Must-do shoulder workouts for men to achieve stronger, wider shoulders.
Bigger and stronger shoulders are a nice touch on any physique.
But as delicate and complicated joints, you have to target them carefully.
If they’re overtaxed, you’re more likely to suffer an injury that keeps you out of action for months on end.
But failure to add shoulder exercises into your workout doesn’t magically help with the shoulder width you are trying to size up.
Still, you must schedule some shoulder-specific exercises for your workout.
Without strong Noddy Holders, you’re going to come up short with all sorts of other lifts, especially when training your chest and back.
A truly satisfying shoulder session should work the anterior (front delt), medial (side delt), and posterior (rear delt) heads of the shoulder. Also, let’s not miss the trapezius muscle in the upper back for a truly effective shoulder workout.
It may sound like a lot of planning, but we have the best shoulder exercises for you that work all those muscles.
This six-move shoulder routine below will work all three heads of the shoulders and the trapezius muscle equally well.
Make sure you follow the sets, reps, tempo, and rest instructions, and don’t go too heavy with the weight at first.
If any rep count becomes too easy, pick up a heavier pair of dumbbells. Watch your shoulders turn into boulders by doing this routine twice a week for a month.
For these workouts, you’ll need a pair of dumbbells, a barbell, and a sturdy incline bench.
Even if you don’t have access to a gym and don’t own weights, we have shoulder exercises that you can do at home.
You can perform them without expensive equipment or by using resistance bands.
3 Tips to Capitalize on The Best Shoulder Workouts
Before we get started, you want to ensure that you’re spending your energy efficiently. So below are three crucial tips to work your muscles to the max, keep tension, and get the most out of your workout.
Move With a Full Range of Motion
When working your shoulders, working through a full range of motion is critical in getting the most out of the exercise.
As your muscles go through the motions in their full range, more fibers get engaged. Since building larger muscles require breakdowns of muscle fibers, it’s essential you complete each rep.
On the flip side, when you pause or stop the middle of your reps, you compromise the work of muscle fiber.
Be sure to check each exercise’s instructions and know the start position and the end position. It’ll allow you to complete each movement entirely and get more muscles worked as a result.
Keep With The Tempo
Tempo isn’t just a thing in a music class. It applies to fitness too.
In exercise, tempo refers to the speed of your movement in a rep. It’s typically expressed in 4 digits as in 2111 or 1010. Each digit has its own representation and following that is a key to muscle growth.
The first digit represents the number of seconds you need to take to lower the weight.
The second digit is the number of seconds you need to pause at the end.
The third digit is the number of seconds you need to come up and return to the starting position.
The fourth digit is the number of seconds to pause at the top.
Following the tempo ensures you perform each movement with control, rather than rushing through it.
Keep Your Recovery Periods Short
When aiming to build larger muscles, it’s beneficial to keep your recovery short.
The idea rest time between each exercise is 10 seconds and take a 90-second rest after you complete a set.
By keeping your recovery period brief, you allow the accumulation of muscle fatigue.
This leads to more tissue damage to spur faster growth.
Tips to Avoid Shoulder Injury
Strenuous workouts can increase injury risks in any body part. But shoulder joint injuries require to be particularly watched out for.
There should be a level of care that goes into planning your shoulder routine.
Mobilizing the shoulders is the first step.
To increase your range of motion during your workout, spend 10-15 minutes mobilizing the joints before you touch a weight. This will activate the shoulder muscles and any other adjacent muscles and joints.
In particular, a proper warm-up of rotator cuff muscles is essential in preventing strains and tears in the area.
To get your body moving and properly warmed up, perform each exercise without the weights. This will train the body in the motions you’ll go through in your exercise routine.
During your workout, it’s important not to overdo it. Stop the set and adjust the weight. What’s important isn’t going heavier, but it’s using the appropriate weight.
Two Moves To Warm Up Your Shoulders
Like we said, shoulder injuries are the worst, and one of the easiest to acquire since they’re so delicate.
The best way to protect your shoulders while working them is to warm them up before your workout.
Below are two easy workouts to warm up your shoulders before putting them through hell.
This is a simple warm-up you can do to gently wake up your shoulders. You’ll need a resistance band with handles.
- Hold a handle with each hand and hold them wide above your head.
- Bend your elbows and bring down the band behind your body. This puts your shoulders to rotate externally. This helps especially when you perform pressing exercises.
Rotator Cuff Extensions
The cable pulley should be set at chest level.
- Stand sideways to the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width and hold the cable handle with your outside arm.
- Tuck in your elbow and pull it outwards while keeping your torso upright. Keep your core and glutes engaged throughout. This will get your rotator cuff muscles warmed up before your routine.
Best Shoulder Workout Routine
If you want huge muscular shoulders, add the following shoulder workouts to your routine. These are the ultimate moves to bulk up your shoulder muscles.
1A Barbell Overhead Presses
Reps 12 | Sets 3 | Rest 10sec | Tempo 2010
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold a barbell in front of you with an overhand grip.
- Lift it up in one motion to hold it in the front of your shoulders.
- Press the barbell bar above your head while bracing your glutes and core. Return it slowly to the starting position.
1B Push Press
Reps 12 | Sets 3 | Rest 10sec | Tempo 20X0
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the barbell in front of your shoulders with the bar lightly resting on your collarbones.
- When lifting the bar overhead, keep a slight bend in your knees to create power and press the barbell overhead towards the ceiling.
