Jacob Osborn
12 Best Shoulder Exercises for Men | Man of Many
Should shoulder exercises be new to your workout regiment, you’ll soon discover that these muscles develop rather quickly compared to other areas of your body. Don’t take that to mean shoulder exercises are easy, however. Plenty of gym junkies dread shoulder day at the gym, as the workout can get quite intense…presuming you’re doing it properly. To ensure as much, we’ll take you through the best shoulder exercises for men, but first, let’s figure out what shoulder muscles are.
What are Your Shoulder Muscles?
Now that we’ve gone all “Gray’s Anatomy” on your shoulder muscles, it’s time to put those same muscles to work. From dumbbell shoulder press workouts to reverse cable crossovers, you’ll find all the shoulder exercises you need below. One thing to be aware of: shoulder complaints are one of the most commons reasons for a trip to the physio. The shoulder is a complex joint and must be respected, so take care with your form, don’t lift unsafe amounts of weight, and check in with a health professional if you experience shoulder pain that doesn’t go away after a week or so of rest.
Best Shoulder Exercises
A barbell overhead shoulder press (aka barbell standing shoulder press) works not just your shoulders, but most of your body. That makes it a terrific core strengthener and mass builder, among other things. To start,
1. Barbell Overhead Shoulder Press
A proper deltoid workout simply isn’t complete without the seated dumbbell shoulder press. In fact, some say these shoulder workouts with dumbbells are an entire deltoid regimen unto itself, targeting the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoid muscles (with an emphasis on the middle delts). Meanwhile, lifting two separate dumbbells (as opposed to using a machine) prevents you from using one side of your body over the other, thereby retaining firmer balance and distribution. Naturally, a fair amount of coordination is required to pull this one off, especially when you increase the weights.
2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
You can use either a weight plate or barbell for this shoulder workout, which targets the anterior delts. No matter what you decide to use, prepare for a seriously intense time with one of the best shoulder workouts for mass. Don’t max out on the weight, as it will quickly turn healthy pain into unhealthy injury.
3. Front Raise
This shoulder exercise targets your posterior delts and requires a pec deck machine. It’s also the perfect chest, back and shoulder workout for building mass. To start;
4. Reverse Pec Deck Fly
This wildly effective full shoulder workout targets your middle deltoids, though it also builds upon your overall physique. You can perform it in either a standing (bent-over) or seated position.
5. Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise
If you prefer a more traditional lateral raise, look no further than this full shoulder workout. It likewise targets the middle deltoids and works wonders when executed properly.
6. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Arguably the simplest shoulder exercise out there, push-ups remain one of the most effective to add to your arsenal. The fundamental move can be performed practically anywhere and requires no outside equipment. Importantly, there is more than one way to do a push-up and each variation has its specific benefits. Here are the best push-up variations for your shoulders:
7. Push Up
A staple of heavy-compound workouts, this shoulder exercise is not for novices. However, even the experts usually start light (sometimes using nothing but the bar), adding weight as they go along. Should you master this one, prepare for it to show virtually everywhere on your body. The push press should be performed in the standing position.
8. Push Press
You’ll need to attach D-handles to the upper pulley of two cable machines for this popular shoulder gym exercise.
9. Reverse Cable Crossover
Similar to the reverse cable crossover, this shoulder exercise targets the middle deltoid muscles and delivers ample tension. To start,
10. One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise
Save this neck and shoulder exercise for the end of your overall routine. This is an advanced exercise, so focus on the basics if you’re a beginner before working up to this movement.
11. Standing Barbell Shrugs
Another shoulder exercise that requires the use of the cable muscle, Face Pulls are important in creating a well-developed back and rear deltoid physique. The movement, while simple, targets your posterior deltoids and trapezius, while also adding further stress to the main components of your shoulders. To complete Cable Face Pulls:
12. Cable Face Pulls
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