DeltoidDumbbellsExercise for BothShoulders

10 Best Shoulder Workouts for Men & Women

best shoulder workouts for men and women

Exercise Details (Shoulder Workouts)

Body Part: Shoulders

Target Muscle:  Deltoid

Category: Exercise for Both


What is Deltoid! and Why we are discussing about it in the shoulders workouts? The Deltoid is a group of 3 main widest muscles at the top of the shoulder and narrows as it goes down to the arm. Contraction of the deltoid muscle generate a different range of movement of the arm and the shoulders levels. (Will discuss more about muscle components structure in the coming below section of this page)

In the Exercises will cover the best shoulder workouts for men and women. The Exercise you are going to review in this article are based on two factors. The first factor is EMG Tests while the second factor is ability to organize an exercise. The EMG Tests are used to identify the level of electrical activity in Deltoids. For example, a person can use 175 pounds of overhead barbell press for the exercise but we pick only 38 pounds using dumbbells for the lateral raises.

In most of the cases, using press is the most effective option even if the EMG is considered good for the lateral raises. No doubt, we mostly research the relative references when discussing anything but we also use the observations and judgments in order to recommend the exercises for the best shoulder workouts.

During the discussions, we will justify why each exercise included in the list and how it can change your shoulder workout at home routine.

Shoulder Anatomy

Structure of Shoulders (Deltoid)

The Deltoid muscle is a rounded, triangular muscle shape which located on the uppermost part of the arm and at the top of the shoulder. It is named after the Greek letter Delta.

Your shoulders are combined of 3 main muscles known as the Anterior Deltoid (front), the Lateral/Medial Deltoid (side), and the Posterior Deltoid (back).

  • Contraction of the Anterior fibers flexes and rotates the arms, which moves the arm anteriorly, as in reaching forward or throwing a ball underhand.
  • The Lateral fibers abduct the arm by pulling the humerus towards the acromion. Abduction of the arm results the arm moving away from the body, as in reaching out to the side.
  • whereas Contraction of the Posterior fibers extends and laterally rotates the arm by pulling the humerus toward the spine of the scapula.

Shoulder Structure


Benefits of this Workout

There are many benefits for shoulder workouts home, which target the upper-body Muscle. Below is list of major benefits:


  • Shoulders workout affects several body muscles that will aid you to achieve power in doing daily physical activities with ease. Added more strength in your back will provide you with boost to perform activities like pushing and lifting heavy items.
  • As you need to keep your back fully straight in this exercise, this will benefit you in maintaining proper posture for yourself in your entire life. People often have the issue of hutch back in their life. It can help you avoid this issue.
  • Blood circulation is one of the key benefits we experience in this exercise. The reps pump the blood to our brain and entire body.
  • This exercise doesn’t only cater to the shoulder strength requirements of bodybuilders, but also offers great value to other sportsmen and athletes like swimmers, tennis players, footballers, etc.


Safety Equipment

I would suggest that before this home shoulder workouts, you must examine yourself by rotating your arms on 360 degree angle. You may damage your muscles and tissues while performing this exercise as it involves a specific technique which is hard to do. If you feel pain in your shoulder or upper arms while performing it, stop right there and consult your doctor. Furthermore, as you are in a bending position in this exercise, try to use less weight as you might strain your back.

Before starting, it is highly recommended for you to wear back belts to protect Spine and lumbar from any possible injury during workouts.

Safety Lumbar equipment

Do You Need a Warm-Up?

We cannot ignore warm up for any exercise we perform. Warm up is the key as it circulates blood in that particular muscle of our body and pumps it. Warm up makes our workout easier and more effective. You can take dumbbells of less weight and perform 15 to 20 reps and overhead press with same reps. it’s better also to perform a stationary bike or running for 10-15 mints for overall body warm up.

For More Detailed check Shoulder Warm Up Exercises to stretch your muscle and avoid any possible injury before workout.


Performing Best Shoulder Workouts for Men & Women


Exercise # 01: Barbell Push Press

» (Equipment: Barbell Press)

» (Target: Main Delts, Triceps, and Upper pecs)

Shoulder Exercise 1 - Barbell Push Press

This workout allows the bodybuilders to pick more loads without disturbing the shoulder muscles. The main aim of this practice is to enable the muscles to adjust with the push press routine in various positions. The best exercise with barbell push press can be done while sitting.

How to Perform?

Step 1: Grape a barbell with suitable weights in both hands.

Step 2: Slowly raise the bar and place it to rest on your shoulders, your forearms will be bent and touches the biceps.

Step 3: Then bend the knees and hips slightly and press the barbell overhead, in order to develop a rhythm which explodes upward. return your knees straight directly. maintain this position for seconds.

