Best Shoulder Exercises & Workouts - Deltoid Exercises to build wide shoulders

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Looking for the best Shoulder Exercises and Workouts to widen your shoulders and make them lean, muscular and strong?

Check these amazing deltoid exercises that will build bigger and stronger shoulders.

Men desire strong and muscular shoulders and women want lean and strong shoulders.

Shoulder Exercises remain the same, but number of repetitions and sets change.

Why is Shoulder Training so Important

Broad, round and striated Shoulders.

Am I painting a too good to be true picture? Hell no! Call them Warrior, Shoulders boulder delts or cannonballs, they all mean the same.

Muscular shoulders are the hallmark of a bodybuilder and I will show you { exercises } how to build raw muscle mass in the shoulder region.

Shoulder joint is unique as it has a large range of motion. But this comes at a price in terms of its susceptibility to injury as it relies on muscles and ligaments for its stability.

For this reason I urge you to train all the muscles of the shoulder joint including the rotator cuff muscles to prevent injuries and build a strong, muscular shoulder girdle.

Looking for the bare minimum Shoulder Exercises?

Although I give you over 15 shoulder exercises, here are the 3 exercises you cannot do without as they ARE MUST for overall shoulder development

  1. Barbell or Dumbbell Shoulder Press  for anterior deltoids
  2. Dumbbell Lateral Raises  for medial deltoids
  3. Bent Over lateral raises  for posterior deltoids.

What about rotator cuff muscles?

Don't bother unless you have prior weakness or have been training for more than 2 years.

If you have been training with barbells and dumbbells and NOT with machines, you already have developed these small stabilizing muscles which form the rotator cuff.

Inside This Article

How Shoulder Muscles Work?

A Key factor in building delts is the understanding of shoulder joint in brief and how the muscles act to bring this awesome shoulder girdle { joint } to move, making it the most versatile joint in the human body.

Introduction to Shoulder Muscles

The basic function of shoulder muscles is to rotate and lift the arm.

Nothing gives a better look than broad, round, well-developed shoulder muscles. Shoulders are the most widely noticeable part of anyone's physique. Well developed shoulders demand attention.

Shoulder Muscles

Front Deltoid head assists the pectoral muscles in pushing movements and hence they get a workout every time you do a chest exercise. Front Deltoid Exercises include Front Raises and and as already described, Any Chest Exercise.

Middle Delts are what gives your shoulders a broad appearance. Middle Deltoid Exercises include Dumbbell Lateral Raises and Cable Laterals.

Rear Delts or posterior shoulder heads are small muscles and used in Rear Deltoid or Posterior Deltoid Exercises like the Bent over lateral raises.

Rotator Cuff Muscles

No discussion on Shoulder muscles will be complete without  Rotator Cuff Muscles.

Comprised of 4 small muscles they have high injury risk when you lift weights more than you can handle. So exercises like lateral raises should be performed with perfect form and sub maximal weights.

Shoulder joint being multi-involved is prone to injury and therefore every shoulder workout should be performed in a controlled manner and with a excellent form.

You shoulder can be a dream or nightmare depending on how much of the training tips you follow, as mentioned here.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am only speaking from experience.

Best Shoulder Exercises {Weight Lifting Shoulder Exercises}

A combination of presses and raises should be enough to stimulate shoulder muscle growth. I suggest you perform these exercises with free weights like barbells and dumbbells with full range of motion.

This will help the development of small, synergistic rotator cuff muscles which act as stabilizers in shoulder moves.

Shoulder Exercises performed with machines alone decreases the need for rotator cuff muscle stabilization leading to long term weakness.

The following are the Best Shoulder Muscle Exercises for Beginner Bodybuilders for Mass and Girth. Remember to do shoulder stretches in between sets or after training.

1. Seated Shoulder Press

Front deltoid muscle is the biggest  shoulder muscle and military presses is basic to its development.

2. Military Press Exercise  and  Machine Presses.

This additionally target the front deltoids more.

3. Lateral Raises  and  Front Dumbbell Raises

These work more on the side and rear deltoid. You can bend forward a little to generate more force.

