10 Shoulder Exercises: Build Broader Shoulders With This Shoulder Workout!

If there's one body part that instantly adds an air of dominance and masculinity to a man's physique, it's the shoulders. They c...

If there's one body part that instantly adds an air of dominance and masculinity to a man's physique, it's the shoulders. They complete a well-fitted waist (and hopefully that elusive V at the stomach) and make your body look proportionate and sometimes even larger than it actually is. If you want to train your shoulders to improve your Bi or Tri scores, these shoulder exercises are the best choice.

Everyday movements such as doing sports or lifting suitcases become child's play. You also reduce the risk of injury during back and chest exercises and make your training less tiring - for your mind and your muscles.

To successfully get huge shoulders, you need to know that the deltoid consists of three "heads": the anterior deltoid (front), lateral deltoid (side), and posterior deltoid (back). To achieve symmetrical growth, you should always start your training with the large, compound movements, and then train all three heads with lighter isolation movements. When doing shoulder exercises, you should definitely train rear shoulders, train front shoulders and, of course, train middle shoulders.

On the day you're doing your shoulder exercises, choose 2-3 compound movements and 3-4 isolation movements to best target the muscles, strengthen the traps, and broaden the upper body so that it can wear through the thickest of winter sweaters you can see.

overhead press

compound exercise

This is one of the best exercises ever for developing the deltoid. While most men think of the bench press as the ultimate upper body exercise, the overhead press really builds muscle. If you have a healthy back and shoulders, don't make rookie mistakes, and perform the exercise with proper form, you're virtually guaranteed to fill out your figure and work your shoulders nicely. You also train your triceps.

How to do it:

  • Grip the barbell with a narrow grip that's slightly wider than shoulder-width. This varies slightly from person to person.

  • Make sure your elbows are perpendicular to the floor and not extended.

  • Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder-width. Place the barbell in front of you on the front delts, tighten your legs, glutes, back, and abs, and begin to push the barbell up.

  • You'll need to get your head out of the way a bit on the way up. Once the bar has passed your head, you can return your head to its natural position.

  • Fully extend your elbows so that the bar is directly over your crown. Make sure your shoulders are shrugging at the end of the movement to engage your traps and prevent injury and pain-related entrapment.

  • Don't bend your knees and don't stop; this makes your legs the main driving force at the beginning of the lift, rather than the desired muscles.

Do 3-5 sets of 5-8 reps. You may need to start off with a lower weight than you're used to to get the exercise right; also because it trains smaller, less stressed muscles in your upper body.

Seated neck presser

shoulder exercises

isolation exercise

This is another full-shoulder exercise that can cause injury if done improperly. However, when done correctly, the seated shoulder press exercise effectively works the entire shoulder musculature.

How to do it:

  • Start sitting on a bench.

  • Grip the barbell a few inches wider than shoulder-width with your hands facing away from your body (pronated grip).

  • Push the barbell up and extend your elbows overhead without locking them. This tightens your muscles and keeps them tensed throughout the reps.

  • Lower the dumbbell behind your head, bending your neck slightly forward (caution: do not push your head and neck too far forward). Just before the bar touches your traps and neck (or before if you're uncomfortable), begin to push the bar back up.

  • Pull the barbell overhead and immediately begin the next rep.

Do 3-5 sets of 6-10 reps.

Alternating (unilateral) seated dumbbell presses

compound exercise

This exercise is performed unilaterally (one arm at a time) to maximize time under tension and identify and eliminate imbalances.

How to run them:

  • Start sitting with both dumbbells overhead, palms facing out/forward.

  • Slowly lower one arm at a time and push the dumbbell back up.

  • Hold the non-moving hand overhead until the moving hand comes up again, or keep it on your lap.

  • Repeat this process with the other arm.

Perform 4 sets of 6-8 reps on each arm.

Upright row with barbell

compound exercise

Upright rows with barbells work the anterior and lateral deltoids and traps. Make sure you do it correctly here too.

How to do it:

  • With an overhand grip, grasp the bar a little narrower than shoulder-width apart.

  • Pull the dumbbell straight up to your chin and hold it close to your body. It is not necessary to pull the barbell higher than your chin. Pulling them any higher can hurt your shoulders, and the added benefit is negligible. (This is where most people get injured.)

  • Lower the dumbbell back down and repeat the process.

Do 4 sets of 8-15 reps.

Barbell front lift

isolation exercise

This exercise targets the front thighs, but you'll feel the fatigue in the side thighs as well. Keep the weight light enough to perform the exercise with good technique. Note: If you train primarily at home, you can also use dumbbells or exercise bands to optimally perform your shoulder exercises.

