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The Best Shoulder Exercises To Build Strong Shoulders

10th March 2022

10th March 2022

By Beth Shelper

If you’re on the hunt for the most effective shoulder exercises to build strength and power… you’re in the right place.

Muscle gain anywhere requires a carefully curated routine consisting of exercise, diet and discipline, but when it comes to shoulder workouts, arguably this area needs the most strategy of all. Our shoulders are built with multiple joints, and so a lack of this strategy will lead to results being very few, and very far between. Not to mention increase your risk of injury, too.

So, what we’re saying is. If shoulder gains are your goal, you’re going to want to read this article. Aimlessly shoulder pressing isn’t going to really get you anywhere. Not effectively, anyway. 

Here’s how to get strong shoulders

Before we launch into some of our favourite shoulder exercises (including a mix of shoulder workouts at home and shoulder workouts in the gym), let’s talk about your diet, as that’s just as important.

You will need to include a mix of the following in your diet, to really maximise your performance and enhance your muscle gaining results:

The ultimate full shoulder workout

Whilst the world is your oyster when it comes to shoulder exercises, we’ve widdled it down to our favourite three that we feel maximises your results, and will ensure you’re getting the most out of every single shoulder workout.

Okay, we’ll shut up now. Here’s how to build shoulders. Big, strong, powerful shoulders. That’s what you’re here for, anyway.

Three shoulder exercises to create the best shoulder workout

In no particular order…

  1. The dumbbell shoulder press

An absolute classic, the dumbbell shoulder press Is one of the most common (and effective) shoulder exercises with dumbbells, which means that not only does it deserve a spot on our list, but can be done at home or in the gym.


Great for beginners, seasoned pros and shoulder training veterans alike, this is a great go-to shoulder exercise for all, and can be completed either seated or standing.

Here’s how:

  • Grab your dumbbells at a weight that is comfortable (remember, reps are more important than weight, so don’t over do it)
  • Take both up in the starting position, placed either side of your head next to your ears
  • Press upwards keeping your elbow straight, and then lower down back to starting position

Rest and repeat.

  1. Banded delt raises

If you don’t already own a resistance band (where have you been?) now’s the time to invest. Providing a great level of resistance with no heavy weights required, banded delt raises are a fantastic little shoulder exercise to add into your routine, again, wherever you are.

Here’s how:

  • Take your resistance band in one hand; rested down by your side, hooking the other end over the ball of your foot
  • Stand in a neutral position and gradually bring the band upwards towards your shoulder, outwards
  • Once your wrist is parallel with your shoulder, hold, and then slowly release and lower

Rest and repeat for desired amount of reps.

  1. Push presses

Great with added weights or just using the weight of the bar itself, push presses are great for placing maximum emphasis on the shoulders to drive results.

Here’s how:

  • Stand in front of the bar rack, positioning yourself by grabbing the barbell with a full grip and placing the barbell on the top of your shoulders
  • Maintain an upright torso and dip downwards with your knees (don’t rush, speed isn’t important here)
  • At the bottom of the dip, push your torso and chest upwards, thrusting your knees to drive the upward motion

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