Best Shoulder Exercises
It’s time to talk shoulders. This is often a quite neglected part of the body due to the fact that there are other, more noticeable muscle groups that people like to focus on. Newbie bodybuilders will probably have much more important muscle groups to work on than shoulders and that is completely understandable. However, having a completely developed body you will eventually need to shape up your shoulders and give them the strong look that fits the rest of your body.
So here we have a list of some of the most popular and most effective shoulder workouts that are used by bodybuilders all over the world. Again, if you are a beginner, then you might actually want to focus on a different muscle group and come to shoulders when your most noticeable muscle groups are more developed. One important thing to remember while doing any kind of exercise is using the correct weight. Using not enough weights will result in you not working out your muscles enough, leading to pretty much no results and a lot of time wasted. Using too heavy weights means you will not be able to do the recommended reps and you might actually injure yourself.
Barbell Shoulder Press
This is one easy-to-do exercise that has a few variations. You can do it seated or standing up. All you need is a barbell with the appropriate weight for you and a bench if you wish to do a seated barbell shoulder press. If you decide to go with the seated press then your bench needs to have back support. The actual movement is pretty simple so this workout is not only effective but also nice to do.
How to do barbell shoulder press is as follows:
- Sit on your bench (if doing seated shoulder press) and grab your barbell with the so called pronated grip which means your palms should be facing forward. Grip should be wider than shoulder width so you can put more pressure on your shoulders.
- Now you will need to lift the bar over your head until your hands are fully extended (as much as your grip width allows you). Breathe out as you lift the bar. The bar should be in front of your head for more pressure on your shoulders.
- Not as you breathe in, bring the bar back down slowly in front of your head and stop when the bar is at the lower end of your neck.
Seated Dumbbell Laterals
This is another great shoulder exercise that is suitable for beginners. Weights here play a huge role in your success with this workout. Make sure you have the correct weights for you. Using heavy dumbbells will not allow you to complete your reps and will just end up being a waste. Using smaller dumbbells means you will just not put the right amount of pressure on your shoulders and this workout will not produce the desired results. All you need here is a bench with no back support and two dumbbells. This workout can also be done by standing up as in One-Arm Dumbbell Laterals, but we found the seated version to be more effective as it allows you to keep your body steady and more balanced.
The way to do this exercise is as follows:
- Sit on your bench with your dumbbells in each hand. Legs should be firmly on the ground for extra balance. Arms should be facing straight down. This will be your starting position.
- Now while keeping your arms straight, start lifting your arms sideways using only your shoulders. Breathe out as you perform this step and stop when your arms are parallel to the floor and dumbbells are slightly above shoulder level. Keep your body steady.
- Now slowly bring your arms back down to the starting position as you breathe in. After you complete all your reps, you should be able to feel this pleasant burn in your shoulders letting you know you’ve done the right thing.
Front Plate Raise
A little bit more advanced shoulder exercise. Loved by bodybuilders worldwide due to the fact that it is very effective and it does not require any sort of special equipment. If by any chance you don’t have plate weights you can use something else heavy enough that you can get a good grip on it. This shoulder workout is loved by so-called backyard bodybuilders.
The way to do this workout is as follows:
- While standing up with your legs a bit open, grab your barbell plate at 3 and 9 o’clock. Your hands should be fully straight and for your starting position your hands should be facing downwards with the plate being under your waist. Plates must not be touching and resting on your legs. You need to try to keep the plate a little bit in front of your legs just enough to avoid touching and resting.
- Slowly bring the plate up as you breathe out and keep your hands fully extended and your body stable. Stop when palms are a little bit over shoulder level and hold like that for about 2 seconds.
- Breathe in as you go back to the starting position. Make sure the plate does not touch your legs for maximum effectiveness.
This is another workout that has many variations. You can do it while bent forward or on a bench. We have decided to show you the bench one since it gives you a little bit more balance. But if you are a little bit more experienced or don’t have a bench, you can go with bending forward. What you need here is a set of dumbbells and a bench.
How to do Reverse Flyes is as follows:
- Lie down face forward on an incline bench. Extend your arms perpendicular to your body with dumbbells in each hand. For your grip – palms should be facing each other. This is your starting position.
- Now move the weights sideways away from each other as you breathe out. Stop when you can’t squeeze your shoulder blades any more.
- Now reverse and bring the dumbbells back down to the starting position as you breathe in.
And there it is. A list of some of the best, most popular, and most effective shoulder exercises used by bodybuilders worldwide. Having strong shoulders is essential for having a strong body so neglecting this muscle group is highly advised against. Once again, new bodybuilders might actually decide to focus on other muscle groups first for a number of reasons. But if you decide to squeeze an extra day or cycle into your workout, now you know some of the best shoulder exercises to use.