The Best Workout for Shoulders Without Weights

Do you want strong, sculpted shoulders without weights? You’re in luck! This article outlines the best exercises to build shoulder strength and tone without using weights. Get ready to take your upper body workouts to the next level!

Quick facts: Best Workout For Shoulders Without Weights

  • ✅ Invest in Resistance Bands: Research has shown that exercise bands provide a good alternative to free weights for shoulder exercises (WebMD).
  • ✅ Exercises such as press-ups, planks and wall sits target the shoulder muscles and can be done without any equipment (Mayo Clinic).
  • ✅ Yoga-based shoulder exercises can target the shoulder muscles and help to increase strength, stability and flexibility (Harvard Health Publishing).
  • ✅ Pilates is a great way to improve shoulder strength and stability without the use of weights (American Council on Exercise).
  • ✅ Core strengthening exercises can help to improve shoulder stability and strength without the use of weights (American Physical Therapy Association).

Warm Up

Warming up is an essential part of any successful workout. It helps to prepare your muscles and joints for the upcoming exercise and prevents injury.

Before beginning any shoulder workout without weights, it is important to properly warm up. Doing so will help to ensure that you get the most out of your workout, while also helping you to avoid any unpleasant injuries or soreness.

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching is an effective way to warm up the muscles, joints and tendons for a workout – particularly when it comes to workouts that involve the shoulders. Dynamic stretching involves moving your body through a full range of motion in order to increase blood flow and stretch the muscles in an active way. This type of stretching is ideal for warming up before working out, as it helps prepare the body for more intense activity by readying the joints and muscles.

Examples of dynamic stretches that target the shoulders include:

  • Arm circles
  • Shoulder rolls
  • Trunk rotations
  • Bent over arm reaches

It’s important to take things slow while doing these movements—moving quickly can result in injury. Additionally, dynamic stretching should only be done after going through some basic breathing exercises or “activation drills” which will help prepare your body for exercise.

Foam rolling

Foam rolling is a type of self-myofascial release (SMR) that is used for both injury prevention and injury recovery. It involves using a foam roller to massage and stretch the muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and surrounding tissues. It helps to relax the body, increase blood circulation to the area, reduce tension in the muscles, and release stored toxins.

Foam rolling can be used on all areas of the body including neck, shoulders and back. It’s beneficial for those who have limited access to weights or don’t have access to any equipment at all. It’s an efficient way to warm up before workout activities as it helps enhance range of motion as well as reducing soreness after exercise. Furthermore, foam rollers are portable and can be taken anywhere making them a great workout accessory when traveling or working out outdoors.

Shoulder Exercises

Shoulder exercises are an important part of any complete workout routine. Not only do strong shoulders provide the foundation for other upper body exercises but they can also increase your range of motion, mobility and balance. Even better, there are plenty of shoulder exercises that don’t require weights or gym equipment.

Let’s take a look at some of the best shoulder exercises to do without weights:

Wall slides

Wall slides are a great, no-weight exercise for the shoulders. They involve standing with one’s back against a wall and slowly sliding up and down, as if doing a wall sit, with the arms extended out in front of the body in line with the chest. The activity should not be done too quickly or aggressively; rather, focus on small, slow movements to promote shoulder flexibility.

To increase difficulty, one can transition to wall slides with weights once comfortable with the basic technique and add additional weight in increments as strength increases.

Wall slides are an effective way to strengthen and tone shoulder muscles without the use of heavy weights or complicated machines. They can be done anywhere and are especially convenient for those who do not have access to free weights or gym equipment. Wall slides can also help improve posture by strengthening core muscles that support posture.


Push-ups are a great way to build shoulder strength and resilience without the need for weights. Push-ups work your chest, triceps, and shoulders in one go, making them an excellent compound exercise for building the upper body.

For best results, start by getting into a standard plank position—hips kept in line with the rest of your body and core engaged—before lowering your body to the ground as close as you can to the ground while still keeping your elbows close to your body. As you raise yourself back up, make sure that there is tension throughout your entire upper body and actively squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top.

Plank holds

Plank holds are a great way to strengthen your shoulders without the use of weights and increase your core stability. To perform a plank hold, start in the high plank position, with your arms extended and your palms placed firmly on the floor. Hold this position for at least 30 seconds, then release. For additional challenge, hold the plank position slightly higher on your toes instead of keeping them flat on the floor. This will make it harder to maintain balance and activate more muscles while still targeting your shoulders.

Plank holds are an excellent exercise for building strength in your upper back muscles, which helps support proper posture and reduces fatigue in daily activities like carrying heavy items or working at a desk. Additionally, strengthening these muscles can even help prevent injuries from activities that require overhead motions like throwing or weightlifting.

