Check out the best shoulder exercises mass to do both at home and at the gym and learn why exercising this part of the body is essential.
The shoulders are made up of muscles such as the deltoid (divided into three parts: the anterior (which is in the front), the lateral and posterior (which is in the back) and the rotator cuff, which comprises four muscles that form a layer protection around the shoulder joint.
The deltoid is responsible for movements such as lifting the arm forward, sideways and backwards.
The rotator cuff muscles are important for the stability and strength of the shoulders, in addition to lifting the arm up and out, turning the arm outward, and internal rotation of the arm, a movement we perform when crossing the arms.
In addition to helping with strengthening, shoulder exercises can contribute to definition and hypertrophy or muscle building, which are goals of some physical activity practitioners.
Check out the list below for some of the best shoulder exercises to do at home and gym. Activities are not organized in order of preference or efficiency.
Ten Best Shoulder Exercises Mass
1. Dumbbell Shoulder Development
This exercise works the anterior deltoid and the lateral deltoid, as well as targeting other muscles like the triceps, trapezius, and upper pecs.
How to make:
- Start by sitting on a bench with your back straight, hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height and with your elbows bent, as in the image above;
- Then bring the dumbbells up vertically until you stretch your arms;
- Then bring the dumbbells down until they touch your shoulders.
The way you hold the dumbbells changes the way your muscles are worked. If the palms are facing inward, the movement works the anterior deltoid more.
The grip with the palms facing out, makes the effort made by the anterior deltoid during the exercise greater.
2. Shoulder Development With Barbell
Rated as one of the best shoulder exercises, the shoulder press performed with the bar primarily works the anterior delts, but also targets the lateral and upper delts. It allows the use of high loads while carrying little risk of injury.
How to make:
- First, sit on a straight bench with a slight incline, keep your spine straight and lean your upper back against the back of the bench;
- Then take the bar with your hands at a distance equivalent to the width of your shoulders, your palms should be facing forward;
- Then, raise the load to neck height, keeping your elbows bent at your sides. The forearms must be in the vertical position and the scapulae locked back;
- Then, push the bar up with the strength of your shoulder muscles, extending your elbows until the bar is stabilized above your head;
- Finally, lower the bar, bending your elbows to return to the starting position;
- Remember that a grip wider than shoulder width increases the risk of injury, in addition to reducing the participation of the triceps in performing the exercise.
To maintain tension in the deltoid, the recommendation is to finish the shoulder press just before the arms are fully extended, thus doing a slightly shorter rep.
3. Arnold Shoulder Development
Created by movie and bodybuilding star Arnold Schwarzenegger, this exercise is a dumbbell version of the shoulder press. It is indicated for those who have difficulty developing the anterior deltoid.
The exercise requires a wide range of motion using three different hand positions, and works the front of the shoulders.
How to make:
- First, sit on a bench with a backrest and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing you. Keep your spine straight and your back well supported;
- Then, with the scapulae locked back, bend the elbows and bring the weights towards the chest, with the forearms in the vertical position;
- Then use the strength of your shoulder muscles to push the weights up while rotating your palms forward;
- Then, when you reach the top of the movement, your elbows should be extended, with the dumbbells next to each other and positioned above your head, with your palms facing outward;
- Then, take a short break at the top of the exercise and lower the weights in a controlled manner, with the reverse motion of the ascent.
4. Lateral Shoulder Raises With Dumbbells
The dumbbell raise is considered one of the best shoulder exercises to work your sides. The main muscle involved is the lateral deltoid, but the exercise still secondarily engages the anterior deltoid and posterior deltoid.
How to make:
- To start, stand up straight and place your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing you. Don’t forget to keep your spine straight and your shoulder blades tucked back;
- Then place the weights close together, at thigh height and leave your elbows slightly bent;
- Then, raise the dumbbells laterally, doing the movement of abduction of the shoulders (where the arms are raised out and to the side), until the arms are parallel to the floor. The effort of the movement must be concentrated in the lateral part of the deltoids, in the shoulder joint, therefore, the elbows must remain immobile;
- Then, contract the muscles well and slowly lower the dumbbells and return to the original position.
During the exercise the trunk should not be moved.
5. Inverted Crucifix With Dumbbells
This exercise is rated as the simplest and most efficient to target the back of the deltoid, which is the weakest and smallest among the three regions of the muscle, but it should not be neglected, as if it is not worked there will be an imbalance. between the shoulder muscles.
