Sign Up  |  





Shoulder Workouts

Looking for the best shoulder workouts to give you firm broad shoulders? Strong defined shoulders are key to an in shape physic and therefore a good shoulder workout routine should always be part of your program.

It’s no secret that women find broad shoulders attractive on men, and our shoulder workouts will show you how to pack on some serious shoulder muscle.

WorkoutBOX contains only great shoulder workouts - that help you build big, wide shoulders in order to give you that classic “v-shape” look. Soon you’ll be too big for your gym vest and you’ll have to turn sideways to walk through doors!

Shoulder Workouts

Beginner :

Beginner Shoulder Routine

Shoulder Workout

This beginner’s shoulder workout routine is going to start you off by developing some serious shape and tone to your shoulders. The muscles worked are the front, middle and rear (Deltoids) shoulders more...

Level : 
Length : < 30 mins Routines : 1
» View Workout

Advanced :

Killer Shoulders Workout

Shoulder Workout

This killer shoulder workout is going to build you a pair of boulder shoulders that you’ll be proud of. Building a great set of shoulders means targeting all the deltoid muscles with the right exercises more...

Level : 
Length : 30 - 60 mins Routines : 1
» View Workout




Shoulder Workouts

Whenever the upper body is taken into account, it’s good to know that the shoulders, along with its corresponding muscles, are most widely used. Shoulder muscles function in almost every action that comes our way.


Our shoulders have almost 360 degrees of rotation, and along with our arms they are the first points of interest when it comes to our general appearance, despite our gender.

The shoulder is the most mobile joint in our body. Although it is a ball and socket joint, the socket is very shallow, allowing the ball to rotate through the 360-degree range.

But because it is so mobile, the shoulder is also vulnerable to injury.A common instinct when you have a shoulder injury is to hold your shoulder still to avoid pain. Don’t be tempted to give in to the pendulum movement, maintain stability when exercising, for a safe practice. However, holding it still may actually prolong your recovery process because adhesions can form while the healing is taking place that will have to be eliminated to return your shoulder to full function.


In other words, strong muscles in the shoulder area will prevent you from injuring the joints. You know what they say: whenever you have a physical pain anywhere in your body, especially in your joints, the muscles around the area should be trained in order to protect that particular region. Thus, a lot of operations can be avoided. Here is an exercise for shoulder therapy, in case of an accident or severe injury (due to a slight joint dislocation or separation, impingement or the “frozen shoulder” syndrome):


Codman pendulum exercise - Codman exercises can be done in one of two ways. You can do them lying on your stomach on a therapy table with your arm and shoulder over the side, or you can do them standing, bent forward at the waist, letting your arm hang straight toward the floor. In either case, the goal is to have your arm hanging loosely, with your shoulder blade relaxed. Once in position, you can begin to move your arm gently by swinging it. Start with movements forward and back, then side to side, and lastly in small circles. Initial movements should be about 15 degrees from vertical but as you loosen up, let the movement go out to 30 degrees. While your arm is swinging, your body is circulating blood through the muscles and joint capsule of your shoulder. This increase in circulation helps to speed the removal of waste products and reduce soreness. This increased circulation brings the injured tissue the nutrients necessary to make strong repairs. This exercise (along with isometric moves) is usually recommended as the main physical therapy treatment or program in rehabilitation centers, following any kind of inflammation due to mild injury (like tendonitis, bursitis, and any other discomfort associated with a sore or dislocated shoulder), or for arthritic patients.


No pain, no gain. All the below exercises require no video. So off we go, presenting you the routines and workouts that make it into the top 10 shoulder exercises according to the fitness world’s best experts.

Shoulder Workouts for Women

When it comes to upper body training routines, things stand different for men and women. Men look up to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ronnie Coleman or Kai Greene, while women, with a lower bodyweight, are more delicate and fragile and have role models closer to Tracy Anderson or Jillian Michaels. Mass and big arms are not for most of them. That’s why this post will focus more on staying in shape and sculpting beautiful and appealing shoulders. A proper shoulder workout routine should never be neglected.

The 4-Exercise Shoulder Workout for Women

Keep in mind the fact that apart from making you look great and obtain definition, the muscles in your shoulders are connected to your neck muscles, which store tension – thus, working out is a great way to relieve it.


