The Best Workout for Shoulders

Are you looking for a workout that targets your shoulders? Look no further! With this article, you will learn about the best exercises for strong, toned shoulders. Strengthen your shoulders, reduce injury risk and boost your confidence with this comprehensive guide.

Quick facts: Best Workout For Shoulders

  • ✅ Striking a balance between pushing and pulling exercises can help target the shoulder muscles better – American Council on Exercise (ACE)
  • ✅ The best exercises for shoulder development are overhead presses, lateral raises and upright rows –
  • ✅ A combination of compound and isolation exercises can be most beneficial for shoulder workouts –
  • ✅ Doing shoulder exercises 2-3 times a week is recommended for the best results – Mayo Clinic
  • ✅ Increasing the intensity of the shoulder workouts gradually over time is key to avoiding injury – Harvard Medical School


Before starting any shoulder exercise, it is important to do a warm-up to prepare the muscles and joints for the upcoming workout. A warm-up helps to increase your range of motion, improve muscle coordination and lubricate your joints to reduce the risk of injury.

Here are some of the best warm-up exercises for the shoulders:

  • Shoulder rolls
  • Arm circles
  • Shoulder shrugs
  • Upper body stretches
  • Arm swings

Dynamic stretching

Dynamic stretching involves controlled movements that flow through your body’s maximum range of motion. The goal of dynamic stretching is to improve the neuromuscular control of the muscles and connective tissue. It is also used to warm up the muscle fibers and tendons in preparation for activity or exercise.

This type of stretching is popular among athletes as a way to prepare their bodies for exercise, sports, or physical activity. Common dynamic stretches for shoulder include:

  • Arm circles
  • Shoulder shrugs
  • Torso twists
  • Arm swings
  • Upper back rotations

These exercises are important in helping you achieve better range of motion in your shoulders while providing vital feedback to your muscles and tendons so that you can use them more efficiently during the workout. Dynamic stretching may also help prevent injuries due to overexertion during workouts by encouraging better coordination and proprioception so that you move correctly when lifting weights or engaging in any other strenuous activities.

Foam rolling

Foam rolling is a form of self-massage used as a warm-up before working out that can help to improve range of motion and reduce soreness. When foam rolling for the shoulders, it helps to roll out and massage the muscles in the upper back, neck, and shoulders. This helps to release tension and increase mobility before exercising beyond what stretching can do alone. It also increases blood flow to the area, which enhances the body’s natural healing process.

Start off by sitting or lying on your back with a foam roller beneath your shoulder blades – be sure to move slowly in up and down motions. Once you reach all areas, use an isometric contraction – contracting all muscles around your shoulder blade for a few seconds – to activate them even more. This will help prepare your shoulders for a challenging workout!


Working out your shoulders is vital to having a balanced and toned physique. To achieve the best results, a combination of compound and isolation exercises should be used. Compound exercises such as variations of the press and lateral raises target several muscles at once. Isolation exercises like lateral and front raises target individual muscles.

Let’s explore some of the best exercises you can use to target your shoulders:

Shoulder press

The shoulder press is an effective exercise for building strong and healthy shoulders. This movement is commonly performed with a barbell, however it can be done with dumbbells or kettlebells to create more of an upper body workout.

When performing the shoulder press, start by sitting on a flat bench and grasping the weight in your hands. Push the weight up towards the ceiling, ensuring that your elbows are tucked in to your torso and move with control. As you bring the weight down, control its travel slightly below your chin so that you do not cause any discomfort or injury to yourself.

You should always ensure good technique throughout this movement and maintain proper form while pressing the barbell up or down to reach maximum results from this exercise.

Lateral raises

Lateral raises are considered a great exercise for targeting your shoulder muscles. This is an isolation exercise which focuses on the external rotators and lateral deltoids of the shoulder, both of which are important for strengthening your overall shoulder musculature.

To perform lateral raises, you can use either dumbbells or a cable machine. When using dumbbells, hold the weights in each hand at your sides and slowly raise them to shoulder level. Hold for a few seconds at this position then slowly lower them back down. For cable machines, stand between two pulleys and grab the handles with an overhand grip. Raise them to each side of your body then slowly lower back down.

Make sure that your arms remain straight but not locked throughout the entire movement – this will ensure that you’re properly engaging all the right muscles in your shoulders.

