I'm trying to increase my anterior shoulder strength in an attempt to help rehabilitate my shoulders. When I was younger, I did lots of push ups in order to get bigger triceps and chest muscles. As a result my front shoulder and chest muscles became quite developed, but my back and rear shoulder muscles were neglected. I think that's why I have a shoulder problem where my shoulders easily dislocate and I have some impingement problems in my right shoulder.

I've recently been trying to increase my rear shoulder and back muscle strength. But because of my schedule, I've only had time to work them out once a week. I'm wondering if this is frequent enough for increasing strength? Or will I need to fit in exercises more often in the week so that those muscles won't atrophy due to inactivity?

(I'm aware that I should also be doing rotator cuff exercises - and should probably see a physiotherapist about my shoulders - but right now I'm just asking about whether exercising those muscles once a week is alright.)

  • Do you mean you're trying to increase your posterior (rear) deltoid strength? And what does the rest of your training week look like?
    – Dark Hippo
    Jul 16, 2018 at 15:56
  • Yes, I'm trying to increase my rear deltoid strength. I don't really do any other workouts throughout the week. I'm not trying to bulk up, I want to simply rehab and strengthen my shoulders, though I know more exercise would be good for my overall health. Jul 21, 2018 at 6:48
  • Generally speaking, if you're trying to rehab an injury, then you should be doing any sort of rehab work every day, usually a few times a day. Rehab exercises aren't suppose to tax the injury too much, so they can be done frequently. When I messed up by shoulder in a climbing accident, I started doing Turkish get ups in the morning and evening, and it helped remarkably
    – Dark Hippo
    Jul 23, 2018 at 11:35

2 Answers 2


Work out your shoulders once a week is totally fine. But your progress and muscle building depends certainly on the intensity of your workouts.

I dont know how your plan looks like and how much you train a week but doing a pull workout once and a shoulder workout once will work your imbalance. The intensity depends on your feeling of the movement. So maybe start slow with light weight or even without weigth (Handstand, pull ups, ...). Because of your imbalance it will take time to develop the muscles but working out once will totally do it if you train right. And since shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries you should always focus on quality instead of quantity.


In general, think about training and stress. When you apply stress via exercises, your muscle tries to adapt and get stronger. At some point you'll need more stress to cause more adaptation. How much more, depends on your state of training (beginner versus non-beginner) and genetics.

The main point is that there is no "yes" or "no" answer to your question. At some point you'll need more stress to get stronger, which generally shows up as more volume of training. That is why after 1 year of weightlifting I am doing 1.5-2hrs training 3X week, while it was OK to do 1 hr 3X in the beginning.

Also it is important to remember that some workouts are more efficient than others. Barbell-based training is generally considered to be more effective than single-joint isolation movements. But you might need to modify some of them temporarily to work around pain if you have some

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