When it comes to women, “well defined” and “slender” are better-chosen words than “massive” or “big.” Size is not what we are targeting, probably only when it comes to decreasing it. So ladies, don’t fall into the masculine trap (well, traps, actually) and end up like Jay Cutler. This is not the target here.

You only need dumbbells for this complete back and shoulder workout that can be done at home or at your local gym center.


Starting tip: Warm up your muscles before every workout to prevent injury and the risk of dangerous instability during motion. Run, jump rope or perform any aerobic activity that gets your heart rate up and your blood flowing. Do this for at least 10 to 15 minutes before lifting weights or kettlebells. Stretch for ten (10) minutes before or after you exercise to increase your flexibility.

For this one you’ll have to perform 3 sets of 15 reps for general firming and toning results.


Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press - The shoulder press is a compound movement that works several muscle groups.

·         Sit with your spine erect.

·         Grasp the dumbbells in your hands.

·         Position them at the sides of your shoulders with your elbows below your wrists.

·         Press the dumbbells up, extending your arms overhead. Lower your arms to the starting position.

·         Repeat 15 times.


Lateral Raise -A lateral raise is an isolation exercise. It works your lateral deltoids, which are in the midsection of your shoulders. These muscles cover the tops of your shoulders and connect to your upper arms.

·         Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

·         Hold the dumbbells in front of your thighs, bending your elbows slightly.

·         Raise your arms so your elbows are shoulder height.

·         Return to the starting position and repeat.


Front Raises

·         Stand with your back straight and a dumbbell in each hand.

·         Position your arms in front of your thighs with your elbows straight.

·         Lift one arm, keeping your elbow fixed, until the dumbbell is slightly higher than your shoulder.

·         Return to the starting position and repeat with your other arm.


Shrugs -Shrugs work the large muscle in your neck and upper back that holds your head upright. This muscle is connected to your shoulders. Shrugs can reportedly reduce the chronic pain caused by repetitive office duties. They also have the highest level of muscle activation, which means they can strengthen your arms, in time.

·         Hold a dumbbell in each hand.

·         Stand with your back straight and your arms at your sides.

·         Raise your shoulders toward your ears.

·         Tighten your muscles, hold the position and release.

·         Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


3 Additional Shoulder Exercises one may take into account

Remember these don’t isolate your shoulders and focus on them only, but they are an efficient training method for the whole upper part of your body.

Stability ball Push-Ups –

·         Begin with your hips on the ball, hands on the floor and feet stretched out straight behind you.

·         Walk hands out a bit so that the ball is positioned either below the thighs or, to make it more difficult, below the ankles.

·         Place hands on floor in line with shoulders.

·         Lower body by bending elbows, bringing the chest as close to the floor as possible.

·         Make sure to keep head, torso and legs aligned and tight.

·         Straighten arms to complete rep.

Tip:If the stability ball push-up is too challenging, try kneeling push-ups on the floor or a plank hold for 30 seconds (with or without a stability ball).

Mountain Climbers –

·         Get in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width.

·         While maintaining upper body position, bring one knee up to the chest while touching toe to the ground.

·         Switch legs.

·         Continue alternating legs briskly (the faster the speed, the greater the intensity).

Seated Top-Hold Dumbbell Presses –

·         Sit on bench and hold dumbbells at shoulder height with elbows out to the sides and palms facing forward.

·         Lift one dumbbell straight up and hold it.

·         Then, lift the other arm.

·         Once the second arm reaches the top position, lower the first arm.

·         Continue this alternating press with a brisk but controlled pace until all intended reps are complete.

Tip:Don’t lock out the elbow in the top position, as this transfers work to the triceps.

Shoulder Workouts for Men

If size and strength is what you would like to obtain from your shoulders, it's important to target each part of your deltoid muscles. That is: front, middle and rear, in order to reach your goals faster and prevent muscle imbalances. These key upper intense body exercises will hit all three areas. Add them into your workout plan and expect wonders. Phil Heath, here we come!


P90X Arms and Shoulders Workout

The P90X Shoulders workouts are probably the best ones you will ever find to turn into a bigger version of yourself. They are not only meant to sculpt the front, side and rear delts, but the moves are going to radically improve your fitness performance. So if muscle tone, mass and size (like in swimmers) is what you are looking for, you should definitely take some of these up!