Step 4: Return back to starting position by return barbell to rest on your shoulders. this is considered 1 reps.

Repeat workout for 4-6 times.

During Workout    

During this exercise, you will find involvement of upper pecs, triceps, core, delts. This practice is considered a powerful practice for the bodybuilders. It is not simple but technique enables the users to do it easily. Those who want to pick more loads should use more strength. This is the simple formula. On the other hand, this muscle building practice also initiates the hormone distribution in an equally manner which is good for the movement and bodybuilding.

Those who are doing this barbell exercise should take care. Select the number of reps carefully. is no need to do it again and again or after each workout session. Also, warm up completely before you choose this practice. The bodybuilders are not required to repeat this exercise in all the barbell shoulder exercises related. However, they can use it to increase muscle power and strength especially in the off season phase.

Exercise # 02: Military Press Overhead

» (Equipment: Barbell)

» (Target: Main Shoulders, Triceps)

Shoulder-Exercise 2 - Military Press Overhead

Another variation of this exercise also known as Standing Overhead Press.

The name come because this movement used to be the general indicator or test routine of one’s strength in the Military.

This exercise is usually done with barbell but dumbbell can also be used. This exercise is considered good as it uses the strength coming from the legs. This is good for isolation movement but most of the coaches don’t consider it a perfect isolation movement. In simple words, this exercise is called a Multi-joint Overhead Press. It is because of the zero involvement of exercising seat. However, it offers full momentum to produce extra strength just like its seated version.

How to Perform?

Step 1: Select suitable weights for the barbell.

Step 2: Start by placing a barbell rest on chest high. Grab the barbell using a reverse grip (palms facing forward). Insure to grip the bar wider than shoulder width apart.

Step 3: lift the bar up over your head by straighten your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.

Step 4: Lower slowly the bar down to rest on chest as you inhale (Back to Start position).

Bodybuilders can use both barbells and dumbbell shoulder exercises for this practice. According to studies, dumbbells are known to elicit more EMG activation. Remember, this activation mainly depends on the amount of load picked by a person.

Make sure to maintain the natural position of hips. Don’t tip the hips forward while keeping the butts back. If you do so then there will be a wreak havoc on the lumbar spine.

During the Workout

This exercise is called multi-joint overhead press. This is considered a great alternative of other types of presses present in the list. Be careful, you need to warm up before choosing this practice. It would be great to focus on the loads and strength being used in order to avoid any injury which may cause inability to complete the exercise.

Exercise # 03: Dumbbell Incline Row 

» (Equipment: Dumbbells , Bench)

» (Target: Posterior Deltoid, Middle Back)

Shoulder-Exercise-3 - Dumbbell Incline Row

We are including this exercise in the list as it is a kind of multi-joint rowing workout. Remember, the rowing movements are useful to support the back as well as the rear delts up to a significant level. The studies published by the University of Wisconsin (La Crosse) suggested that compared the level of EMG Activation in almost all the shoulder muscle workouts. These studies concluded that rowing movement is one of the best options to get more activation while trying to activate the middle delt.

It also supports various types of rowing movements during an exercise. Whether you use cable lateral raises, presses or barbell upright rows, there will be enough support by this exercise. It is also essential to determine the true rear-delt movements as most of the available exercises don’t offer this movement.

The rowing movement is good to add in the list of shoulder workout at home muscle exercises as it has potential to bring both heads closer to the perfection level. As most of the studies ignored the traditional row movement exercises, it is necessary to do it with perfection. It is hard to say which one is excellent as almost all the exercises claim to offer support but most of them were not studied by researchers. Try the wide grip on machine workout in order to do the mimic according to the instructions.

How to Perform?

Step 1: Lean on the incline bench machine.

Step 2: Grip a Dumbbell on each hand, start with your arms and torso in straight position (starting position)

Step 3: Now slowly raise and bent your arms to row the dumbbells to your sides until the elbows align to your back level.

Step 4: Hold this position for a while, and then return to the starting position.

During the Workout

If you are trying to complete the shoulder and back exercise at the same time, then it is suggested use a modern practice recommended by the experts. Try first to complete the overhead Dumbbell press if you are interested to start shoulder exercises. This technique works better than a single joint movement.

Exercise # 04: Seated Dumbbell Press Overhead

» (Equipment: Dumbbells )

» (Target: Main Muscle Shoulders, Lateral Deltoid)

Shoulder-Exercise 4 - Seated Dumbbell Press Overhead

This shoulder exercises dumbbells works independently on each side. However, this movement is difficult as it requires more energy and attention. It is necessary to use a muscle stabilizing technique which is recommended by experts. On the other hand, don’t let the dumbbells touch while lifting the weight and pressing them.

