You need to h-it your deltoids, upper trapezius, serratus anterior, rotator cuff muscles, and levator scapulae to truly build three-dimensional shoulders. Aside from strengthening your upper body muscles and the bones beneath them, you’ll safeguard your body against wounds and let’s face it, you’ll create an aesthetic men want to replicate and woman go crazy over.
Overhead pressing and lateral raises can only do so much to build strong, functional shoulders—although they’re definitely in the top tier of muscle-building moves—so here are 30 shoulder workouts that’ll improve flexibility, add size, get stronger, and complete your physique.
1. Barbell Overhead Press
Set the bar up in a squat rack or cage, and grasp it just outside shoulder width. Take the bar off the rack and hold it at shoulder level with your forearms perpendicular to the floor. Squeeze the bar and brace your abs. Press the bar overhead, pushing your head forward and shrugging your traps as the bar passes your face.
2. Standing Dumbbell Fly
Hold a dumbbell in each hand by your sides. Without shrugging, use your upper body to swing the weights up a few inches. Your arms and torso will form an upside down V shape. Think of it as a lateral raise with momentum but without full range of motion.
3. Face Pull
Attach a rope handle to the top pulley of a cable station. Grasp an end in each hand with palms facing each other. Step back to place tension on the cable. Pull the handles to your forehead so your palms face your ears and your upper back is fully contracted.
4. High Pull
Grasp the bar with hands about double shoulder width and hold it in front of your thighs. Bend your knees and h-ips so the bar hangs just above your knees. Explosively extend your h-ips as if jumping and pull the bar up to shoulder level with elbows wide apart, as in an upright row.
5. Seated Dumbbell Clean
Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the edge of a bench. Keeping your lower back flat, lean forward. Explosively straighten your body and shrug the weights so your arms rise. Allow the momentum to flip your wrists so you catch the weights at shoulder level.
6. Trap Raise
Set a bench to a low incline and lie chest-down with a dumbbell in each hand and your palms facing. Retract your shoulder blades, then raise the weights straight out so your arms are parallel to the floor.
7. Clean and Press
Stand with feet shoulder width. Keeping your lower back arched, bend your h-ips back to lower your torso and grasp the bar with hands shoulder width. Extend your h-ips to lift the bar off the floor. When it gets past your knees, jump and shrug the bar so that momentum raises it and you catch it at shoulder level. Brace your abs and stand tall. Press the bar straight overhead.
8. Snatch-Grip High Pull
Set up as you did for the clean and press, but grasp the bar with hands double shoulder width. Explode the bar upward until it’s at chest level and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Try to push your chest out as you lift the bar and contract your upper back completely.
9. Band Lateral Raise
Step on the free end of each band with the opposite foot so the bands form an X in front of your body. Raise your arms 90 degrees out to the sides until your upper arms are parallel to the floor.
10. Band Front Raise
Stand on bands and hold the opposite ends. Raise your arms in front of your body to shoulder height.
11. Band Bent-Over Lateral Raise
Stand on the end of one band with your right foot and hold it with your left hand. Do the opposite with another band so that the bands cross each other. Bend your h-ips back until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. The bands should be taut in this starting position. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and raise your arms out to your sides.
12. Band W Raise
Attach bands to a sturdy object at shoulder level and hold the opposite ends in each hand. Stand back to put tension on the bands. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and row the bands to your shoulders with elbows flared out so your upper arms make a W shape. Hold for two seconds.
13. Suspension Trainer Pike Pushup
Attach the suspension trainer to a sturdy object overhead, and lower the foot cradles to about knee height (you want your body to be in a straight line when you rest your feet in them). Get into pushup position with your feet in the cradles and hands placed shoulder width on the floor. Keeping your abs braced, lower your body until your chest is just above the floor and then push back up. Now bend your h-ips and raise them into the air until your torso is vertical.
Straighten your body again. That’s one rep.
14. Suspension Trainer Y-Raise
Grasp the handles and stand with feet about shoulder width. Lean back 45–60 degrees, so your body is supported by the suspension trainer, and brace your abs. Raise your arms up and out into a Y shape with palms facing forward. Your body will become more vertical, but don’t allow your shoulders to lose tension at the top of the movement. Your weight will shift from the back foot to the front foot.
15. Suspension Trainer Rear-Delt Raise
Shorten the length of the handles, but stand as you did for the Y raise. Open your arms out to your sides with palms facing in until your shoulder blades are squeezed together. Allow a little bend in your elbows.
12 Best Shoulder Exercises for Boulder Shoulders
This is how people reacted to this post:
Eritim Doublecllick: “You have to keep maintaining that physique right by doing your exercise routines if not you go bulgy all over.”
Clay Blanchard: “30? So you’re just naming all of the shoulder exercises?”
Magnus Garstang: “Was going ok till it says to use bands.”
Jack Homes: “Cool… I’ll start 3 x 30 tomorrow.”
This article was originally published on the mensjournal.com