Getting massive is the ultimate goal for any bodybuilder, and massive shoulders are one of the essential areas that help make your overall package look insane. Combine that with a tapered waist and you get the V-shape anyone would be jealous of. Hard work and dedication are paramount to build up the perfect physique… but knowledge also goes a long way towards getting you on the right path to building up those shoulders. That’s why we have put together the best shoulder exercises to build your shoulder physically. It impacts on the overall body physics.
1- Cable Reverse Fly
Cable Reverse Flye exercise is targeted at the deltoid muscle, the rear delts don’t tend to get much attention. But for shoulders that will fill out your T-shirts, you’re gonna need rear delts that can keep pace with the meaty front and middle delts. Those latter two get additional work during chest and shoulder presses, while the rears really need ample attention of their own to thrive. For that, the reverse fly comes to the rescue, adding a dimension of muscle control and balance that the more popular reverse pec-deck flye cannot match.
2. Standing Dumbbell Fly
Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Without shrugging, use your upper body to swing the weights up a few inches. Your arms and torso will form an upside down V shape. Think of it as a lateral raise with momentum but without the full range of motion.
3. Face Pull
Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station. Grasp an end in each hand with palms facing each other. Step back to place tension on the cable. Pull the handles to your forehead, so your palms face your ears, and your upper back is fully contracted.
4. High Pull
Grasp the bar with hands about double shoulder width and hold it in front of your thighs. Bend you are knees and hips, so the bar hangs just above your knees. Explosively extend your hips as if jumping and pull the bar up to shoulder level with elbows wide apart, as in an upright row.
5. Seated Dumbbell Clean
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the edge of a bench. Keeping your lower back flat, lean forward. Explosively straighten your body and shrug the weights, so your arms rise. Allow the momentum to flip your wrists so you catch the weights at shoulder level.
6. Trap Raise
Set a bench to a low incline and lie chest-down with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing. Retract your shoulder blades, then raise the weights straight out, so your arms are parallel to the floor.
7. Clean and Press
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.
8. Snatch-Grip High Pull
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.
9. Upright Barbell Row
You stand straight in front of your Barbell then bent down and lift up your chest level. You can do four (4) sets, 6, 6, 8, 10 reps with 2.1 minutes rest. This will give the shoulder strength.
10. Band Lateral Raise
Step on the free end of each band with the opposite foot so the bands form an X in front of your body. Raise your arms 90 degrees out to the sides until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
11. Band Front Raise
Stand on bands and hold the opposite ends. Raise your arms in front of your body to shoulder height.
12. Band Bent-Over Lateral Raise
Stand on the end of one band with your right foot and hold it with your left hand. Do the opposite with another band so that the bands cross each other. Bend your hips back until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. The bands should be taught in this starting position. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out to your sides.
13. One Arm Cable Lateral Raise
This impact greatly on the middle deltoids of the shoulders. The shoulder muscle is strengthened by its targeted mass.
14. Band W Raise
Attach bands to a sturdy object at shoulder level and hold the opposite ends in each hand. Stand back to put tension on the bands. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and row the bands to your shoulders with elbows flared out so your upper arms make a W shape. Hold for two seconds.
15. Suspension Trainer Pike Pushup
Attach the suspension trainer to a sturdy object overhead, and lower the foot cradles to about knee height (you want your body to be in a straight line when you rest your feet in them). Get into pushup position with your feet in the cradles and hands placed shoulder width on the floor. Keeping your abs braced, lower your body until your chest is just above the floor and then push back up. Now bend your hips and raise them into the air until your torso is vertical. Straighten your body again. That’s one rep.
16. Suspension Trainer Y-Raise
Grasp the handles and stand with feet about shoulder width. Lean back 45–60 degrees, so your body is supported by the suspension trainer, and brace your abs. Raise your arms up and out into a Y shape with palms facing forward. Your body will become more vertical, but don’t allow your shoulders to lose tension at the top of the movement. Your weight will shift from the back foot to the front foot.
17. Suspension Trainer Rear-Delt Raise
Shorten the length of the handles, but stand as you did for the Y raise. Open your arms out to your sides with palms facing in until your shoulder blades are squeezed together. Allow a little bend in your elbows.
18. Hindu Pushup
Get into pushup position. Push your hands into the floor to drive your weight back so your hips rise into the air. Your back should be straight and your head behind your hands. Lower your body in an arcing motion so that your chest scoops downward and nearly scrapes the floor. Continue moving forward as you press your body up so your torso is vertical, and your legs are straight and nearly on the floor. That’s one rep.
19. Pike Press
Get into pushup position and push your hips back so your torso is nearly vertical. Your hands, arms, and head should be in a straight line. Lower your body until your head nearly touches the floor between your hands and then press back up.
Rest the palms of your hands on a bench or chair, and, if available, place your heels on another elevated object in front of you, so your legs are suspended. Lower your body until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
21. Dumbbell Raise Complex
Hold dumbbells at your sides with palms facing you. Raise the weights up in front of you to shoulder level with thumbs pointing up. Complete 12–15 reps and then raise the weights out to your sides 90 degrees (bend your elbows a bit as you lift). Complete your reps and then switch to a lighter pair of dumbbells. Raise them out to your sides and up to ear level with straight arms and thumbs pointing up. Hold this position 30 seconds. Squeeze your glutes to help support you.
22. Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Dumbbell lateral raise is a good weight-training exercise to develop the width of your upper back and is a valuable aid in most racket and field sports where power – the combination of strength and speed – can give you a competitive edge. It is is an excellent isolation movement for developing and sculpting your shoulders (lateral raises primarily focus on the side of your deltoid muscles, but they also involve your trapezius muscles and your front deltoids). It will help you broaden your shoulders.
This exercise can also be performed standing, but seated version with your back flat against the back of a chair will help eliminate any cheating on this shoulder exercise. It may mean using less weight, but more emphasis will be placed on your shoulders. Remember that using your body’s momentum to swing the dumbbells up will not work your shoulders properly. This exercise should be used in conjunction with compound movements like the shoulder press to help you develop powerful looking shoulders. It would be very rare to find any successful bodybuilder who has not trained with lateral raises at one time or another.
23. Snatch-Grip Shrug Pull
This is done the same as the low-pull, but keep your elbows straight and perform an explosive shrug once the bar passes your knees.
24. Shoulder Seated Barbell Press (Barbell Exercises)
Lift the barbell while seated. Barbells exercises are usually done in order to stabilize your shoulders from every point. The beneficiary point relating to this exercise is that it builds up smaller muscles simultaneously developing bigger muscles. You can increase your weights in a progressive fashion by adapting to lesser number of weights first.
25. Lateral Plank Walk
Get into pushup position and simultaneously move your left hand over your right while your right leg steps out wide. Now bring the right hand out and walk your left foot into a regular pushup footing. That’s one shuffle. Continue “walking” for 10 shuffles and then walk in the opposite direction to get back to the starting position. Keep your core braced and your hips level at all times.
26. Push Press
Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level with palms facing each other and elbows pointing forward. Brace your core and press the weights straight overhead. At the top, shrug your shoulders and hold for a second.
27. Snatch-Grip Low Pull
Set up as you did for the high pull, but when you jump, perform an explosive shrug and bend your elbows to pull the bar into your belly. Do not continue to lift the bar up to chest level.
28. Rack Deadlift
Set up the bar on some mats, boxes, or the safety rods of a power rack so that it rests just below your knees. Stand with feet hip width and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back and grasp the bar just outside your knees. Pulling the bar into your body tightly, extend your hips and stand up.
29. Farmer’s Walk
Pick up the heaviest set of dumbbells you can handle and walk. Squeeze the handles hard and walk with your chest out and shoulders back. If you don’t have the space to walk in a straight line, walk in a figure-eight pattern.
30. Dumbbell Deadlift/Shrug Combo
Hold dumbbells at your sides and stand with feet shoulder width. Bend your hips back to squat down until the weights are knee level. Now explode upward and shrug hard at the top. Reset your feet before beginning the next rep.
31. Barbell Overhead Press
Set the bar up in a squat rack or cage, and grasp it just outside shoulder width. Take the bar off the rack and hold it at shoulder level with your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze the bar and brace your abs. Press the bar overhead, pushing your head forward and shrugging your traps as the bar passes your face.
32. Bent Dumbbell Raise
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and, keeping your lower back in its natural arch, bend your hips back until your torso is about parallel to the floor. Allow your arms to hang. Now squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out 90 degrees, with thumbs pointing up, until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
33. Incline Bench Press
Set an adjustable bench to a 30- to 45-degree angle and lie back on it. Grasp the bar just outside shoulder width, arch your back, and pull it off the rack. Lower the bar to the upper part of your chest and then drive your feet into the floor as you press it back up.
34. Machine Shoulder Press
Adjust the seat of a shoulder press machine so that the handles are at shoulder level. If you have shoulder problems, and if your machine allows it, grasp the handles, so your palms face each other. Otherwise, grasp them with palms facing forward as normal. Make sure your elbows track in a normal pressing path as you press the handles overhead.
35. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The dumbbell shoulder press develop the entire shoulder muscle group. The dumbbells allow for a greater freedom of movement than the barbell shoulder press. This greater freedom of movement also increases shoulder muscle activation and can also be very useful for people with shoulder injuries since the dumbbells are far less stressful to the shoulder joint.
36. Bent-Over Reverse Fly
Set up as you did for the neutral grip row but with lighter dumbbells. Raise your arms out to your sides 90 degrees, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top for a second. Complete your set and then rest until the end of three minutes, when your timer goes off.
37. Bent Over Seated Delt Raise
This exercise is done by bending over and raising the dumbbell in a horizontal position swaying the shoulders sideways. This helps to improve the shoulders muscles.
38. Behind Neck Barbell Press
This supports the rear delt growth of the shoulders. The barbell is lifted above the head and bent to the back shoulder. Six (6) sets 10 reps with three (3) minutes rest.
39. Arnold Dumbbell press
This helps in the development of the front side shoulders. While seated, the hands are kept close to the ribs and the dumbbell lifted forward.
These shoulder exercises will exceedingly improve your shoulders in strength and enhance our physical appearance. It should be done often for better results.