Top 15 shoulder exercises

Many people like to have well defined bodies and the shoulders play a very important role. However, it is necessary to do a routine with the best shoulder exercises, among which we can mention rear delts, Arnold press, shoulder curls, lateral raises, face pull and many more.

1. Shoulder push-ups

If you want to perform shoulder exercises at home, this could be the one. It consists of placing your hands on the ground at shoulder height and keeping your hips above your body. In the same way, you should place your head between your arms, looking towards your feet and keeping your back straight. Also, flex your arms bringing your head as close to the ground as possible and return to the position you originally did.

2. Lateral Raises

This exercise should not be missing from a shoulder routine. First, you must stand up straight, with your feet parallel. Then, take the tensor (fitness elastic band) with one of your hands, the rest of it you must keep on it with both feet.

Next, in the same position, you should keep your arm arched, but just a little so that your elbow does not suffer, then bring it up to shoulder height. Do a few reps on both arms.

3. Rear Delts or Birds for Shoulder

Without a doubt, this is one of the most important movements for the posterior deltoid muscles, since it will help you maintain a better posture.

The first thing you should do is stand up and grab some dumbbells with your palms facing you. Also, you should lean forward, bending your hips and, of course, keeping your back arched.

4. Military press

This shoulder exercise can be done both standing with a barbell or sitting, the latter mode using dumbbells. In this case, if you want to do it sitting down, make sure you support your back on the backrest, keep your feet flat on the ground and your abs tight.

Next, grab the dumbbells so they are slightly in front of your shoulders, placing your palms facing each other. Next, keep in mind that your hands should be both separated and aligned at a distance much greater than your shoulders.


It is a power exercise, which you can do with a barbell or dumbbells. This is similar to the military press, because both its starting and ending positions are done in the same way. However, the dumbbell shoulder press has a difference and that is that you must push yourself with the help of the hips and legs.

6. Seated face pull

This is one of the posterior shoulder exercises that will help you prevent injury to the joints involved. The way to do it is the same as its original version, the only difference is that you will do it sitting on a bench that you can adjust freely.

Position the bench in front of the pulley, sit on it and pull the rope with both hands, bringing the band in front of your face on each rep.

7. Iron Cross

It’s one of the best dumbbell shoulder exercises and it gives you an isometric stimulus. To do it, you must place your arms extended and raised, in the same way as in the aforementioned lateral elevation exercise, but it differs from this because the grip of the dumbbells is neutral, that is, the thumbs are up and the palms are in front..

8. Front raises

This is one of the most common shoulder exercises in gyms as it helps to develop various muscles. To carry it out, it is advisable to do it in front of a mirror, in this way you will realize if you are carrying out an adequate rhythm and correct movements. 

9. Shrugs

If you want to further define your shoulder muscles, you need to do this exercise.

In this dumbbell shoulder workout, you should stand with your legs slightly apart. Take dumbbells in both hands and put your arms next to your body. Next, shrug your shoulders up.

10. Behind the neck with bar in Multipower machine

This is another exercise that should not be missing from a shoulder routine. You sit on the bench with the back of the Multipower and grab the bar with both hands. Then, you start raising it and lowering it. Every time you lower the bar, it should be just behind your neck, hence the name of this exercise.

11.Arnold Press

This is another of the best-known shoulder exercises, because the famous actor Arnold Schwarzenegger practiced it. You must do it with dumbbells, either standing or sitting.

If you’re doing it sitting on a bench, you should start with the dumbbells as in the military press position, with your palms facing forward and your chest out.

12. Row to the chin

The chin-up row is suitable for the lateral part of your deltoids, toning your muscles and increasing muscle mass. To do this, you must stand up and grab the bar with both hands. Then, you raise the bar to chest height, avoiding that the elbows reach higher than the shoulders.

13. Dumbbell Thruster

The dumbbell thruster is one of the exercises that allows you to develop all the fibers of the body. Stand up and take a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your hands above your head, as high as possible, but without placing your arms completely straight. Likewise, keep your legs open in the shoulder position.

After raising your hands, you should lower them and rest them on your shoulders, finally, gently bend down. Do several repetitions and rest a little between each set.

14. The driver

Perhaps it is an exercise that you had not heard before, you can do it using a disc. First, you must stand up and hold a disc with both hands, your palms should be in front of each other and you should extend your arms out.

Because the exercise allows you to strengthen various muscles you will be in good shape to play with a tennis racket, soccer, basketball, volleyball, etc.

15. Bradford Press

Finally, we have the last but not least exercise in this top 15, the Bradford press. You can do it with the empty bar, applying several repetitions, the way to do it is starting from the initial position that you do in the military press. However, it differs from this one a bit, since when you raise the bar you should not leave it above your head, but pass it behind the neck.  

To perform this exercise more comfortably, it is necessary to have a suitable bench, so we suggest you do it yourself, using a professional table saw.

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