Having well-defined, strong shoulder muscles improves the way you look, and it allows you to perform better on compound exercises like bench presses. Many fitness enthusiasts prefer exercising their shoulder muscles on the same day they target their chest muscles since shoulder muscles are engaged when performing compound exercises that work out the chest.
10 Simple Shoulder Workouts You Can Incorporate Into Your Fitness Program
One of the most common reasons people give up on their fitness journey is getting bored with their workouts. The key to avoiding this is to mix up the exercises you regularly use, so every shoulder day isn’t the same.
Here are some exercises you can add to your shoulder workouts to avoid getting bored with performing one or two exercises all the time:
1) Push press
Here’s a fun exercise that allows you to lift heavier weights and perform more repetitions than any other overhead shoulder press. It’s a great way to unleash new muscle growth in your shoulders. It’s more than a shoulder exercise since it also activates your upper pecs, triceps, delts, core, and lower body.
- Gear: Barbell and weights.
- Benefits: Great upper body workout, mainly targeting shoulder muscles.
- Safety: Keep your core tight and maintain proper form when performing the exercise.
- Duration: Aim for 6 to 20 reps depending on your fitness goals and about three sets.
2) Military press
Just as is the case with the push press, the military press gives you a full-body lift that focuses on your shoulders.
- Gear: Barbells/dumbbells and weights.
- Benefits: Provides a full-body workout.
- Safety: Keep your spine neutral during the exercise. A lifting belt can help.
- Duration: Perform 6 to 20 reps and three sets.
3) Rear delt row
Once you start getting tired of pressing weight over your head, rear delt rows provide a different approach to targeting your shoulder muscles.
- Gear: An inclined workout bench and dumbbells.
- Benefits: Works out the rear delt, middle delt, and shoulder muscles.
- Safety: Maintain proper form when performing the exercise.
- Duration: Go for 6 to 20 reps to complete a set. Aim for three to five sets.
4) Seated dumbbell press
Pressing with dumbbells instead of barbells allows you to work each shoulder out independently.
- Gear: An exercise bench and dumbbells.
- Benefits: It gives you a more extended range of motion which helps to increase muscle growth. Being in a seated position while pressing prevents you from being able to cheat with your lower body.
- Safety: Perform the motions slowly and maintain proper form. If that’s too challenging, use lighter weights.
- Duration: About five to 20 reps give you a good burn. Go for three to five sets.
5) Seated barbell press
Opting for a barbell instead of dumbbells allows you to lift heavier weights, which is excellent for muscle growth.
- Gear: An exercises bench/Smith machine, a barbell, and weights.
- Benefits: This allows you to give your shoulder muscles a more intense workout while using heavier weights. Great for people looking to bulk up.
- Safety: Use proper form when performing the exercise to maximize your gains.
- Duration: Perform 5 to 20 reps based on your fitness goals and three to five sets.
6) Upright rows
This exercise activates many muscles in your upper body like your core, triceps, shoulders, and pecs. The shoulder muscles are the primary target, though, and a wide grip ensures they do most of the work.
- Gear: A barbell.
- Benefits: Promotes muscle growth of shoulder muscles, and it’s also one of the more straightforward exercises to perform.
- Safety: Avoid using a close grip since that can lead to your shoulders being internally rotated. A close grip also allows you to cheat with your biceps.
- Duration: Aim for 8 to 20 reps and go for 3 to 5 sets.
7) Arnold press
This is very similar to the dumbbell press, but you rotate your shoulders during the motion.
- Gear: An exercise bench and dumbbells.
- Benefits: Excellent way to target the medial and front delts. Performing the exercise while sitting makes it harder to cheat on the motion.
- Safety: Stick to weights you can perform the exercise with while maintaining proper form.
- Duration: Aim for 10 to 20 repetitions. Three to five sets of this exercise give you a good shoulder workout.
8) Rear delt fly
Here’s another way to target your delts. These are the most undertrained muscles in your shoulders, so you want to target them with a couple of exercises each week. It can be performed with a machine or while slightly bent over using dumbbells.
- Gear: Dumbbells or a fly machine.
- Benefits: Targets the rear delt muscles, improving rotator-cuff health and posture.
- Safety: Use a neutral grip if working out on a machine and maintain proper form to maximize the burn to your shoulder muscles.
- Duration: Aim for about 10 to 12 repetitions per set.
9) Lateral raise
Lateral raises are one of the popular exercises that isolate your shoulder muscles.
- Gear: Dumbbells.
- Benefits: Great workout for your delts and pecs.
- Safety: While this might seem like a simple exercise to master, maintaining proper form is more challenging than it looks. Stick to lighter weights until you’ve mastered the form.
- Duration: Aim for 10 to 20 repetitions.
10) Front raise
Here’s a simple exercise that activates the anterior of your deltoids. It involves holding a dumbbell in your hand and raising your arm directly in front of you.
- Gear: Dumbbells.
- Benefits: Great workout that targets the anterior head of the deltoid muscles. It’s one of the most popular shoulder exercises.
- Safety: Perform the motion slowly and avoid jerking the weight around.
- Duration: Aim for about 10 to 12 repetitions to complete a set. About three to five sets give you a serious shoulder workout.
There are exercises for everyone
You don’t need to be fond of all the exercises on our list. You only need to find three to five of these that fit into your workouts.
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