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10 Best Exercises To Build Your Shoulder Muscle

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Having upper body muscle or shoulder muscle comes with many benefits. It makes people look strong and powerful, which is good for physical appearance. Strong shoulders will also make it easier to carry heavy objects. Everyday activities become more effortless with wide shoulders. But getting those muscles is not easy. Here are the top exercises to build shoulder muscle.

1. Barbell Overhead Shoulder Press

Shoulder muscle

Working with a barbell is essential for anyone who wants to build strong shoulders. This exercise is simple, and you will have fun doing it. All you need is a barbell and some space to stand on, and you’re ready to go. 

While in a standing position, carry the barbell to your chest level (1). Then raise it up, wait for a while and then bring it back to your chest. Repeat several times until you’re tired. 

2. Front Raise

Front raise exercise

Your aim with this exercise is to target your anterior delts and strengthen it. You will need a weight plate or barbell to do this very well. Hold the weight plate in your hand and then raise it while keeping your hands straight. Slowly bring down your hand until you relax them. 

There are certain things you need to keep in mind to execute this well. Keep your hands at hip height all the time. Make sure your foot is even with your shoulder as well. Keep your arms straight and breathe well for relaxation and comfort. 

3. Dumbbell Incline Row

Rowing movements work the back and, at the same time, the muscles in the shoulder. The dumbbell incline row is an exercise to build muscle shoulder with less effort. Even though it looks simple, you still need to put so many things into consideration. Understand your position on the bench and your body. To do this exercise:

  1. Get an incline bench and have a dumbbell on either side.
  2. Lie chest flat on the bench and make sure you’re feeling comfortable.
  3. Lift the dumbbell up with your knuckles facing front or side, depending on what you like.
  4. While doing your reps, make sure your torso never rests if you want to have the best result.
  5. Squeeze your glutes, breathe your abs into the bench, and flex the upper muscle.

Even though your chest shouldn’t be romancing the bench, it must keep in contact. Row down and back and avoid coming too high.

4. Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

overhead dumbbell press

It’s more like a barbell overhead. But this time, you’re seated and using a dumbbell instead of a barbell. What this exercise does is establish baseline strength and balance your physique. Get two dumbbells and a seat ready for the exercise. After having your seat…

  1. Ensure that your legs are a little wide apart. 
  2. Lift the dumbbells to your shoulder and start by lifting them further over your head. 
  3. Bring them back to your shoulder and continue with several reps. 
  4. Drive bicep to your head while you exhale. 
  5. Keep elbows a bit bent at the top, and don’t allow your head forward too much. 

5. Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Lateral raise exercises aren’t enjoyable, but they do plenty of good for your muscle training. They’re the perfect exercise to build shoulder muscle. They target deltoids and target the rear head of the muscle group. Start the exercise by standing firm on your position carrying two dumbbells (2). Bend over on a perfect axis until your back reaches a 90-degree angle. Take a deep breath and then raise the dumbbells up to level up with your back and then relax. 

6. Cable Reverse Flye

To do this exercise, you’re going to need a cable to pull. This top exercise for shoulder muscle will help build strength. Apart from building muscle groups in the shoulder, it will also work on the upper back and traps. 

Attach two cables to a handle and place them at chest level. Position your arms straight, grab the cables, and pull. Make sure you pull both cables until you cross both hands. 

7. Face Pull

The good thing about face pull is that both men and women can do it. Even though it seems simple, many people make mistakes. The purpose of the exercise is to target rear deltoids, trapezius, and upper back muscles. They help keep shoulders squared and back, making daily activities less difficult. 

Get your cable pulley machine ready for this exercise. Stand in a comfortable position, grab the cable, and then pull it towards you (3). Reverse the movement by extending your arms in a slow movement. Don’t add too much weight, which can mess with your position and balance. Pull with precision and make sure your elbows point out. 

8. Reverse Cable Crossover

Increase your deltoid muscle definition and strength fast with reverse cable crossover. The exercise also helps to target upper body muscle and posterior deltoids. Get two cable stands on either side of where you’re standing. Instead of pulling inward like in cable reverse flye, here, you pull outward. You then pull back inward to complete a rep. The exercise helps to target the outer pec fiber muscle. Set the pulleys in the highest position if you want to target lower pecs. Set it in the lowest position to target higher pecs. 

9. Standing Barbell Shrugs

This simple and yet effective exercise to build shoulder muscle can’t be missing in your plans. It works on your trapezius and rhomboids, which stabilizes and pulls back your shoulders. Secondary muscle targets are levator scapulae and latissimus dorsi muscles. 

Barbell shrugs help you gain strength, promote better posture, and activates the traps. Grab your barbell in a standing position while they’re free and hanging on your hands. With the barbell still in your hand, shrug your shoulders as much as you can—repeat reps as needed until your get the desired result. 

10. Cable Front Raise

Exercise like the cable front raise isolates shoulder flexion and strengthens your muscles. It works the anterior deltoid, making it an effective exercise to build shoulder muscle (4). During the training, your muscle also gets help from the serratus anterior, biceps brachii, and clavicular portions. 

  1. Get a cable on the floor and put it between your legs. 
  2. Pull the cable to the front and continue until you’re satisfied. 
  3. To get a better result, keep shoulders down. 
  4. Lift to a high level in front of you before lowering hands to the thigh to complete one rep.

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By Sara Leandro

Sara Leandro is a certified health coach who helps others feel their best through individualized lifestyle changes that meet their unique needs and health goals. She covers topics ranging from health and productivity to relationships.

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