author, editor, and publisher specifically disclaim all responsibility and liability for any injury arising from the use and application of the information provided within this site.

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