4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

This is a variation of regular shoulder press but done with dumbbells which gives you bigger and a more natural range of motion.

5. Arnold Press

Arnold Press invented by bodybuilder Arnold Schwarzenegger targets more than some other variations.

Other optional Shoulder Exercises including Shoulder Dumbbell Exercises

1. Upright Rows

2. Bent over Lateral Raise

3. Lying Side Lateral Raises

4. Push Press

4.  Cable laterals and  Cable Lateral Raises. Also Bent Over Cable Laterals and One Arm Cross Cable Laterals

5.  Bent-over cable laterals

6. Shrugs and Dumbbell Shrugs

Also check out Sample Shoulder Workouts. Recommends the Best Exercises ebook...

Just click here to find out 65 new innovative exercises to eliminate boredom, plateaus from your workouts and take your workouts to next level.

Shoulder Power Moves for Bigger and Badder Shoulders

When it comes to best shoulder exercises power moves takes the show. Power exercises like clean and press and heavy upright rows will build strong muscular shoulder muscles.

Remember shoulder muscles are involved in many other movements like chest press, Deadlifts and bent-over rows and therefore strong shoulder muscles are an absolute requirement to go all out on such moves.

There are 3 basic exercises you should perform as each will hit a particular area of shoulder more than others.

Front Deltoids - Clean and Press - A Killer Deltoid Exercise

Middle deltoids - Lateral Raises - Build your lateral heads for wider shoulders.

Read deltoids - Bent-over laterals - Build strong rear delts for a great rearview.

Shoulder Workouts to Build Strong and Big Shoulder Muscles

Here are two Excellent Shoulder Workouts. You can find More here at  Sample Shoulder Workouts

Sample Shoulder Workout #1

Shoulder Workouts to Build Strong and Big Shoulder Muscles

Here are two Excellent Shoulder Workouts. You can find More here at  Sample Shoulder Workouts

Sample Shoulder Workout #1

Shoulder Exercise Sets Reps
1. Seated Press Behind the Neck 4 sets 6-8 for first set, then 6,4, 2 reps
2. Front Barbell Raises 2 sets 6-8 rep range
3. Dumbbell Bent Laterals 2 sets 6-8 rep range
4. Shoulder Stretches   Keep doing in between sets

Sample Shoulder Workout #2

Shoulder Exercise Sets Reps
1. Dumbbell Side Laterals 4 sets 6-8 for first set, then 6,4, 2 reps
2. Seated Dumbbell Bent Laterals 2 sets 6-8 rep range
3. Barbell Upright Rows 2 sets 6-8 rep range
4. Shoulder Stretches   Keep doing in between sets

Although these will build shoulder muscles from all angles I will also list a few others exercises which will add variation to your workouts making them more fun..

Shoulder Stretching Exercises

Shoulder Stretches to increase the shoulder range of motion are very helpful to increase mobility, lift more and be injury free. Check the  Shoulder Stretching Exercises here.

Shoulder Rehab Exercises

For Shoulder Strengthening and Rehabilitation a few Exercise Tips should be borne in mind.

1. If the cause was rotator cuff injury, then check these  Rotator Cuff Exercises for more on rehab.

2. Progress from simple to more complex exercises.

3. Get routine and regular check ups with your physician or physical therapist.

Use the following Isometric Shoulder Exercise, especially in the early part of the training program.

Isometric Shoulder Exercises


1. Stand along the wall on your side {say right side} while bending your elbow to right angles {i.e. at 90 degrees} in such a way that the outer part of your forearm is against the wall.

2. Now without moving the shoulder, press into the wall.

3. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds.

4. Repeat this movement for at least 3 to 5 times.

5. Repeat the isometric shoulder exercise on the other side.

Frozen Shoulder Exercises - Exercises for Frozen Shoulder

Frozen Shoulder is another variant of Rotator Cuff Injury. Check the  Rotator Cuff Exercises for more information.

Shoulder Pain Exercises

Shoulder Pain can also be due to bursitis, tendonitis in addition to torn rotator cuff or frozen shoulder.