This particular P90X arms and shoulders workout consists of 4 sets, each set being made up of 3 different exercises (you can also find them in a pdf format online).

Each of the four sets needs to be repeated twice, with the entire routine lasting for nearly an hour. In each set there is one shoulder exercise, one triceps’ exercise and one biceps’ exercise. All of the exercises can be completed with either resistance bands or dumbbells, excepting of the dips that require two chairs.You can also use a foam roller or a theraband girdle, if you prefer.


First set

The alternating Shoulder Press –

·         Hold two dumbbells at shoulder level with your palms facing outward (or just use a rubber band).

·         Lift one dumbbell at a time, ending with your palm facing inward once your arm is outstretched.

The In and Out Bicep Curl –

·         Begin by holding two dumbbells at waist level with your palms facing inward.

·         Curl the dumbbell up to your shoulder and twist the weight so that your palm is facing upward.

·         Lower the weight to the initial position to complete one repetition.

The two-arm Triceps Kickback –

·         Grip two weights out at arms length in front of you with your palms facing inward.

·         Extend both arms behind you and then bring them back to complete one rep.

·         Each exercise should be repeated 12 to 15 times.


Second Set

The deep Swim Press –

·         Start with the dumbbells at waist level.

·         Curl them up to your shoulders

·         Extend them as high as you can over your shoulders.

The Full Supination Curl –

·         Lift a dumbbell from waist-level to shoulder-level as slowly as you can.

·         Rotate your wrists during the exercise so that your palms face in at the bottom position and then up at the top position.

The Chair Dips –

·         Balance yourself on two chairs using your hands.

·         Lower yourself and then lift yourself up again.

·         As with the previous set, each exercise is to be completed for 12 to 15 repetitions.


Third Set

The Upright Rows –

·         Lift two dumbbells from your thighs to just below your chin.

The Static arm curls -

·         Regular curls in which you lift a dumbbell from your waist to your shoulder.


The flip-grip twist triceps kickback - similar to the two-arm tricep kickback, but you end up with your palms facing the sky so that you are twisting your arms throughout the exercise.

·         Every exercise is to be done for 12 to 15 repetitions.


Fourth Set

The two-angle Shoulder Flys –

·         Begin with two dumbbells at waist level.

·         With your arms extended, raise them up to your shoulders.

·         Lower them, leaning forward so that your lower rib cage touches your upper thigh and then repeat the exercise.


The crouching Cohen curls –a normal curl done from a crouching position with your elbow on the inside of your knee.

The lying-down Triceps Extension –

·         Lie on your back and bring up two dumbbells just above your head.

·         Extend your arms backwards so that the dumbbells nearly touch the floor.

·         Bring them back up to complete one rep.

·         Repeat all three exercises in the set 12 to 15 times.


Job’s Ultimate Shoulder Workout

Pitching is one of the most physically taxing positions in all of sports. The high velocity movements and full body repetitive motions required by the position, make it critical to get the right weight routine. Pitchers are the absolute champions of insane workouts. In other words, getting to do what they do is the ultimate performance.

Moreover, who’s got better shoulders than baseball players? Probably no one, I guess. They need to be in perfect shape, or else they’re out. The rotator cuff muscles stabilize the shoulders for a complete range of motion. Choosing the right rotator cuff exercises for baseball specific training is extremely important in order to increase performance and prevent injury. Baseball players must never underestimate the importance of building, maintaining, and protecting the shoulder. And one dedicated bodybuilder should make no exception. It’s both beginners and advanced we are targeting here. Include it among the good shoulder workouts formass and strength and you’ll become like a rock – in a good sense. This is definitely a bodybuilding killer.Best shoulder workout around! Scott Herman or better off, Greg Plitt himself would be proud of you. Remember not to start the workout without 10 minutes of stretching beforehand.


45 degree Raises - This exercise is for the shoulder, specifically the rotator cuff, giving resistance and strengthening the arm. Use 5-pound dumbbells for every rotator cuff exercise. Going over 5 pounds will cause larger muscles like the deltoids, to begin firing and this will deplete the effectiveness of a true rotator cuff workout.

·         Stand with arms at your side and point thumbs up.

·         Keep elbows straight and raise your arms to shoulder height at a 45 degree angle.

·         Lower the arms with a three second count.

·         It is more important to maintain the three second count on the way down then to raise the arms quickly.

