A pair of strong, sculpted shoulders is shorthand for, "Don't mess with me…unless I ask you to." Having big show muscles is one thing, but a strong upper frame tells the world you're serious about your physique.

So, we recently invited four top trainers to come to Bodybuilding.com headquarters in Boise, Idaho, to take us through their best workouts for shoulders. You've got some choices to make, so give each workout a try and see which ones work best for you!

1. Tanner Hobbs' Shoulder-Tri Workout

Tanner Hobbs' Shoulder-Tri Workout
1
Seated Dumbbell Press
4 sets, 8-10 reps
2
One-Arm Side Laterals
4 sets, 10 reps per arm (Hold onto rack with one hand, lean away from rack to perform laterals.)
3
Reverse Flyes
3 sets, 6 reps (For each rep, move arms to "T", "Y", and "I" positions)
4
Front Dumbbell Raise
3 sets, 10 reps per side
5
Triceps Pushdown
3 sets, 10 reps per side (Switch bar for grip)
6
EZ-Bar Skullcrusher
3 sets, 12 reps (Perform on floor instead of bench.)

Technique Tips

Tanner Hobbs

Seated Dumbbell Press        

Keep your shoulders level, your core engaged, and your body still throughout this movement.

One-Arm Side Lateral

Stand next to a squat rack or other machine with your feet together. Grab onto the machine and lean away. This is your starting position. Perform the raises slowly and under control. Keep the shoulder lifting the weight away from your ear.

Reverse Fly

Do these flyes "T-Y-I" style. For the "T" position, move your arms out to the side at 90 degrees to form a "T" with your body. Next, move your arms forward until they are at 45 degrees to your head for the "Y" position. To form the "I," move your arms farther forward until they are along your ears and straight ahead. Those three moves equal one single rep.

Front Dumbbell Raise         

Keep your body still and don't cheat the move by swinging your arms before lifting. Stand up straight and still—make the movement come from only your shoulders.

Triceps Push-down

Swap the bar for a D-handle and do these push-downs one arm at a time using a pronated grip (palm facing floor). With your elbow bent 90 degrees, push the grip down until your arm is extended. Give your triceps a big squeeze at the bottom of the movement.

EZ-Bar Skullcrushers

Skullcrushers are all about control. Keep your elbows in place and move only your forearms and hands.

2. Meg Squats' Shoulder Workout

Meg Squats' Shoulder Workout
1
Pushups
2 sets, 20 reps
2
Seated Dumbbell Press
3 sets, 10 reps
3
Front Dumbbell Raise
3 sets, 15 reps per side
4
Standing Military Press
4 sets, 10 reps
5
Standing Low-Pulley Deltoid Raise
4 sets, 15 reps per side

Technique Tips

Push-Up

Do these quickly to warm up for the lifts.

Meg Squats

Seated Dumbbell Press

If you're using heavy weights, save your back by using your thighs to move the dumbbell into position. Rotate your wrists so your palms face forward.

Dumbbell Front Raise

Use a neutral grip (palms inwards, thumb pointing forward) to hit your front deltoid.

Standing Military Press

If you want some extra work on this one, take a tip from Rodney Razor and don't lock out your arms at the top of the press. Stop short of full lockout to challenge your arms and your shoulders.

Standing Low-Pulley Delt Raise

Maintain good posture throughout the exercise. Achieve a good contraction at the top of the movement, then take 2-4 seconds on the negative.

Like what you see? Check out Meg's strength program, Uplifted!

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3. Rodney Razor's Shoulder Workout

Rodney Razor's Shoulder Workout
1
Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise
4 sets, 8-12 reps (Slow 2-4 sec. down.)
2
Front Dumbbell Raise
4 sets, 12 reps per side (Slow 1-2 sec. down.)
3
Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 15-20 reps
4
Seated Dumbbell Press
4 sets, 5-8 reps; 2-4 sec. (Slow 2-4 sec. down, 2-4 sec. up.)

Technique Tips

Seated Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

Do a slow (2-4 second) negative on this exercise, keeping the weights under control as you lower them toward the floor. When you're able to do 12 reps, increase the weight.

Front Dumbbell Raise

Choose a weight that allows you to do slow negatives.

Lateral Raise

For a more advanced movement, stop before your arms are fully extended and hold the weight there for more time under tension.

Rodney Razor

Seated Dumbbell Press

Don't take the weights below your ear. Don't lock out your arms on the positive. Go slowly.

Razor's "Razor-Sharp Training" offers insight into bodybuilding nutrition, how to do "cardio in disguise," and a four-day major body-part-split training regimen.

4. Brian Casad Shoulder-Bi Workout

Brian Casad Shoulder-Bi Workout
1
Standing Biceps Cable Curl
100 reps, 50% max (As many sets as it takes, rest 30 sec. between sets.)
2
Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press
5 sets, 10-15 reps per side
3
Preacher Curl
5 sets, 10-15 reps (Slow 3 sec. down, 5 sec. up.)
4
Front Dumbbell Raise
5 sets, 10-15 reps
5
Arnold Dumbbell Press
5 sets, 10-15 reps (Alternate arms.)

Technique Tips

Standing Biceps Cable Curl

Stand erect with shoulders back, chest up. Move only your forearms and hands.

Dumbbell Single-Arm Shoulder Press

Maintain good posture. Don't bring the weight down any lower than your ear. Don't lock out your arms at the top.

Preacher Curl

Take this one nice and slow to get a full biceps stretch at the bottom and a good triceps stretch at the top.

Brian Casad

Front Dumbbell Raise

Keep your body still as you do these raises. No momentum or body English allowed.

Arnold Dumbbell Press

Do these presses one arm at a time. Keep your elbows in. Don't lock out your arms at the top.

Casad has a serious Ultimate Fat-Burning workout, too. Check it out!

About the Author

Hobart Swan

Hobart Swan

Hobart Swan is a senior content editor for WeMotivate Media and Bodybuilding.com contributor.

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Shoulders Workout