Switching to seated position is good as it removes the extra load on the lower body. Now your upper arms will go straight up while the side will be in motion. This practice heavily depends on the middle delts. This is why the anterior delts must be kept away from the extra loads. This can be done by keeping the barbells in front of the head.


How to Perform?

Step 1: Sit on bench or chair, keep the back straight.

Step 2: Hold a dumbbell in each hand at the shoulders levels with an overhand grip. elbows bent and arms align up to your back level.

Step 3: Raise the weights up above the head while exhaling. Hold this position at the top for a while.

Step 4: Return the dumbbells to the shoulders level while inhaling. (Back to Starting position)

Step 5: Repeat for 8 – 10 times .

Important Note

You are expected to receive a challenging situation on the seated version as it is totally different than standing version. However, this version provides extended support to the base of body. Those who are trying to go heavy should use the support of back installed on the exercise seat. Ask a friend to monitor the movement of arms and weights in the initial phase of exercise. This will help to avoid muscular injury as well as failure.

Exercise # 05: Seated Barbell Press Overhead

» (Equipment: Barbells and Bench)

» (Target: Anterior Deltoid, Triceps )

Shoulder-Exercise - 5 - Seated Barbell Press Overhead

In the barbell shoulder exercises, it is generally believed that sitting makes the exercise difficult. It is true but it also provides a strong base support to lift or push the loads. A barbell is considered good to use the improved level of muscular system rather than the dumbbells.

How to Perform workout?

Step 1:  Sit on bench or chair, keep your back straight. Set your feet flat on the floor.

Step 2: Grip (overhand) barbell that is a little wider than shoulder width and place it on the very upper part of your chest (starting position).

Step 3: Raise the barbell by fully Extend the arms up for 1-2 seconds as you breathe out.

Step 4: Lower the bar to rest on chest as you breathe in, so the palms are level with your shoulders (back to starting position).

During the Workout

While moving the barbells down in the front, you will see how the upper arms feel difficult to go outside on the both sides. This is an indication that your Anterior Delts have got the load and they are trying to manage it.

This is a true muscle activation mechanism and it shows the great level of delt activation using a barbell. The barbells are more effective in this matter than dumbbells. In order to activate the middle delts, you can bring the barbells behind the head. However, we are not in favor of this practice as it may cause pain in future.

focus on the challenging weights for more momentum. Always take support of the seat back for the heavy loads.

Exercise # 06: Reverse Dumbbell Fly

» (Equipment: Dumbbells )

» (Target: Posterior Deltoid, Back Muscles)

Shoulder Exercise 6 - Reverse Fly with Dumbbells

How to Perform workout?

Step 1: Start with a standing position with your hips slightly distant apart. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with your knees a little bent.

Step 2: Keep your back straight, Lean your torso forward a little for 45 degree angle.

Step 3: Let your shoulders hang down the weights, with your palm facing each other and elbows slightly bent.

Step 4: Raise those weights a side to your shoulder height with gentle pace.

Step 5: Make sure that this raise is done by your shoulder muscles instead of your arms lifting those weights.

Step 6: Bring the weights down to the starting position and repeat.

During Workout

The key in this exercise is to make sure that all the force and pump is provided to shoulder and back muscles instead of your arms. People often perform this exercise with wrong angle which results in no output.

Exercise # 07: Arnold Shoulder Workout Press

» (Equipment: Dumbbells )

» (Target: Main Shoulders)

Shoulder-Exercise 7 - Arnold Shoulder Workout Press

The workout Arnold Press is truly invented by the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger. He finds that it’s an effective shoulder exercise.

How to Perform Arnold Shoulder Workout Press?

Step 1: Grip dumbbells on each hand and place them in front of your shoulders, palms facing your chest and the elbows align to your wrists. (start position)

Step 2: Start by taking elbows out side direction to be align to your chest. palms on the heads level.

Step 3: Raise your elbows outward while pressing the dumbbells over your head until your arms are extend straight.

Step 4: Then down dumbbells at the same start position.

Important Note

Attention and care are always needed to do the Arnold press. The basic overhead press is good at the start. The Arnold press comes second after the overhead press. Increase the number of reps in the Arnold press if you have used heavier overhead press. A set of 10 to 12 reps is enough for you.

Exercise # 08: Machine Rear Delt Exercises

» (Equipment: Rear Delt Machine)

» (Target: Shoulder (Posterior Dealt ))

Shoulder-Exercise 8 - Machine Rear Delt Exercises

The single joint movements use three types of arc movements. We are going to use this exercise before the movements as these are good for the front and middle heads. These rear exercises will definitely help to lift more weight. In order to maintain the rotator cuff and body posture, it is necessary to use the strength and rear Delt size maintenance.

