The truth? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all shoulder workout to suit everyone!
However, there are some moves that you can incorporate into your routine that will help you achieve shapely and strong shoulders.
Exercise #1 | Seated Military Press
a) Begin by either holding a barbell or, alternatively, two dumbbells – one in each hand and sit on the end of a bench (adjust the back of the bench to sit upright if needed for extra stability).
b) Place the dumbbells/barbell on your thighs before raising up to shoulder height carefully. Keep your palms facing forwards.
c) Breathe out, and push the dumbbells upwards until they touch at the top. After a pause at this position, return the weights to the original position as you breathe in.
d) Repeat this movement for the necessary amount of repetitions.
Exercise #2 | Dumbbell Lateral Raise
a) Begin by standing up straight and with a set of dumbbells at arms length keeping the palms of your hands facing inwards.
b) Keep you upper body still, and then raise the dumbbells to your side while maintaining a small bend at the elbows. Continue to progress this movement until your arms are parallel to the floor.
c) Breathe out and hold this position for a few seconds, before lowering the dumbbells back to the starting position.
d) Repeat for as many reps as necessary.
Exercise #3 | Barbell Upright Row
a) Set up a barbell or choose a pre-loaded one with your desired weight. Hold the barbell with an overhand grip.
b) Rest the barbell at the top of the thighs and keep a slight bend at the elbows. Your grip should be a bit less than shoulder width. Keep your back straight.
c) Breathe out and use the sides of the shoulders to raise the bar, the elbows will move upwards and to the side. Make sure the bar travels close to the body at all times.
d) Lift the bar almost to chin height then lower it back to the starting position. As you return the bar back down breathe out. Repeat for as many reps as necessary.
Exercise #4 | Bent-Over Rear Delt Fly
a) Choose a fairly light set of dumbbells and place them in front of you. Stand upright behind the dumbbells.
b) Lean forward at the waist while maintaining a straight back before picking up the weights. Keep the palms of your hands facing in. Maintain a slight bend at the elbow.
c) Raise the dumbbells out to your side until they reach a level where your arms are parallel with the floor, pause and then lower the weights back to the original position.
d) Repeat this exercise for as many repetitions as necessary.
Exercise #5 | Dumbbell Front Raises
a) Pick up a set of medium weight dumbbells and hold them in front of your thighs with the palms of your hands facing your thighs. This is the position you will use to begin the movement.
b) Keep your upper body steady and still, then raise the right arm to the front while maintaining a small bend at the elbow. Always keep the palms of your hand towards the ground throughout the exercise.
c) Continue to raise your arm until it is at a parallel angle to the floor. Breathe out and hold this position for a few seconds. As you breathe in, slowly return to the starting position.
d) When you perform the necessary amount of repetitions return to the start and then repeat with the other side. (Variation: rather than lifting individually, lift together, as shown in the image on the right).
Take home message
These are some fantastic movements to add into your exercise routine to give your shoulders some shape. Make sure to warm up your shoulders thoroughly before performing your working sets to avoid any injuries, and also cool down and stretch post workout to help reduce any soreness.
Try adding some of these exercises in to get great shoulders!