Sometimes, your goal for strength training is to SEE your muscles. That doesn’t mean that you are vain, or insecure. You can choose to chase a certain physique from a place of love and respect for yourself, separating aesthetics from self-worth.

I personally love training for how it makes me feel: stronger, grounded, healthier, powerful, confident. I love lifting for what it allows me to do: show myself I can do hard things in and out of the gym, function pain free in day to day life, lift furniture without help, etc. AND ALSO I’d be lying if I didn’t say that part of the enjoyment for me too is seeing the fruits of my lifting IN ADDITION TO the things above.

It’s exciting to see those muscles popping after putting in the work week after week! If you really want to see those shoulder muscles, keep reading for five tips that will help you strengthen and shape this sometimes-overlooked area. 


It’s exciting to see those muscles popping after putting in the work week after week!

1. Train your shoulders frequently

Yes, that means more than once a week or once every so often. Double down on your shoulder work. You can even consider dedicating an entire training session to shoulders if your schedule allows.

2. Include overhead pressing in your training

This is a compound movement that targets your entire shoulder, giving you a lot of bang for your buck, and there are several overhead press variations that you can choose.

3. Train all parts of your delt

Make sure your front delts, side delts, and rear delts get targeted over the course of your weekly training volume – hit those shoulders from all angles.

4. Eat enough food: calories AND protein

Give your muscles a reason to grow. If you aren’t consuming adequate calories/protein, you’re going to be spinning your wheels for a while.

5. Recover optimally: prioritize rest both during and after your lifts

This goes for both intra-workout recovery and recovery between workouts. When you rest between sets, you can return to your next set at the same or increased load/volume, allowing for more progression over time. When you rest between workouts, that is when your muscles actually repair themselves, getting stronger than they were before. If you skimp on recovery, you skimp on gains, nevermind a whole bunch of other possible negative effects.

I know that for a lot of women, even those who work out regularly, reading through these five tips may feel overwhelming! How will you fit extra shoulder training into your workout schedule? How often or how long should you rest, exactly? Which overhead press variation works for your progress and available equipment? 

Summer Strong takes all the guesswork out of your workouts, giving you the steps you need to reach your goals this summer. And registration closes on June 30, so check it out now!