Resistance band exercises

Resistance band exercises are an effective and inexpensive way to get a full body workout, and they can be especially beneficial for targeting the shoulders. Resistance bands come in a variety of strengths depending on the exercise and level of resistance being targeted. For shoulders, using lighter bands can help increase flexibility, whereas heavier bands will offer more resistance for a great strength-building workout.

Some popular exercises that use resistance bands to target the shoulders include:

  • Shrugs
  • Lateral raises
  • Bent-over raises
  • Front raises
  • External rotation

All these exercises should be performed with an appropriate amount of tension on the band to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefit from your workout. Additionally, when performing any of these exercises make sure to keep proper form and focus on good breathing in order to activate your core muscles and maximize results.

Cool Down

Cooling down is an important part of any physical workout, especially for your shoulders. It helps to circulate blood, allowing for maximum muscle recovery and reducing the chance of injury. A cool down routine also helps to reduce muscle tension and relax the body.

Let’s look at some of the best stretches for cooling down after a shoulder workout:

Static stretching

Static stretching is a type of stretching that involves holding a pose for an extended period of time, typically between 15-30 seconds. It is commonly used to prepare for physical activity and as a cooldown to reduce muscle fatigue post-workout. This type of stretching activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps relax the body after exercise.

Static stretching targets the specific muscles involved in a physical activity and increases flexibility by lengthening them over time. For shoulder workouts without weights, static stretching can be very beneficial, especially if you are looking to reduce the risk of injury and increase mobility in your joints. Additionally, static stretching helps:

  • Increase relaxation
  • Improve circulation

leading to improved performance and faster muscle recovery.

Foam rolling

Foam rolling is an effective way to cool down after a shoulder workout, as it helps reduce soreness and improve range of motion. Foam rolling is a type of self-myofascial release that utilizes the pressure created by a foam roller to massage and stretch out the muscles, tendons, and soft tissue in the body. This can help reduce tightness, relieve pain, and increase flexibility.

For shoulder workouts without weights, foam rolling can help relax the shoulders and release any tension that may have built up during your workout. By applying consistent pressure to the shoulders in circular motions with a foam roller you can break up adhesions in tissues that are preventing proper blood flow and promote healing of damaged tissues.

Tips for Success

Working out your shoulders without weights can be a great way to add some variety to your routine while still seeing results in strength and size. To ensure success, it is important to create a plan and stay consistent. In this article, we will discuss the best workouts for shoulders without weights and a few tips to help you stay motivated.

Proper form

When exercising without weights, proper form and technique is incredibly important. This is especially true when it comes to exercises for your shoulders. The shoulder joint is one of the most complex joints in the body, and therefore requires more attention to detail in terms of form. Failing to pay attention to shoulder form can cause injury as you complete exercises like press-ups, planks and pull-ups.

Therefore, it’s important to focus on keeping your back neutral, chest and chin up, core engaged and elbows kept close when performing these exercises. This will ensure that your shoulders are properly supported while you build up strength. Additionally, make sure you are paying attention to any discomfort or pain while exercising and adjust your form accordingly.


Consistency is key when it comes to any workout routine. To get the best results, it’s important to stay consistent with your shoulder workouts by doing them on a regular basis. This can mean anything from a few days per week to daily if you’re feeling up to it!

Additionally, consistency doesn’t just mean how often you work out; it means sticking to a specific routine each time. Doing too much of one exercise or too little of another won’t help you reach your goals. Instead, create a routine and stick with it – even if it takes months or even years!

Rest between sets

When working our shoulders, it’s important to allow adequate rest between sets. Rest periods should be twice to three times as long as the set itself, or 30–90 seconds depending on the intensity of your workout. This allows your muscles time to recover in order to reach their full potential in the following set. A good rule of thumb is to rest until your breathing returns to normal.

When lifting weights, you should also plan for an adequate amount of rest between workouts for a particular muscle group. For general fitness purposes, 72 hours is recommended for larger muscle groups like chest, back and legs; but 48 hours may be necessary for smaller muscle groups like the shoulders, triceps and biceps. This allows ample time for recovery, growth and repair of the muscles after exercise.

FAQs about: Best Workout For Shoulders Without Weights

Q1: What are some good shoulder exercises without weights?

A1: Some good shoulder exercises without weights include wall angels, shoulder shrugs, arm circles, and resistance band lateral raises.

Q2: How often should I do shoulder exercises without weights?

A2: To gain the best results from shoulder exercises without weights, aim to do the exercises 3-4 times a week.

Q3: What are the benefits of doing shoulder exercises without weights?

A3: Shoulder exercises without weights help to improve posture, flexibility and overall strength.

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