The 6 Best Shoulder Exercises You Should Be Doing
Shoulders are a very important muscle group. Having big shoulders also means your biceps will look even sweeter when flexed and having strong shoulders translates to all sorts of practical everyday things — washing dishes, typing on your computer, eating; all that stuff requires you to have somewhat strong shoulder muscles.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best exercises you can do in order to get boulder shoulders.
1. Arnold Press
Named after some Austrian dude from the 70’s, this is a complete shoulder exercise. It hits all three heads in your shoulder — the front, the back, and the center. You can do this exercise sitting and standing, whichever you prefer.
Either way, you start with your palms turned towards your chest and as you push upwards you do a full 180-degree rotation by rotating your hands outwards and turning your palms away from your chest. Once you reach an overhead position do the exact same movement you just did but in reverse.
This is a very basic and standard shoulder exercise. It hits your anterior and medial shoulder heads and you can either clean the weight up to your chest or you can unrack it from a squat rack — it all depends on your strength, surroundings and other factors.
The exercise itself is very straight forward. Once you’ve gotten the bar up to your clavicle, do a quarter squat motion—using your lower body as a spring of sorts—and as you straighten up, push the bar over your head.
3. Face Pull
Despite the title suggesting otherwise, this won’t require getting anything done to your face. In fact, this will be doing something to your shoulders, traps, and back.
Face pulls are awesome for your rear delts and it also gives you huge, cobra back-looking traps. Stand in front of a cable pulley and pull the rope towards your face until your fists reach your ears.
4. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Let’s go old school for a bit. Lateral raises are the bicep curls of shoulder exercises. It’s one of the first ones you learn how to do when you start lifting. Take two dumbbells and raise them until your arms are parallel to the floor, then lower them again down to your sides.
Awesome job, you have just mastered the lateral raise. Don’t go heavy on this one because your form will begin to wobble and you will start doing half reps. This hits your middle deltoids.
5. Pike Push-Ups
So far we’ve covered dumbbell exercises, barbell exercises, and machine exercises. It’s about time we do something with your own body weight.
Pike push-ups are great because like all bodyweight exercises they are scalable to your overall strength and fitness level. This will work your lateral and anterior deltoids AKA side and front shoulder muscle groups. Get into a push-up position while making a 90-degree angle with your torso and legs, and start pumping those push-ups.
6. Lying Barbell Front Raise
Finishing this off with some more barbell work by doing the lying front raises. This will work the front of your shoulders as well as give you some trap work — two for the price one if you will. Lay down face-first on an incline bench, gripping a light barbell shoulder width apart. Now raise the bar until it’s in line with your eyes.