Avoid exercising shoulder muscles when you are in pain. Treat the underlying cause and rehabilitate before moving on to do shoulder workouts. Ensure that you train your trunk and lower body to maintain strength in Lower limbs and core muscles.

Neck Shoulder Exercises

The Best Neck and Shoulder Exercise is the  Barbell Shrugs.

Shoulder Exercises for Men

Men desire Shoulder which are broad and muscular. The Best Shoulder Exercises for Men are Barbell Shoulder Press, Barbell Shrugs and Lateral Raises.

Shoulder Exercises for Women

Females should concentrate on same shoulder exercises as men but would better with a higher repetition range. Exercises are Dumbbell Shoulder Press, Dumbbell Shrugs and Lateral Raises.

Shoulder Exercises without Weights

If you want to exercise with no weights, then the best way is to perform dips/push ups, push ups inclined or with weights and Handstand push ups if you want to really test your strength, both physical and mental.

Shoulder Toning Exercises

Toning exercises are dealt here. To tome shoulders, your overall bodyfat should fall to single digits and shoulder muscles should be built with these above exercises.

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Common Shoulder Exercise Questions and Answers

The shoulders are actually a delicate area of the body when it comes to exercise. It is quite easy to injure the shoulders by lifting too much weight, moving the wrong way or having improper form when exercising. Once the shoulder is injured many questions come up about the injury and about exercising with an injured shoulder. The following is an overview of common questions that people have when it comes to shoulder exercise, injuries and exercising with an injured shoulder.

1. What is frozen shoulder?

A frozen shoulder is a condition where the ligaments around the joint swell, which results in stiffness. This condition is called adhesive capsulitis. It is not the same thing as arthritis because adhesive capsulitis only occurs in the shoulder. The cause is not known, but it normally occurs to a person who has suffered a shoulder injury.

2. Why do I get shoulder pain when lying down?

Shoulder pain when lying down is usually caused by shoulder bursitis. However, some other medical conditions may cause pain in the shoulder when lying down. Any unexpected or unidentifiable pain should be checked by a doctor for a proper diagnosis.

3. How do you treat a torn tendon in a shoulder?

Torn tendons in the shoulder usually require surgery, depending on the extent of the injury. In many cases, though, a torn tendon will often just take time to heal. The best method for treatment is rest, ice, compress and elevation or RICE.

4. Can I weight lift with shoulder bursitis?

In the beginning, you should rest your shoulder as much as possible. Any movement that causes pain should be avoided. Once you do resume activity you should apply ice to the shoulder for about 15 minutes. When exercising start slow. You should lift light and take it easy. Also make sure to stretch carefully. It can take 2 to 6 weeks to get back to your normal routine. Exercises for shoulder tendonitis are discussed here.

5. How do I treat a shoulder injury?

A shoulder injury should be treated carefully. Treatment starts with rest and icing the shoulder to reduce inflammation. After that it is important to stretch the shoulder and restore the range of motion. Then you can move onto strength exercises to rebuild the shoulder strength. If the injury is severe then surgery may be needed. In most cases, though, resting the injury and then slowly rebuilding the muscle and range of motion will be sufficient to treat the injury.

6. Why does my shoulder hurt and make a clicking sound when I move?

There are many things that can cause the clicking sound. It can be related to torn cartilage, a tear in the rotator cuff or the shoulder could be coming out of the socket. You should have it looked at by a doctor to prevent it from becoming worse.

7. What are some corrective exercises for a person who has one shoulder higher than the other?

Having one shoulder higher than the other is usually a sign that there is a problem with body alignment. This problem can get worse and cause other issues if not treated. Fortunately, there are corrective exercises that can be done. Posture exercises where you practice perfect alignment can help. Learning to stand and sit properly can retrain the muscles so alignment is restored.

8. How do I build shoulder flexibility for overhead squats?

Overhead squats require great flexibility in the shoulders if you want to be able to master the move and avoid injury. Shoulder flexibility can be helped by doing overhead presses or working with a kettle bell. Any type of exercise where you lift overhead can be helpful.

