The Best Shoulder Workout Routine: Muscle-Building Exercises and How to Perform Them

Updated: 21 hours ago


Shoulder Workout


When it comes to shoulder workouts, there are a lot of different exercises that you can do. But which ones are the best? This article will discuss the muscle-building exercises for your shoulders and how to perform them correctly. We will also focus on the exercise variations and the common mistakes people make when working out their shoulders. So, whether you're a beginner or an experienced weight lifter, read on for the best shoulder workout routine!


Before we dive in: check out our full-body training program to develop a strong body and aesthetic physique; you will benefit from one of our programs. We designed a program that gives you the tools to build muscle with an easy-to-follow routine that will fit any schedule. To find out more:


Anatomy of the shoulders

Before we get into the best exercises, let's first take a look at the anatomy of the shoulders. The shoulder is made up of three main muscles: the anterior deltoid (front), the lateral deltoid (side), and the posterior deltoid (rear). There are also several other smaller muscles in the shoulder area, but these three are the main ones that we're going to focus on.


The shoulder muscles control the movement of the shoulder joint and help to stabilize the joint. The anterior deltoid is responsible for lifting the arm forward, the lateral deltoid lifts the arm out to the side, and the posterior deltoid helps to lift the arm backward.

Now that we know a little bit more about the shoulder muscles, let's move on to the best exercises for building them.



The Best Exercises

There are many different exercises that you can do to work your shoulders, but some are better than others. The following exercises are the best for building muscle and strength in your shoulders:


Exercise #1: Overhead Press

The overhead press is a great all-around exercise for the shoulders. It works the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids, as well as the triceps. To do this exercise, start with the barbell in your hands and your feet shoulder-width apart. Press the barbell up until your arms are fully extended, then lower it back down to your shoulders.


Variations: You can also do this exercise with dumbbells or a machine. The benefit of using dumbbells is that it allows each arm to work independently, which can be helpful if one arm is weaker than the other. A machine variation is a good option if you're new to this exercise or if you want to use a lighter weight.


Exercise #2: Upright Row

The upright row is another great exercise for the shoulders. It works the anterior and lateral deltoids, as well as the traps. To do this exercise, start with the barbell in your hands and your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the waist and let the barbell hang down in front of you. From here, lift the barbell up until it's in line with your chin. Lower it back down and repeat.


Variations: You can also do this exercise with dumbbells or a machine. Again, the benefit of using dumbbells is that it allows each arm to work independently. If you're new to this exercise or if you're a beginner and want to improve your form, a machine variation can be a smart option.


Exercise #3: Lateral Raise

The lateral raise is an exercise that specifically works the lateral deltoid. To do this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms out to the side until they're parallel with the ground. Lower them back down and repeat.


Variations: You can also do this exercise with a machine or a cable. If you're using a machine, you may want to use a lighter weight than you would with dumbbells. For the cable variation, you can use a rope attachment or a straight bar attachment. Cables offer a bit more stability than dumbbells, so this variation may be a good option if you're new to the exercise.


Exercise #4: Rear Delt Fly

The rear delt fly is an exercise that specifically works the posterior deltoid. To do this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward at the waist and let your arms hang down in front of you. From here, raise your arms up and back until they're parallel with the ground. Lower them back down and repeat.


Variations: You can also do this exercise with a machine or a cable. As with the other exercises, using a machine may be a good option if you're new to this exercise or if you want to use a lighter weight. For the cable variation, you can use a rope attachment or a straight bar attachment.


Exercise #5: Arnold Press

The Arnold press is a great exercise for the shoulders that works the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids. To do this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Press the dumbbells up overhead, then twist your palms so that they're facing forward. Lower the dumbbells back down to your shoulders and repeat.


Variations: You can also do this exercise with a barbell or a machine. The benefit of using dumbbells is that it allows each arm to work independently, which can be helpful if one arm is weaker than the other. A machine variation is a good option if you're new to this exercise or if you want to use a lighter weight.


Exercise #6: Front Raise

The front raise is an exercise that specifically works the anterior deltoid. To do this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms up in front of you until they're parallel with the ground. Lower them back down and repeat.


Variations: You may also do this exercise with a barbell or a machine. The advantage of using dumbbells is that they allow each arm to function independently, which might be advantageous if one arm is less powerful. If you're new to the movement or would prefer a lighter weight, a machine variant may be ideal.


Exercise #7: Bent-Over lateral Raise

The bent-over lateral raise is an exercise that specifically works the posterior deltoid. To do this exercise, start by holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend forward at the waist and let your arms hang down in front of you. From here, raise your arms up and back until they're parallel with the ground. Lower them back down and repeat.


Variations: You may also do this exercise with a machine. If you're using a machine, you'll likely want to use a lighter weight than you would with dumbbells.


Exercise #8: Push Press

The push press is a great exercise for the shoulders that works the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids. To do this exercise, start by holding the barbell in your hands and your feet shoulder-width apart. Dip down slightly, then explosively press the barbell up overhead. Lower it back down to your shoulders and repeat.


Variations: You can also do this exercise with dumbbells. The benefit of using a barbell is that it allows you to use more weight than you would with dumbbells. Although, if you don't have access to a barbell, dumbbells will still work just fine.



Common Mistakes

Not activating the muscles

One common mistake people make when doing shoulder exercises is not properly activating the muscles. The shoulders are a small muscle group, so it's important to focus on quality over quantity. Make sure you're using a weight that challenges you and that you're performing the exercises with proper form.


Swinging the weight

Another common mistake is swinging the weight. This usually happens when people are using too much weight and they start to momentum to lift the weight. Not only does this take away from the effectiveness of the exercise, but it also puts you at risk for injury. Make sure you're using a weight that you can control and that you're lifting with proper form.


Not going through a full range of motion

A third mistake people make is not going through a full range of motion. This means not raising the weight high enough or lowering it low enough. Not only does this reduce the effectiveness of the exercise, but it can also lead to injury. Make sure you're using a weight that allows you to go through a full range of motion without compromising your form.


Not warming up

Another common mistake people make is not warming up before they start their workout. Shoulder exercises are particularly important to warm up for because the shoulder joint is very mobile and susceptible to injury. Make sure you spend some time stretching and doing light cardio before you start your shoulder workout.


Not cooling down

After your shoulder workout, it's important to cool down and stretch. This will help your muscles recover and prevent injury.


Summary

The best shoulder workout routine should include a mix of exercises that work the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids. Remember to focus on quality over quantity, use a weight that challenges you, and warm up before you start your workout. Cool down and stretch after your workout is finished. Avoid common mistakes like swinging the weight, not going through a full range of motion, and not warming up or cooling down properly. With proper form and execution, you'll be on your way to building strong, toned shoulders in no time!


For a complete routine, check out our full-body training program to develop a strong body and aesthetic physique; you will benefit from one of our programs. We designed a program that gives you the tools to build muscle with an easy-to-follow routine that will fit any schedule. To find out more:


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