Exercises To Build Powerful Shoulders!

Learn how to finally build powerful shoulders with these awesome exercises. Find out what you need to do to get huge cannonball delts!

Learn how to finally build powerful shoulders with these awesome exercises. Find out what you need to do to get huge cannonball delts!

The Exercises

Overhead Press

    Military Press
    Shoulder Press Machine

    Stand/sit with feet shoulder-width apart. Start with barbell OR dumbbells at eye level, hands wider than shoulders and arms at 90-degree angle. Slowly push weight over head (keep the weight slightly forward in front of head so you can see it out of the corner of your eye) and lower back until elbows are at 90 degree angles (like a goal post).

Lateral Raise

    Front Raise
    Reverse Flyes

    Stand or sit holding weights on the outside of each thigh, palms facing in. Leading with the elbows and keeping arms slightly bent, lift arms out to the side, stopping at shoulder level (wrists straight) and lower. Don't lift past the shoulder!

Bent-Over Lateral Raise

    Bent-Over Lateral Raise

    Sit and bend forward at your hips so your chest is close to your thighs. Hold dumbbells under your legs with your palms facing each other and your elbows slightly bent. Keep your head in a neutral position and lift the weights out to your sides to shoulder level while keeping that slight bend in your elbows. Lower slowly and repeat.

Upright Row

    Upright Row

    Stand holding a barbell (or dumbbells), palms facing you. Slowly bend the arms and pull barbell up, stopping at chest level. Be sure to keep the wrists straight and the elbows above the bar. Hands can be close together or wide.

Important Points To Remember

For all exercisers, use enough weight that you can ONLY complete the desired number of reps. Make sure you warm up with light cardio before lifting and stretch between sets.

Below is a general example of the routine you should stick to depending upon what your goal is, and at what level of weight training you are at:

  • Beginners: Choose 1-2 exercises, 1 set of 14-16 reps
  • Muscle Building: 2 - 4 exercises, 3 or more sets of 6-8 reps
  • Muscle Toning: 2 - 3 exercises, 2-3 sets of 10-16 reps

Be sure to check out Bodybuilding.com's exercise database for pictures and descriptions of over 300 exercises!

Vary Your Workouts

Change your shoulder training routine by varying the exercises:

  1. Choose an exercise (i.e., overhead press)
  2. Choose type of resistance (i.e., dumbbells)
  3. Choose position (i.e., standing)
  4. Choose movement (i.e., alternating arms)

After 4-6 weeks, change at least one component by choosing a different type of resistance, exercise, position and/or movement, this way your muscles won't get used to the routine.

Be sure to also check out:
Mastering Your Shoulder Development.


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