Bent-over lateral raises

Bent-over lateral raises are a great way to target your shoulder muscles. During the exercise, you will be required to hold a pair of dumbbells in your hands and keep your elbows slightly bent. Then, keeping your body in a bent over position, you will need to raise the dumbbells up and outwards towards either side of your body until they reach shoulder height. While performing this exercise, it’s important to keep control of the dumbbells and maintain good form throughout the whole movement.

Bent-over lateral raises can also be done with resistance bands instead of weights for variation. This is an excellent shoulder exercise that can be used as part of any workout for building strength and size in the upper body.

Front raises

Front raises are exercises often used to target the muscles of the shoulders. This exercise is performed by standing upright with a weight in each hand, or with a single weight in one hand. The arms are then raised forward and slightly outward, and then lowered back to the starting position. This motion can be done with or without weights depending on individual ability level.

Variations of this exercise may include standing bent at the waist and performing raises only to shoulder height, rather than up to eye level. Besides targeting the deltoids, front raises also engage core muscles, upper arms and other stabilizing muscles of the shoulders while improving posture.

Rear delt flyes

Rear delt flyes are an essential exercise for strengthening the shoulders. They target the rear deltoid muscle, which is important for supporting proper posture and providing stability to your shoulder joint.

To perform a rear delt flye, hold a pair of dumbbells at arm’s length with your palms facing each other and your elbows slightly bent. Raise your arms out to the sides until they are at shoulder level, then lower them back down. Keep the movement slow and controlled – don’t swing the weights! This exercise can also be performed on a cable machine or with resistance bands if you don’t have dumbbells at home.

Rear delt flyes are an effective way to tone and strengthen your shoulders for a well-rounded workout routine.


Cool-down exercises are a key part of any shoulder workout routine. After your workout session, it is important to cool down your shoulders and reduce muscle tension. Cool-down exercises help to stretch the muscles and relax the body, reduce stiffness and improve posture.

In this article, we will discuss the best way to properly cool down your shoulders after a workout:

Static stretching

Static stretching, also known as held stretching, is a type of stretching that involves holding a position for an extended period of time in order to increase flexibility. During static stretching, the target muscle group is stretched to its maximum point without bouncing and held for a minimum of 15 seconds.

Static stretches are commonly used in cool-down routines after exercise. They can help improve flexibility in the muscles and decrease any soreness caused by intense physical activity. Moreover, static stretching can help improve blood flow and circulation to the muscles which can further reduce soreness and promote recovery from physical activity.

Static stretches are also beneficial for overall health and balance as they can reduce joint injury risk by increasing flexibility of surrounding connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons.

Foam rolling

Foam rolling is a self-myofascial release technique used to target trigger points in your shoulders and back. By using the foam roller to target knots, or “trigger points”, when muscles are subjected to excessive tension and stress, you can help to restore flexibility and improve overall range of motion.

Other benefits of foam rolling include:

  • Improved circulation
  • Reduced risk of injury due to overuse or muscle strain
  • Decreased stress on joints and ligaments
  • Improved posture by realigning the spine and neck correctly
  • Increased joint flexibility

When performing a foam roll cool down for your shoulders make sure you roll out each shoulder for at least one minute including;

  • Front shoulder rolls (anterior deltoid)
  • Inner shoulder rolls (medial deltoid)
  • Outer shoulder rolls (posterior deltoid)
  • Trap rolls (trapezius)
  • Rotator cuff rolls (subscapularis)
  • Lats rolls (latissimus dorsi).

FAQs about: Best Workout For Shoulders

Q1: What is the best way to exercise my shoulders?

A1: The best way to exercise your shoulders is to perform exercises that target all three heads of the deltoid muscle. This includes presses, lateral raises, upright rows, and bent-over rows. It is important to include a variety of exercises and rep ranges to ensure you are getting a well-rounded shoulder workout.

Q2: What are the best shoulder exercises?

A2: The best shoulder exercises are overhead presses, lateral raises, upright rows, bent-over rows, and face pulls. To get a well-rounded shoulder workout, it is important to include a variety of exercises and rep ranges.

Q3: How often should I workout my shoulders?

A3: It is recommended to workout your shoulders two to three times a week. This will allow your muscles enough time to recover between workouts and prevent overtraining.

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