Shoulder Exercise

Learn to incorporate any shoulder exercise into your routine by using the pictures below. Your shoulders are massive joints with loads of muscle all around them.

Want in on a secret? If you have defined shoulder muscles, it makes your waist look smaller! How’s that for trickery? :) Well defined shoulders, also called deltoids, make any arm look shapelier and more toned.

Pick Your Favorite Shoulder Exercise

Front Raise

Start- Stand so that your feet are directly under your hips and knees are slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your thighs.

Go For It- Keeping your arms straight, left the dumbbells up until they are shoulder level. The only joint moving is your shoulder. Pause for a second and slowly lower back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights to shoulder height, inhale as you lower them back to the starting position of this shoulder exercise.

– Do not arch your back or use momentum to lift the weights. Only use your shoulder muscles. If you find this is not possible, move to a lower weight.

– This shoulder exercise is typically not recommended for beginners. I would only use this exercise after speaking with a trainer about its exact specs.

Shoulder Press

Start- Stand so that your feet are directly under your hips and knees are slightly bent. Your elbows are bent and shoulder level. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing away from you.

Go For It- Lift both dumbbells up to the sky and allow them to meet in the center (above your head). Pause for one second and lower back to the start position of the shoulder exercise.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights above your head, inhale as you lower them back down.

– Do not arch your back or use momentum to lift the weights.

– To hit your anterior deltoids and trapezius (back of shoulder joints and back of the neck), lift the weights up and a bit behind the head. Always have control over the weights in this and any other shoulder exercise.

Lateral Raise

Start- Stand so that your feet are directly under your hips and knees are slightly bent. Your elbows are bent and by your sides. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your sides.

Go For It- Lift both elbows and weights up to shoulder level. The only joint that is moving is your shoulder joint. Pause for one second at the top and slowly lower back to start of the shoulder exercise.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights and elbows to shoulder level. Inhale as you lower down.

– Do not arch your back or use momentum to lift the weights.

– This is typically not a beginner shoulder exercise. I advise using this only when you have talked with a trainer.

Upright Row

Start- Stand so that your feet are directly under your hips and knees are slightly bent. Your arms are relaxed in front of you and your palms are facing your thighs.

Go For It- Lift both dumbbells up to your chin. As you lift up, your elbows bend. Pause for one second at the top of this exercise. Slowly lower the weight back down to the start of the shoulder exercise.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights up to your chin, inhale as you lower them back down.

– Do not arch your back or use momentum to lift the weights.

– Leaning a bit forward can sometimes help you feel more stable.

Bent Over Lateral Raise

Start- Stand so that your feet are directly under your hips and knees are slightly bent. Bend forward from your hips until your back is flat. Hold a dumbbell is each hand. Your palms face each other. Elbows are slightly bent.

Go For It- Lift elbows to shoulder level by ONLY moving the shoulder muscle. As you lift the elbows up the dumbbells will follow. Turn wrists so that at the top of this exercise, your palms face the ground. Pause for one second and lower back to the starting position.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the elbows and weights up shoulder level. Inhale as you lower them back to start.

– Do not arch your back or use momentum to lift the weights.

– You can do this shoulder exercise by sitting on a stability ball or a bench. Have a seat, bend forward from your hips until your stomach and chest are relaxing on your thighs. Proceed with the exercise from there.

– As you lift your elbows up to shoulder level, squeeze your shoulder blades together. This creates an extra oomph.

L-Lifts

Start- Stand so that your feet are directly under your hips and knees are slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your arms at the elbow, and lift arms until your elbow is directly in front of your shoulder.

Go For It- Begin to lift the arms up to the sky. Pause for a second. Lower back to start.

Tips and Techniques-

– Exhale as you lift the weights to the sky, inhale as you lower them back to the starting position.

– Do not arch your back or use momentum to lift the weights. If you find this is not possible, move to a lower weight.


Enjoy working out. Try each shoulder exercise until you find one you like best. Shoulders tend to be weaker than our biceps or back, but that doesn’t mean we can skip ‘em.

Keep up the good work and remember to switch your shoulder exercise regularly.

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Comments

  1. When I do these exercises (particularly the presses and lifts), my shoulder joint makes a distinct “pop” and I can feel something clicking inside of it. It is not painful – should I be concerned?

    • Hi, Kate.

      Try doing something where it doesn’t involve you lifting the weights over your head. So for example, try the Bent Over Lateral Raise, Front Raise, Upright Row and see how those feel. I don’t like doing shoulder exercises that require me to go over my head as I sometimes get that popping noise and I don’t like it.

    • My physical therapist shared that popping in your body is normal as long as it doesn’t cause pain.

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