- With control, slowly lower the bar to the starting position.
1C Barbell Shrug
This exercise primarily works the rhomboids and trapezius in the upper back.
Reps 12 | Sets 3 | Rest 90sec | Tempo 1111
- Stand tall and adjust your feet so they’ll be shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the bar in front of your thighs in an overhand grip with your arms fully extended.
- Brace your core and lift your barbell bar up. Hold one second at the top position, then lower it slowly to the starting position.
2A Arnold Press – Seated
This dumbbell press move recruits the lateral and anterior deltoids. In addition to the muscle groups in the shoulder joint, it engages your trices and serratus anterior located on the upper side of your libs.
Reps 12 | Sets 3 | Rest 10sec | Tempo 2111
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand using a neutral grip so your palms are facing in.
- Sit on a workout bench and slowly with control, bring the dumbbells up by curling them up one at a time. You’ll be starting from this top of a biceps curl position.
- As you press up the dumbbells, rotate your wrists, so you end up with straight arms and palms facing away.
2B Lateral Raise – Seated
Raises primarily engage the lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid, and serratus anterior.
Reps 12 | Sets 3 | Rest 10sec | Tempo 2111
Hold lighter-weight dumbbells using a neutral grip, and sit on an incline bench. In one motion over the count of two, raise the dumbbells to your shoulder height with your elbows. Stop once the dumbbells reach shoulder height, then lower them again.
2C Bent-Over Reverse Fly
The reverse fly, an exercise of the horizontal extension (abduction) recruits the deltoid muscle located in and near the shoulder joint. It also involves the teres, rhomboids, and trapezius.
Reps 12 | Sets 3 | Rest 90sec |Tempo 2111
- Set up an incline bench. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lie on the bench with your toes touching the floors.
- Keep a slight bend in your elbows and lift the arms to the sides.
- Let the shoulders and elbows lead the upward movement and focus on the power coming from the shoulders. Take a second at the top and feel the squeeze in your shoulder blades. Lower the weights back slowly with control.
More Shoulder Workouts to Keep You Busy
We know you got more fire left in you. So we’re not letting you go, yet. Below are some quick summaries of other shoulder workouts that are effective when building bigger boulders.
30-Day Pressup Challenge
The press-up challenge is a great way to challenge your shoulder muscles. The goal is to complete 100 push-ups in one go, which will result in strong shoulders, triceps, and pecs.
This is an excellent choice if you don’t have access to weights. Or if you just want to spend a few minutes exercising each day instead of committing to several lengthy regimens.
Dumbbell Ladder Workout
There are just two exercises in this simple challenge. They both engage your shoulders, and because the ladder format involves muscle endurance and strength, both will be improved.
Given how many repetitions you’ll be doing, use lighter weights than you normally would. Start with five repetitions for each move, and add one to every set until you cannot lift anymore.
- Dumbbell thruster
- Dumbbell overhead lunge
Shoulder Workout Supersets
If you want the muscular swimmer’s broad shoulders, try this 45-minute regimen. To do it, you’ll need a barbell, dumbbells, and cable machine in the gym.
Perform the first two exercises in two straight sets. From 3A to 4B, perform in two supersets to target the shoulders from every angle.
- 1 Push press (Sets 4 Reps 10)
- 2 Upright row (Sets 4 Reps 10)
- 3A Seated dumbbell overhead press (Sets 4 Reps 12)
- 3B Prone reverse dumbbell flye (Sets 4 Reps 12)
- 4A Standing dumbbell lateral raise (Sets 4 Reps 15)
- 4B Cable face pull (Sets 4 Reps 15)
Home Shoulder Workout
Big shoulders don’t require gym equipment or heavyweights. In fact, if you are a beginner with little to no experience working with heavier weights, start with lightweight equipment.
Shoulder joints are prone to injury and overwork. Start with lighter weights like this shoulder workout before moving to the routines with heavyweight equipment like a barbell.
Using just light dumbbells, you can do this effective workout at home and fill out your t-shirts in no time.
- 1 push press (Sets 3 Reps 12)
- 2A Lateral raise (Sets 3 Reps 12)
- 2B Front raise (Sets 3 Reps 12)
- 2C Reverse flye (Sets 3 Reps 12)
Resistance Band Shoulder Workout
Prepare your upper arms and shoulders to burn with resistance bands. For this workout, you will use the 21s rule – seven reps and 3 sets of each move – a total of 21 reps.
- Triceps extension (Sets 3 Reps 7)
- Front raise (Sets 3 Reps 7)
- Lateral raise (Sets 3 Reps 7)
- Biceps curl (Sets 3 Reps 7)
- Seated rear flye (Sets 3 Reps 7)
Dumbbell Shoulder Workout
During his bodybuilding days, Arnold Schwarzenegger built his massive deltoids with a three-exercise workout designed to hit the shoulders from all angles.
- 1A Reverse flye (Sets 3 Reps 10)
- 1B Lateral raise (Sets 3 Reps 10)
- 1C Arnold press (Sets 3 Reps 10)
Conclusion on Shoulder Workouts
Shoulder workouts are an integral part of building an impressive physique. If you’re looking for a way to fill out your t-shirts with broader shoulder width.
Adding size to your deltoids is the place to begin. After reading this comprehensive shoulder workout guide, you’re on the road towards it.
These shoulder workouts also work both intrinsic muscles and extrinsic muscles in the shoulders and allow improvements in mobility, flexibility, stability, and range of motion.
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