This exercise requires more control, the machine will support this during workout.

How to Perform Machine Rear Delt Exercises?

Step 1: Select a suitable weight and adjust the seat machine height so the handles are at shoulders level, and they are fully to the rear.

Step 2: Grasp the handles with your hands facing inwards (starting position).

Step 3: Pull your hands out to your side and back. keep arms slightly bent and pause for a while.

Step 4: Then slowly return the weight, handles on front of chest (Back to Starting position).

There is a need to complete the basic exercises before using the machine. You will feel better if you warm up before the machine. Consider this routine in order to stay away from quick exhaustion.

Exercise # 09: Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises

» (Equipment: Dumbbells)

» (Target: Lateral Delt Shoulder)

Shoulder-Exercise 9 - Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises

This is an excellent single joint movement shoulder workouts for women for the improvement of middle (Lateral) delts. In start, you may face trouble while using the elbows. Beginners usually find it challenging. Usually, the bodybuilders prefer to take rest during this exercise. Remember, it is better to continue by using your strength as you have to maintain the arms at 90 degrees on both sides from your torso. Don’t hesitate to change the dumbbells (lower the weight) if you face a muscle failure.

How to Perform workout?

Step 1: Pick a pair of dumbbells on both hands and stand with a straight torso, the dumbbells by your side at arms length, the palms of the hand facing your torso (starting position).

Step 2: While your breathe out, Start raise the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if you pouring glass of water. Your arms should reach to be parallel of the floor. Pause for a while when arms at the top.

Step 3: Now Slowly Lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position as you breathe in.

Most of the movements in this exercise are known to deliver greater level of stimulation to the middle delts. If you believe that rear delts don’t need further workouts then do this practice in start.

Exercise # 10: Alternate Front Dumbbell Raise

» (Equipment: Dumbbells)

» (Target: Anterior Delt Shoulder)

Shoulder-Exercise 10 - Alternate Front Dumbbell Raise

Lifting the arms directly in front focuses on the anterior heads of the deltoids. We have considered this practice in the last as most of the bodybuilders feel trouble in this activity. Those who do exercises for the chest and shoulder training also make efforts to use the backside muscles. This shows that front dumbbell raise can be used in the last.

How to Perform workout?

Step 1: Pick a pair of dumbbells on both hands and stand with a straight torso, the dumbbells on front of your thighs at arms length, palms facing your thighs (starting position).

Step 2: Raise the left dumbbell to the front and the palms of the hands facing floor. until your arm is parallel to the floor. Exhale during this step.

Step 3: pause for a seconds at the top. Inhale after the second ends.

Step 4: Now lower slowly down the dumbbells back to the starting position.

Step 5: Alternating with right hands same routine.

Step 6: Each time switch between both hands.


Challenge enough to Boost your Body to Next Strength level!

There’s (lots) more! In the next article, you’ll tackle different Muscles workouts.

You will be pleased by see more results by Time.


6 thoughts on “10 Best Shoulder Workouts for Men & Women

    1. I’m extremely happy you like it. Actually it took very long time from me and efforts to post a useful info which contains every thing related possible for every workout muscle in this website, so every body can easily learn from the steps.

  1. This has to be one of the best workout sites I’ve seen. The only time I have seen images of muscles to be exercised is when I have been to the pain management clinic as I have a serious back injury. I’ve been a few exercises with light weights to strengthen my core for recovery post surgery and only then started to learn about how you can engage specific muscles and isolate them with just subtle changes to the exercise. I am so glad you kept the thorough detail with instructions, including the warm up, description of the exercise and images of each stage. I also really like the navigation between exercises. Thankyou, I will be coming back to this site to learn some more. I’m hoping I may be able to do some of the chest exercises lying down so I can do them without putting any strain on my lumbar area.

    1. Im exited Luigi that you like it. Actually it took from me huge time for weeks to pick and display the site in best navigation possible with rich information to the reader.
      Also i wish for you to recover soon of your injury, im sure by time you will get your health back, but you need to keep continue workout with light weight exercises.
      all best luck to you.

  2. What a nice post you wrote! I really enjoyed reading it and I could not be silent about your post so I decided to leave my comment here and say Thank You! For sharing this quality post with others.
    Actually this is exactly the information that I was looking for information about the shoulder workouts and when I landed on your website and read this post, it answered all my questions in details.
    So I’m happy that you decided to write about this topic and share it with people. It’s very useful and can definitely be used as a great source for everyone who is interested in this topic.
    I will come back to your website again for sure and I’m looking forward to reading your new posts.)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *