The Best Shoulder Exercises of All Time

Who doesn’t want bigger, more well-defined shoulders? Shoulders are one of the “glamor muscles”, the ones that make you look good in your clothing–or out of it. The problem is that the shoulder muscles are not very large, at least not until you work them out. Here are some of the best shoulder exercises of all time for you to try:

Single Arm Press

The beauty of this exercise is that you can do it with either a kettlebell or dumbbell–all that matters is that you have a bit of weight to do it. Instead of doing it with two hands, you perform this overhead press with one arm at a time. This works out your shoulders brilliantly, but it also forces your core to work hard. The result is bigger muscles and a stronger midsection–everything you want from a shoulder workout!

Cable Reverse Fly

Most of us tend to focus a lot on our anterior and lateral deltoids, also known as the front and sides of your shoulders. But the posterior (back) deltoids don’t get as much attention. The last thing you want is to have large muscles of the front and side of your shoulders, but poorly developed posterior delts. This can lead to hunching and poor posture. Thankfully, cable reverse flys work on your posterior deltoids, as well as your rotator cuff. This simple exercise will work wonders to help you work on your shoulders’ “weaknesses”.

Inverted Shoulder Press

This is a brilliant shoulder exercise, and one you can do anywhere! Just like with push-ups, you don’t need weight beyond your bodyweight to perform this exercise, and it’s easy to increase the difficulty: all you have to do is place your feet closer to your hands. Like the push-up, it works with your own weight, helping to develop the functional strength that will make it easier for you to carry out your activities of daily life.

Push Press

This is an explosive exercise, which means it’s much more effective at building strength than your regular movements. Instead of just doing a regular shoulder press (using either dumbbells or a barbell), you put a bit more power into the movement by bending your knees and bringing the weights lower. When you stand up straight and push the weight back up, it engages the fast twitch muscle fibers–the ones that you need to work in order to develop serious strength. These are the muscles that grow fastest, and thus the ones that will show the soonest!

Handstand Hold

If you want to develop serious functional strength, there’s no better way to do so than by working with your bodyweight. The handstand hold is brilliant for building upper body strength, working your arms as well as your shoulders. All you have to do is perform a handstand (feet against the wall to keep the position), and hold it as long as possible. You’ll feel your shoulders and arms burning, but that’s all part of the workout! It’s great for developing functional strength, and will give you those round shoulders you want.

Overhead Shrugs

If you want to work your upper traps, this is a brilliant exercise to try. It helps to reduce the strain on your levator scapulae, which usually takes the brunt of the effort when performing normal shrugs. You’ll be able to improve your posture, balance out your musculature, and get that nice rounded look that you want. You may not be able to shrug as much weight as you could doing regular shrugs, but it’s a good way to change things up!

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