How to do it:

  • Standing, place your hands on the barbell about shoulder-width apart. Grip the dumbbell with an overhand grip so your palms are facing down.

  • Stand up straight with the dumbbell hanging down and resting against your thighs.

  • Pull your shoulder blades back and core, then position the dumbbell about 4-6 inches from your body. This is the starting position.

  • Raise the dumbbell in an arc motion, keeping your arms straight and lifting the dumbbell to shoulder height. Don't try to swing or cheat. Keep these movements tight so you can feel your front limbs moving the weight.

  • Pause and lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.

Do 4-5 sets of 12-20 reps.

Oblique lateral raise

isolation exercise

This is a great isolation move for working the middle delts. Make sure to emphasize the stretch at the end of the lift and control the reps.

How to do it:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on an incline bench with your arms stretched down to your sides. Alternatively, you can do the exercise while standing.

  • Raise dumbbells straight up so your arms are parallel to the floor until they are at shoulder height. Then lower your arms, keeping the dumbbells under control the entire time.

Do 3-5 sets of 12-15 reps.

facial features

compound exercise

Facial features work the posterior deltoid and, surprisingly, the middle deltoid as well. It also addresses the weak scapular muscles of the back, which help stabilize the shoulder joints - a major benefit for shoulder health.

How to do it:

  • Use the rope attachment on the highest pulley on a cable machine.

  • Start the rope a few inches above your eyes.

  • Grab the rope with an overhand grip and step back so the rope is taut.

  • Tilt your hips back and start pulling the rope. Extend your elbows so they are parallel to the floor.

  • Pull the rope to your eyebrow and then bring it back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

Do 3-5 sets of 15-20 reps.

Bent-over lateral raises

isolation exercise

The Bent-Over Lateral Raise targets the posterior deltoid directly and allows for a rear delt workout. The key here is to keep the movement rigorous to get the full benefits of the exercise.

How to do it:

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and bend forward so your torso is parallel to the floor. Keep your lower back in its natural curve to avoid hunching.

  • Let your arms hang straight down with your palms facing each other.

  • Raise the weights in an arc motion by squeezing your shoulder blades together until they are parallel to the floor.

  • Return to the starting position.

    • Do 3-5 sets of 8-12 reps.
      IYT Incline Front Raise - Lateral Raise
      compound exercise
      Unlike some of the other exercises that focus on building the upper body, this movement focuses on shoulder health and is therefore ideal for training the shoulders. But the aesthetics are not neglected either.
      How to do it:

      • Lie chest down on an adjustable bench at a 45° incline, arms at your sides, and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Your toes touch the ground.

      • Start by squeezing your shoulder blades and lifting the dumbbells straight out to the side (so they form the letter "T"). Return the dumbbells to the hanging position.

      • Next, raise the dumbbells to head height, halfway between your sides and straight in front of you (making the letter "Y"). Bring yourself back into the hanging position.

      • Finally, raise the dumbbells straight forward (making the letter "I").

    • This is a repeat. Keep the weight very light and do 4 sets of 5-8 reps.
      Standing side raise + front raise superset
      isolation exercise
      This is a combination of two exercises. First, you'll do a set of side raises, then immediately move on to a set of front raises to complete the superset, allowing you to work your front delts.
      Standing side raise
      How is it performed?

      • Stand with your knees slightly bent and a dumbbell in each hand, shoulder-width apart.

      • Raise your upper arms to your sides until your elbows, which should be slightly bent, are at shoulder height.

      • Return to the starting position.

    • Don't use too heavy weight; you should not perform the movement with momentum. Also, make sure your hands are no higher than your elbows, this will take the weight off your delts. To really stimulate your lateral delts, bend your elbows slightly and raise your upper arms to the sides instead of stretching them out in front of your body. In this way, you build up the entire shoulder thickness.
      Front Lift
      How to do it:

      • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms down, about 4-6 inches in front of your thighs.

      • Raise your arms up in front of you, slightly bending your elbows.

      • Pause when the dumbbells reach shoulder height, then slowly lower them back to the starting position.

Don't use momentum or lower the dumbbells too quickly. Keep the movement controlled to get a good contraction in the shoulder and improve stability in the joint.
Perform 3-5 sets of 10 reps per exercise (20 reps total per set).


Nice Top: 10 Shoulder Exercises: Build Broader Shoulders With This Shoulder Workout!
10 Shoulder Exercises: Build Broader Shoulders With This Shoulder Workout!
Nice Top
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