Are you looking to strengthen your shoulders? If so, check out this guide to learn about the best shoulder exercises.
Working your shoulders isn’t just to look good. Strong shoulders improve your posture and help your body have better stability.
And as sexy shoulders look good on both guys and gals, you can’t go wrong working these muscles.
Here are 10 of the best shoulder exercises you should start doing now.
1. Barbell Overhead Press
This is one of the best shoulder exercises for women and men. As you do this move, make sure you count so that it takes you four seconds to lower the barbell and two seconds to push it up.
Stand with a bar on your front shoulders and your hands next to your shoulders. Press the bar up over your head so that it is balanced directly over the middle of your shoe.
Shrug your shoulders once. Hold for one second and lower down. Remember not to use your legs for this move. Keep them straight.
2. Arnold Press
If Mr. Universe invents a shoulder strengthening exercise, you’d best do it if you want that sculpted V-shape in your shoulders.
The Arnold press involves a rotation which allows you to target the anterior deltoids.
For this exercise, sit on a bench with two dumbbells held with your palms facing up.
Push the dumbbells over your head while also rotating your arms so that you end with your palms facing out. Pause at the top and then reverse the movement.
3. Lateral Raise
This classic move is one of the best dumbbell shoulder exercises out there. The key here is to go as slow as you possibly can. Yes, it’ll hurt like hell but it will be worth it.
This move targets the medial part of the deltoid. This is a smaller muscle so you want to use lighter weights and do lots of reps.
Stand with a dumbbell in each hand at your side. Your palms should be facing your body.
Without swinging your torso, lift the dumbbells out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor. Keep a slight bend in your elbow as you do. Slowly (really slowly) lower your arms to the starting position.
Remember to do some stretches for your rotator after all your sets. The rotator is easily injured so it’s important to stretch it out.
4. Bent-Over Reverse Fly
Here is another lateral raise shoulder strengthening exercise. This one works both your back and your shoulders at the same time.
It’s one of the best deltoid exercises that can be done with or without a bench. It’s good to get started by using a bench so that you can master the movement.
Place a bench at a 45-degree angle and lie face down on it. Pick up a dumbbell in each hand and raise your arms to your sides. Line up the dumbbells with your shoulders. Repeat for your desired reps and sets.
You can also do this move by just bending forward at the waist to make a 45-degree angle.
5. Upright Row
The upright row is an oldie but a goodie. The aim here is to get your elbows to go higher than your hands in order to target your deltoids and traps.
Because this is a compound move, you can go heavier and do fewer reps to get your shoulders burning.
You can use a barbell or dumbbells for this move. With an overhand grip, lift your equipment straight up to your collarbone.
Keep a slight bend in your knees and your core tight and straight.
6. Barbell Shrug
Do you want your traps to pop and bulk up? Then you need to up your shoulder workout with some heavy barbell shrugs.
Start by holding a bar at your thighs with your palms facing inward. Keep your arms straight but not locked. Then, shrug your shoulders so they reach your ears.
Hold the position at the top for a second and lower back down. Repeat for killer traps.
7. Front Raises
Front raises are ideal for hitting the front deltoids. Again, with this move, you want low weights and high reps so that you can keep perfect form and benefit from all the gains.
Ladies, don’t be worried about bulking up too much. Front raises for you will build up strength and definition in the front and sides of your shoulders.
You can do this move with one or two dumbbells.
Hold the dumbbells in your hands and allow them to rest between your legs that are hip-distance apart. Lift the dumbbell(s) up at least as high as your forehead with your arms extended. Lower back down and repeat.
8. Reverse Cable Crossover
Here’s another of those deltoid exercises that allow you to keep your muscles under tension longer. Your goal is to do this move steady and with precise control.
Don’t be tempted to let the cables swing back quickly. You want constant tension throughout the entire rep. If needed, choose a lighter weight so that you can complete at least 10 reps.
Set the handles of the cable machines at the highest points. Stand between the handles and grab each with the opposite hand.
Your arms will cross in front of your chest. Lean forward a bit and draw your arms out and down.
Try to increase your weight each set you do for shirt-busting gains.
Swimmers, also known as around the world, are one of the best shoulder exercises for women.
Lie on the ground facedown. Hold a light dumbbell in each hand by your side.
Lift your arms and bring the dumbbells to your thighs. Then bring your arms straight in front of you in a superman pose.
This move makes you move in a 180-degree range of motion. That way you get sculpted shoulders all over without gaining many inches.
10. Cab Drivers
Here’s a killer move for your shoulders that targets all the angles that you don’t normally train with other moves.
It’s one of the best shoulder exercises for keeping your muscles under constant tension.
Stand straight with your legs hip-width apart. Hold one side of a single dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms straight. Then, turn the weight left and right as if you are moving a steering wheel.
Each rep consists of 30 seconds of movement.
Bottom Line on the Best Shoulder Exercises
There you have it! 10 of the best shoulder exercises you can do to get sculpted, sexy shoulders.
Next, check out our other blog posts on all things health and fitness.