Small delts got you down? Is your shoulder game lacking? Well, it’s about time you step your physique up a notch! Why look on in admiration at other genetically deltoid-gifted individuals when you can reach that level yourself? It’ll just take effort, a good attitude, and the right exercises.
There’s no more need for you to walk around with oversized shirt sleeves draped over your puny shoulders. After this article, you’ll have the information needed to swell up those shoulders into sleeve-busting arm cannons. So, cut off your sleeves. Get a Brahma bull tattooed on your biceps. Then build up those delts with these five awesome shoulder exercises.
5. Bus Drivers
What the f@*k are bus drivers and can we rename it the Otto driver (stupid Simpsons joke). Put on your fancy reading monocle and let us inform you. Bus drivers are a unique shoulder exercise that works on the stabilizer muscles in your shoulders and will have your forearms screaming.
To perform the bus driver (sounds like a kinky sexual maneuver) you simply hold a weight plate straight out in front of you, then twist it back and forth like a steering wheel. Sounds easy — until you try it. Start off light on this one until you can better judge a good working weight that’ll work your arms without tearing sh!t up.
Note: this exercise focuses on building muscular strength, endurance, and stability rather than size.
Even casual gym goers and noobs know what a damn shrug is. It’s an easy-to-do exercise that builds up your traps. You know the exercise, it’s the one fat guys are always doing with awful form in the squat rack using overly heavy weight. You won’t be doing that. To PROPERLY perform a shrug, in this case, dumbbell shrugs, you must pick a moderately heavy weight that you can shrug with a full range of motion.
This means when you shrug you’ll pull your shoulders up and back, then squeeze hard for a second; dramatically different from simply raising your shoulders up. No, this isn’t an isolated shoulder exercise, but it’s a great way to start a shoulder workout. Plus, this does help your shoulders and back function better and builds overall shoulder strength. After all, your shoulders and back do f@*king work together.
3. Arnold Presses
Ooooh, baby. This sexy exercise was named after the main man himself, Arnold Schwarzenegger. Actually, this exercise isn’t sexy and I have no idea if it’s actually named after Arnie. But that doesn’t make this any less of an awesome exercise. Of course, if you’re an avid lifter, this is probably already in your lifting repertoire — and for good reason.
With this exercise, you can go a bit heavier. Especially if you have a spotter (ideally, you should always have a spotter when slinging heavy weights overhead). To perform these properly, pick a challenging weight and be sure to keep strict form. The video below will show you the best way to do these.
2. Overhead Push Press
If the Arnold press is a sexy lady, then the overhead push press is a naked, hairy gladiator trying to impress the sexy lady by wrestling lions and punching peasants. This is a great mass building shoulder exercise and will really shred your delts. Additionally, it’ll make you strong as fuarrrk!
This is also a good exercise for building core and back strength, as you’ll be pushing heavy ass weight overhead. Ever see Bill Golberg military press slam a 260lb Scott Steiner? Same movement with the same strength needed. Make sure you do these with proper form and keep your core tight throughout the lift.
1. Front Raises
This isn’t a flashy exercise or a strange looking one like the bus driver, but it’s a solid movement for building shoulder stability and prevent future injuries. You’ll get a good strength boost from this one as well, but just don’t expect to gain massive delts by doing these.
All you do is grab a pair of moderately heavy dumbbells (you can do these with a single weight plate as well), keep your arms straight, then bring them up and out in front of you to shoulder level. It’s a simple exercise but the benefits are wonderful. It never hurts to throw in a few injury prevention exercises like this into your routine. Especially if they help you avoid possible rotator cuff tears. Nobody needs that sh!t.
Bonus Shoulder Exercises:
- Dumbbell rear flys for building up your rear deltoids.
- Front barbell raise for strengthening your front deltoids.
- Cable front raise for strengthening your front deltoids.
- Machine shoulder press for adding overall mass.
- Leaning dumbbell lateral raise to build up the side deltoids.