·         Complete this exercise in 3 sets of ten with three second counts on the relaxing phase.

Lateral Plain/Shoulder Abduction –

·         Begin this exercise with arms by sides, palms down to the ground, and a 5 pound dumbbell in each hand.

·         With elbows straight, raise arms to shoulder height parallel to the ground.

·         Lower the arms slowly to the standing position with a three second count and repeat.

·         Keep good posture with a big chest.

·         Do not roll shoulders forward because it will cause improper shoulder alignment during the exercise.

·         Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 with three second counts on the relaxing phase.

·         For best use, leave a day of rest in between the entire workout.

External Rotation –

·         Lie down on the ground on the right side and place the right hand or a towel or opposite hand under the left armpit for shoulder support.

·         Do not let the left elbow sink into an unnatural arm position.

·         Place the left arm at a 90-degree angle while holding a 5 pound or less dumbbell.

·         Externally rotate the arm from the hand to the shoulder upwards and then bring the arm back down with a three second count.

·         Do not forget about the 3-second count.

·         After finishing one arm move on to the other side.

·         Complete this exercise 3 sets of 10 with three second counts on the relaxing phase.

·         For best use, leave a day of rest in between the entire workout.


The Crazy Shoulder Circuit

Military Press –

·         Sit on a bench with a barbell rest o your chest

·         Grab the barbell just wider than your shoulders

·         Push the barbell straight up, above your head

·         Slowly lower the barbell back to the top of chest

Behind the Neck Press -

·         The same as the military press, only now lower the barbell behind your neck.

Lateral Raises -

·         Stand with a dumbbell in each hand.

·         Raise your arms next to your body, until your arms are parallel to the floor.

·         Slowly lower your arms back down.

Front Raises –

·         Stand with a dumbbell in each hand.

·         Raise your arms up, in front of you.

·         Stop when your arms are parallel to the floor.

·         Slowly lower your arms back down, keep repeating in a rhythmic manner.

Standing row (with EZ-bar) -

·         Grab an EZ-bar.

·         Stand up straight.

·         Pull up the bar all the way up to your collar bone.

·         Keep your elbows pointed up.

·         Slowly lower the bar back down.

Back Fly -

·         Take a dumbbell in each hand.

·         Bent through your legs and hip, so keep your back straight.

·         Just like the lateral raise, raise your arms next to your body.

·         Stop when your arms are parallel to the floor.

·         Slowly lower the weight again.



Closing Argument: Dwight Howard’s Thursday Workout Routine

For the ones who are looking for a balanced upper body, here we will be talking about Howard’s Thursdays, because these are the days of the week when he trains his shoulders, our main interest for this post. This belongs more to the Tips and Suggestions Category, as we are not going to detail his routine very much. Nevertheless here’s a bird’s eye view regarding his shoulder exercise routine:


·         3 sets of wide-grip lat pull down of 10 reps

·         3 sets of Arnolds press of 10 reps

·         3 sets of pull-ups of 5 reps

·         3 sets of dumbbell front raise of 6-85 reps

·         3 sets of dumbbell rear lateral raise of 6-8 reps

·         3 sets of alternating dumbbell curls of 6-8 reps

·         3 sets of close-grip EZ-Bar curls of 8reps

·         3 sets of Abs plate twist of 12 reps

·         3 sets of weighted Swiss ball crunch of 20 reps


Remember that we have pictures and videos of every move you could possibly look for, so don’t hesitate to browse around for detailed explanations and depictions, anterior to the workout per se. In case of mild injury, switch to low-key exercises destined for pain relief (for a pinched or impinged shoulder, or for capsulitis) or for patients of arthritis to assist them with recovery; rehab centers usually have very good shoulder workouts destined to get you back the full shoulder functionality. In case of nerve damage or a torn tendon, you risk surgery, so make sure you always warm up properly before exercising: it’s a super-efficient prevention strategy for dislocations and it’s free too! After all, broad shoulders that look and feel strong aren’t invincible; they need some protection too.


Are you a great trainer?
Join hundreds of brilliant fitness trainers and build your brand - and make money - by creating your own interactive online fitness company on WorkoutBOX. It’s easy and FREE!
» Learn more
About Us  |  Trainers  |  Support  |  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy
© 2009-2014 WorkoutBOX.com