Home WorkoutsShoulder Workouts The 7 Best Shoulder Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength

The 7 Best Shoulder Exercises for Building Muscle and Strength

by Fit Wth Guru
shoulder exercises

You must do the right shoulder exercises if you are trying to build strong shoulders. You have to add the main activities to your shoulder routine. Strong shoulders improve your posture and play a significant role in your upper body.

There are so many shoulder exercises that it can be overwhelming to know which ones to give more priority to. That’s why we are here to discuss the list of the seven best shoulder exercises for building muscle and strength.

These exercises surround your shoulder muscles, as the front, side, and rear deltoids are the main joints in your shoulders. Whether beginner or advanced, these exercises will help you quickly increase your shoulder strength.

Shoulder Muscle Anatomy

The shoulder muscle consists of three front, lateral, and rear fibers. The explanations for these anatomies are as follows:

  • The front delts are in the front of your shoulder, and their primary function is to move your arm forward. It’s also called the anterior deltoids.
  • The side delts are outside your shoulders; their primary function is moving your arms out to the sides. It is also known as the lateral deltoids.
  • The rear delts are on the back of your shoulders, and their main work is moving your arms back. It’s called the posterior deltoids.

shoulder exercises

How Many Sets and Reps Should You Do for Each Shoulder Exercise?

You have to do at least 3 to 5 sets, and 10 to 15 reps are mandatory for your muscle breakdown, and it is essential to improve your muscle growth. It would help to do it with low and heavy weights, improving your shoulder strength.

Let’s get into the best shoulder exercises to achieve the milestone.

7 Best Shoulder Exercises

These top-shoulder workouts give you more strength and power in your upper body. You will surely get excellent results if you perform these exercises in your shoulder routine. The list of the best activities is as follows:

  1. Barbell Overhead Press
  2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
  3. Barbell Front Raise
  4. Dumbbell Lateral Raises
  5. Barbell Upright Row
  6. Reverse Dumbbell Flyes
  7. Face Pulls

1. The Barbell Overhead Press

It is the best shoulder exercise; you should perform it first in the shoulder routine. With a barbell, you could achieve the overhead press. It loads your front deltoids and works on your triceps and side delts as a secondary muscle. The barbell overhead press is the best choice if you want to do various shoulder exercises.

shoulder exercises

How to perform the barbell overhead press

  • Take a barbell in a stand at about chest height.
  • Nab the bar slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and the foot near it.
  • Breathe in, lightly brace your body, and unrack the bar.
  • Allow the bar to rest against your front delts while you stroll back from the rack and place your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Push the bar up to untangle your arms while breathing out.
  • Breathe in at the top or while lowering the bar with control back to your shoulders.

2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

It is the best exercise for the shoulder, and every bodybuilder adds this workout to their routines. It focuses on your front and side deltoids without worrying about balance because a seated bench can help your shoulder stability.

How to perform a seated dumbbell shoulder Press

  1. You sit down on a bench with a raised backrest.
  2. Grab a pair of dumbbells and lift them to the starting position at your shoulders.
  3. Breathe in and lightly brace your substance.
  4. Press the dumbbells up to straighten your arms while breathing out.
  5. Inhale at the top or while lowering the dumbbells with control back to your shoulders.

shoulder exercises

3. Barbell Front Raise

The barbell front raise also benefits the front deltoids. You can perform this exercise with a barbell, dumbbell, or weight plate. You should add this to your workout routine for more muscular shoulders.

How to perform the barbell front raise

  • Carry a barbell with straight arms in front of your body.
  • Also, in control, lift the barbell with straight arms until the bar is at shoulder height.
  • Reverse the movement and lower the bar with control.

4. Dumbbell Lateral Raises:

This exercise works for your lateral deltoids and is an excellent workout for your shoulder muscles. The main point is that you must do this with little weight and focus on the muscle contact. It will burn your muscles because it targets your side delts.

How to perform dumbbell lateral raises

  1. Keeping a pair of dumbbells in almost straight arms, hanging by your sides.
  2. With control, lift the dumbbells to your sides until your upper arms are horizontal.
  3. Drop the dumbbells with control.

5. Barbell Upright Row

The upright row could be executed with a barbell that works for your side deltoids. It’s good for shoulder muscle, but you must complete it with light weight. 

How to perform barbell upright row

  • Hold the bar with an overhand grip, slightly more limited than shoulder-width apart.
  • Pull the bar tight to your body and straight up until it is in front of your chin.
  • With control, lower the bar back to the starting position.

shoulder exercises

6. Reverse Dumbbell Flyes

It is the main variety for targeting the rear deltoids. It’s on the back of your shoulders, so it’s on the back, and its primary function is to move your arms back. It is like the angle bent over a row that targets your shoulders.

How to perform the reverse dumbbell fly

  1. Grasp two dumbbells, lean forward, and let your arms hang towards the ground.
  2. With almost straight arms, slowly lift the dumbbells by raising your arms to the sides.
  3. Switch the movement and reduce the dumbbells to the starting position.

7. Face Pulls

The face pull is a popular exercise for your posterior deltoids, and the key to performing this exercise is to start with a lightweight. It would be achieved with a cross-cable pulley with the help of rope and any other rod.

How to perform the face pulls

  • Bind a rope handle in a high position on a cable pulley. Grip the ropes with an overhand grip and take a step back.
  • With your elbows held high, pull the rope towards you by letting your upper arms move straight out towards your sides while at the same time rotating your forearms up.
  • Return with control to the starting position by letting your arms move forward again.

shoulder exercises

Shoulder Warmup

A warmup is necessary for every workout; you should do a warmup and start your exercises. Don’t be the person who walks into the gym, slaps a plate or two onto the barbell, and starts bench pressing.

Shoulder joints tend to be sensitive and prone to injury. It would be best if you took the time to warm it up with a few movements that rotate, raise, and abduct the shoulder. The shoulder exercises need to start with a warmup because it is best for preventing injuries.


Are shoulder exercises ideal for beginners?

Several shoulder exercises are appropriate for beginners. To prevent injury, start with small weights and concentrate on perfect form. As a beginner, you must begin with these workouts, including the shoulder overhead press, seated dumbbell press, and push press.

How frequently should I exercise my shoulders?

Exercise your shoulders twice to three times a week for optimal results, giving your muscles time to rest between sessions. It would help if you started with a warmup and stretching, and then you must apply these exercises to your shoulders.

Should I consult a fitness professional before starting shoulder exercises?

Before beginning a new exercise routine, you should speak with a fitness expert or physical therapist if you have a history of shoulder injuries or underlying medical concerns. It is a good approach for heavy-weight lifters and also for newbies.

Can I perform shoulder exercises alongside other upper-body activities?

A well-rounded and balanced fitness program typically incorporates shoulder exercises into other upper-body routines. But make sure you give yourself enough time for relaxation and recovery between sessions. It’s also suitable for performing other moves with shoulder workouts.

How can I prevent shoulder injuries while exercising?

Focus on maintaining appropriate form while exercising; start with lighter weights, gradually increase the intensity, and pay attention to your body to avoid shoulder problems. Stop doing the workout as soon as you get pain. Just perform these exercises with light weights.


Finally, including these seven shoulder exercises in your program can help you increase the strength and power in your upper body. You can get great results and develop well-defined shoulder muscles by completing these exercises regularly.

These workouts are best for your upper muscles. You must add them to your workout routines. Indeed, you will get excellent results on your shoulders and boost your stamina. It is the best way to strengthen your delts and shoulders at the gym.

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