Shoulder exercises

The biggest part of the shoulder muscle consists of the deltoid which covers the entire shoulder joint; the front, the side and the top of the muscle. At the back of the shoulder, located behind the shoulder blade, is where the infraspinatus muscle runs. This is a smaller muscle located deeper in the body.

 

Deltoid: largest shoulder muscle

Infraspinatus: smaller shoulder muscle

 

For the purpose of exactly isolating the right parts of the shoulder, the exercises are divided into focusing on the front, the side, the top and the back of the shoulder. In the overview below you see which exercise focuses on which part of the shoulder:

overview shoulder exercises dumbbell press fly side raise front raise
shoulder exercises workout exercises

 

All shoulders exercises can be divided into 3 different types of exercises: dumbbell exercises, barbell exercises and machine and cable exercises.

overview shoulder exercises dumbbell press fly side raise front raise

 

Each exercise contains a full description, an overview of the muscles that you target and the level of difficulty to perform the exercise. Difficulty is defined as the level of complexity regarding the performance and technique of the exercise:

 

Beginner

●○○○○ & ●●○○○

Intermediate

●●●○○ & ●●●●○

Expert

●●●●●

 

Exercises

shoulder workout dumbbell press

1. Dumbbell press

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing forward and bring them up next to your head. Your arms are in a 90 degree angle, your upper arms are on the same horizontal line. Press the dumbbells up and stretch your arms out. Bring both dumbbells together above your head but don’t let them touch. Then slowly lower them back to starting position.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle& infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout dumbbell front raise

2. Dumbbell front raise

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body and let them rest on your upper legs. Bring one dumbbell forward with a straight arm. When your arm is straight and reaches shoulder height keep the weight still for a moment and then slowly lower it back to starting position. Move the dumbbell next to your body without touching your leg. Perform the same movement with the other arm.

Target muscle(s): front shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout training plan schedule dumbbell side raise

3. Dumbbell side raise

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body and let them rest on your upper legs next to your body. Bring both dumbbells to the side while keeping your arms straight. When your arms are straight and reach shoulder height keep the weight still for a moment and then slowly lower them back to starting position. Don’t let the dumbbells touch your legs when you bring them back and repeat this movement.

Target muscle(s): side shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout seated shoulder dumbbell press

4. Seated dumbbell press

Sit down on a bench. To give your back extra support you can set the bench in a 90 degree angle. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing forward and bring them up next to your head. Your arms are in a 90 degree angle, your upper arms are on the same horizontal line. Press the dumbbells up and stretch your arms out. Bring both dumbbells together above your head but don’t let them touch. Then slowly lower them back to starting position.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle & infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout seated dumbbell front raise

5. Seated dumbbell front raise

Sit down on a bench. To give your back extra support you can set the bench in a 90 degree angle. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body and let them hang next to your body. Bring one dumbbell forward with a straight arm that is just slightly bent. When your arm is straight and reaches shoulder height keep the weight still for a moment and then slowly lower it back to starting position. Move the dumbbell next to your body without touching your leg or the bench. Perform the same movement with the other arm.

Target muscle(s): front shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout dumbbell side raise

6. Seated dumbbell side raise

Sit down on a bench. To give your back extra support you can set the bench in a 90 degree angle. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body and let them hang next to your body. Bring both dumbbells to the side while keeping your arms straight. When your arms are straight and reach shoulder height keep the weight still for a moment and then slowly lower them back to starting position. Don’t let the dumbbells touch your legs or the bench when you bring them back and repeat this movement.

Target muscle(s): side shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout dumbbell fly

7. Dumbbell fly

Hold both dumbbells in front of your body level with your navel with your arms in a 90 degree angle. Then bring the dumbbells to the side while keeping your arms in the same angle. Perform this movement until the dumbbells reach shoulder height. Then slowly lower them back to starting position.

Target muscle(s): front, side & top shoulder muscle & infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout training schedule dumbbell shrugs

8. Dumbbell shrugs

Stand up straight with your feet at shoulder width. Grab the dumbbells with your palms facing your body. Don’t let the dumbbells touch your upper legs. Keep your arms straight and move the dumbbells up alongside your body by moving your shoulders up and down. The movement comes solely from your shoulders, the rest of the body remains in the same position.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle and trapezium

Difficulty: ●●●○○


shoulder workout training schedule barbell press

9. Barbell press

You perform this exercise with a barbell. Grab the barbell with your hands at shoulder width and your palms facing forward. Lower the barbell in the back of your neck and press it out until your arms are stretched. Then slowly lower the barbell back into your neck and repeat the movement.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout barbell press front

10. Barbell press front

You perform this exercise with a barbell. Grab the barbell with your hands at shoulder width and your palms facing forward. Lower the barbell in front of your body towards the upper part of your chest (sternum) and press it out until your arms are stretched. Then slowly lower the barbell back towards your chest and repeat the movement.

Target muscle(s): top & front shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●●○


shoulder workout barbell shrugs

11. Barbell shrugs

You perform this exercise with a barbell. Grab the barbell with your hands at shoulder width and your palms facing your body. Don’t let the barbell touch your upper legs. Keep your arms straight and move the barbell up in front of your body by moving your shoulders up and down. The movement comes solely from your shoulders, the rest of the body remains in the same position.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle and trapezium

Difficulty: ●●●○○


shoulder workout cable front raise

12. Cable front raise

You perform this exercise at a cable station. Attach a rope or small straight bar to the cable and stand in front of the station with your back towards the machine. Select the lowest position for the cable and stand over it, with your legs on each side of the cable. Grab the rope/bar and stretch your arms out. Your arms remain straight while performing this exercise. When your arms reach shoulder height slowly lower the cable back to starting position. Stretch your arms out again before your arms touch your body to ensure tension on the shoulder muscles at all time.

Target muscle(s): front shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●○○


shoulder workout cable side raise

13. Cable side raise

You perform this exercise at a cable station. Attach a rope or handle to the cable and stand in front of the station with your shoulder towards the machine. Select the lowest position for the cable. Grab the rope/handle and stretch your arm out. Your arm remains straight while performing this exercise. When your arm reaches shoulder height slowly lower the cable back to starting position. Stretch your arm out again before your arm touches your body to ensure tension on the shoulder muscles at all time.

Target muscle(s): side shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●●○○


shoulder exercises bent-over cable raise

14. Bent-over cable raise

You perform this exercise at a cable station that has 2 cables. Stand in front of the station in the middle of both cables. Select the lowest position for the cables. Grab the left cable with your right hand and the right cable with your left hand. Bent over by bending your knees and sticking your buttocks backwards. The cables cross in front of your body near your chest. Move the cables to the side by holding your arms straight and moving them  towards the side. When your arms are completely straight and at shoulder height lower them back to starting position. During this exercise you keep looking straight ahead.

Target muscle(s): front, side & top shoulder muscle & infraspinatus

Difficulty: ●●●●●


shoulder workout training schedule machine shoulder press

15. Machine shoulder press

Take a seat on the machine. Grab both grips with your palms facing forward. Press up by stretching your arms. After your arms are stretched slowly lower the weight back to starting position. When your arms reach a 90 degree angle press the weight back up again.

Target muscle(s): top shoulder muscle

Difficulty: ●●○○○

Comments: 1
  • #1

    Naqibullah wahidi (Wednesday, 20 February 2019 14:16)

    Good luck

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