9. Can I kickbox with bursitis of shoulder?

Kickboxing can also help you to recover from shoulder bursitis. The quick movements involved in kickboxing increase shoulder strength. Make sure to stretch out good before the workout. Start out slow with only about 30 seconds of each exercise. Take your time to work up to longer exercises.

10. How do I build shoulder muscles?

When building your shoulder muscles you have to be careful. Shoulders are at great risk for injury. You have to warm up and use proper form for each exercise. Don't try to use too much weight. Start slowly and build up. Train your trapezoid, deltoid and the rotator cuff muscles for the best workout. Do front raises, side raises, rows and overhead presses for a good workout.

11. Should I exercise an impinged shoulder (shoulder impingement)?

Exercising with an impinged shoulder is actually an important part of recovery. Exercises can help reduce recovery time. You need to work all the muscles in your shoulder. Make sure to rest and get rid of inflammation before you start exercising. Once you do begin, focus on stretching and flexibility exercises instead of strength exercises.

12. How long do I wait to begin exercising after shoulder surgery?

Your doctor should tell you how long to wait until you resume your normal workout routine. Generally, you will begin some exercises right away after surgery as part of physical therapy. Exercise helps to rebuild the shoulder muscles, flexibility and movement. Physical therapy exercises start out slowly and gradually build in intensity until you are cleared to resume normal exercise.

13. How many minutes should I exercise a frozen shoulder?

The general guidelines for exercising a frozen should are a warm up followed by two or three minutes of rest then moving into exercises held for five seconds each and repeated about 15 times.

14. How do I measure my shoulders to record my progress in my workout?

To get a proper measurement you should not exercise before measuring. Make sure you are relaxed and wear no shirt or a light shirt. Stand with your arms hanging at your sides. Have someone else wrap the tape around the shoulders and take the measurement.

15. Is playing the piano good exercise for the shoulder?

Playing the piano can be helpful for learning good posture, which does help keep the shoulders aligned. Sitting at the piano requires excellent posture or you will start to feel pain. So, playing the piano overtime will help to strengthen the shoulders.

16. Does exercise help or harm shoulder impingement?

Exercise helps shoulder impingement. Exercises should strengthen and stretch the shoulder, which helps with recovery. Avoid trying to lift heavy weight as this could further injure the shoulder.

17. Should you exercise your shoulder if you have pain?

Exercising should not cause pain. Pain is the body telling you to slow down. If you are doing exercises with shoulder pain then you are probably going to do more damage. With a shoulder injury you should rest the shoulder at first. After swelling is gone you can do light exercises to start rebuilding the shoulder. If exercises cause pain, though, stop and rest the muscle. Don't push through the pain. Check out shoulder exercises for pain here.

18. What are good exercises for the shoulder muscles?

Common shoulder muscle exercises include those where you push weight above your head, raise weight to the front or sides of the body or pull weight towards your body. Overhead presses, front raises, side raises and upright rows are all good exercises for targeting the shoulders.

19. When should you not exercise a sore shoulder?

Right after a shoulder injury you should rest the shoulder. You should avoid exercise until the swelling is gone and the pain has been reduced. You should stop exercising if you feel any pain in the injured shoulder.

20. Will a frozen shoulder go away with just exercise and not the cortisone shot?

Exercise is really good for a frozen shoulder. It helps to increase mobility and to get the shoulder working properly again. Cortisone helps get rid of the swelling and pain, which can make exercise easier. There are other ways to get rid of swelling and pain, so it is possible to get rid of a frozen shoulder without cortisone.

21. What is the best workout for someone with a shoulder injury?

The main key to a good shoulder workout with an injury is to take it slow. You have to do light weights and fewer repetitions than you may have before. Upright rows are a good exercise, but don't bring the weights all the way up. Front raises and side raises are also good, but only bring the weights as far up as it feels comfortable. Check out Shoulder rehab and shoulder strengthening exercises.

These 21 questions cover the range of things people ask about shoulder exercise. It is best to prevent injury all together by exercising with proper form and not pushing yourself too far. Pain when working out is never okay, so if you feel pain then back off, so you don't end up with an injured shoulder. If you have an injury, always see your doctor. It is better to follow the guidance of a doctor when you are injured to avoid further damaging the shoulder.

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