Shoulders were once my weakest body part. No matter what I tried, it seemed like I couldn't build better shoulders to save my life. After an interest in CrossFit sparked my curiosity in Olympic-style lifts, I pushed the isolation movements to the end of my workouts and gave compound movements their due. Within a matter of months, my shoulders gained significant size and strength!

I'm usually a proponent of a standard bodybuilding routine built on effective isolation movements, but it's good to mix things up and force your body to adapt to new stimuli. Endless front and lateral raises with relatively light weights get boring, too. Sure, they provide a burn to your muscular endurance, but they don't allow you to hoist heavy stuff over your head. Believe me: Heavy lifts will really help you build the shoulder caps you crave!

If you're tired of your normal shoulder isolation movements, try this compound workout. Not only will your shoulders get a great pump, but the movements will challenge your entire body. Your heart rate will skyrocket and stay high. You'll lift more total weight, engage your core, be forced to use your glutes, and you'll burn more calories than you would doing a standard isolation routine.

Compound Movement Shoulder Workout
5 sets, 8-12 reps
+ 5 more exercises


  • 2,500+ expert-created single workouts
  • 3,500+ how-to exercise videos
  • Detailed workout instruction
  • Step-by-step workout tips
  • Training at gym or at home
  • Access to Workout Plans
  • Access to Bodyfit App
  • Store Discounts

What comes with BodyFit?

  • Instructional Videos
  • Don't risk doing a workout improperly! Avoid injury and keep your form in check with in-depth instructional videos.

  • How-to Images
  • View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot.

  • Step-by-Step Instructions
  • Quickly read through our step-by-step directions to ensure you're doing each workout correctly the first time, every time.

About the Author

Contributing Writer

Karina Baymiller’s authors consist of accredited coaches, doctors, dietitians and athletes across the world.

View all articles by this author

Shoulders Workout Shoulder Workout