How to make:
- To start, lean your body forward, bend your knees slightly, keep your torso parallel to the floor and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms pointing inward;
- Then, bring your scapulae and shoulders together, bring the dumbbells up, with your elbows almost fully extended;
- Then lower the dumbbells, without allowing them to touch, as letting the weights touch makes the movement easier;
- During the exercise, it is important to contract the spine correctly, without bending the lumbar, so as not to run the risk of injury;
- Another mistake that should not be made is to move the trunk together with the arms, as it needs to be stabilized, and only the shoulders should move. In addition, in order not to reduce the work of the muscles, do not leave your elbows too flexed.
6. Hindu Inflection
This exercise is simple and doesn’t require the use of machines and dumbbells, and it works the triceps and chest together.
How to make:
- First, get into a push-up position, and push your hands into the floor, bring the weight back so that your hips are lifted and point towards the ceiling. The back should be straight and the head behind the line of the hands;
- Then, lower the body in an arc motion, with the chest in a declining position, almost scraping the floor;
- Then, keep moving forward and push your body up so that your torso is vertical and your legs are straight, almost touching the ground.
7. Standing High Row With Dumbbells
This exercise is a good option for anyone looking to work their shoulders and biceps. Although it requires strength, it can be done by beginners.
How to make:
- Start by standing and hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward, and keeping your hands slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Keep your arms extended by your sides and your elbows slightly bent. At the beginning of the position, the dumbbells are supported on the thighs;
- Then lift the dumbbells with the sides of the shoulders, bending the elbows and exhale the air during the movement;
- Remember that the weights must be close to the body and the elbows must guide the movement. While lifting the dumbbells, your elbows should always be at a height above your forearms;
- The movement ends when the dumbbells almost touch the chin. Afterwards, stop for a second in this position and then slowly return to the starting position.
The next shoulder exercises should be done on equipment that you will probably only find in gyms.
8. High Rowing On The Cable
The high cable row is an intermediate-level shoulder exercise that also works the trapeze. It is a compound movement, which focuses on strength.
How to make:
- To begin, hold a straight cable bar attached to a low pulley, with your palms facing your thighs. The distance between your hands should be slightly less than shoulder width apart. The bar must be supported on the thighs and the arms must be extended, with the elbows slightly bent and the back straight;
- Then, use your shoulders to lift the bar while exhaling and bringing it almost to your chin;
- Then, pause the movement for a second and then slowly lower the bar to its original location, while inhaling the air;
- During the movement, the bar must be kept close to the body and the elbows must be higher than the forearms. The trunk must remain still.
9. High Rowing On The Smith
This exercise needs to be done on the Smith machine. It works the shoulders, trapezius, mid-back and biceps.
Before starting the movement, it is necessary to carefully define the load to be used, as a very high weight can impair the execution of the exercise, in addition to causing injuries.
How to make:
- To begin, adjust the Smith bar to a height that is locked approximately mid-thigh;
- Then, grab the bar with your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Then, lift the bar, extending your arms fully, keeping your back straight and slightly bending your elbows, which should be above the height of your forearms;
- Then use your shoulders to lift the bar as you exhale. The bar should be raised until it almost touches the chin. Once in this position, stand still for a second and then return to the starting position.
If you want to put a lot of weight on the device, it is recommended to use wristbands. However, do not overdo the weight and use a load that is proportional to your strength.
10. Inverted Flyer On The Machine
This strength exercise works the shoulders in isolation and can be done by beginners.
How to make:
- Before starting, adjust the handles of the machine and choose an appropriate weight (ask your instructor for help and don’t choose a load that is too heavy for you). Then adjust the bench so that the straps are at shoulder height;
- Then, grab the handles of the device with your palms facing inwards and in a semicircular motion pull them in a lateral and backward direction, contracting the posterior deltoid. The arms should remain slightly bent during the exercise and all movement should occur at the shoulder joint;
- Then pause the movement on the back for a few moments, and then slowly return to the original position.
Before you start doing shoulder exercises, or any other type of physical activity, consult a doctor to make sure you can do it. This helps prevent future health problems and injuries.
If you can, also have the follow-up of a personal trainer, either at the gym or at home, as he is the most suitable professional to set up your training, you the techniques of the exercises and help you in case there is a problem. To see more post on Fitness click here.
What Are Your Favorite Shoulder Exercises? What Do You Usually Do, Whether At The Gym Or At Home, To Develop These Muscles? Comment Below!