An Effective Shoulder Workout Routine

Including a solid shoulder workout in your overall muscle building program is critical if you want thick, wide, muscular shoulders. Well-built shoulders contribute largely to an impressive wide and powerful upper body look that all weight lifters strive for.

Your shoulder muscles are made up of three main parts. The anterior region (front), medial region (middle), and the posterior region (rear). Your body uses these muscles to lift and rotate your arms.

For the best shoulder workout to stimulate these muscles to grow effectively, you must include two basic movements in your weight lifting program: a simple overhead pressing movement, and a raising movement.

Overhead Press

An overhead press should be the focus of your shoulder muscle workout. Nothing can beat the effectiveness of this compound movement for your shoulders. When the overhead press is done properly then you will stimulate your shoulder muscles like no other exercise.

There are different variations of the overhead press, and you could use either dumbbells or a barbell. I would recommend using dumbbells as they require you to press the weight up AND control the movement of the dumbbells, which takes more effort and stimulates your shoulder muscles that little bit more than a barbell would. Using a barbell also shifts some of the stress to your upper chest.

As for the actual way to perform the overhead press, I would recommend the Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press. Sit on a bench with the back support at 90 degrees, and push a pair of dumbbells straight upwards until your elbows are just about to lock out, and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height. Keep your back straight and your abs tight.

Lateral Raise

The next most important weight training exercise for your shoulders would have to be lateral raises. They are done with dumbbells and are an isolation movement which concentrates the stress on the medial head of the shoulders. Lateral raises will help in building wider shoulders.

The way you perform lateral raises is properly known as Standing Side Lateral Raises. With your knees bent slightly, stand and hold a pair of dumbbells with the palms of your hands facing inwards towards your hips. Raise the dumbbells to both sides of your body all the way up until you reach shoulder level, and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to your side. Allow your arms to bend a little whilst doing the raise.

These two exercises should be the bread and butter of your shoulder workout routine. A lot of lifters out there over-train their shoulders, therefore hindering their muscle gains.

You need to understand that you are working your shoulder muscles with the majority of upper body exercises you perform, so they don't need a lot of direct stimulation. Here is a sample shoulder workout routine you could include in your overall weight training for massive shoulders:

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press: 2 Sets of 5-7 Reps
Standing Dumbbell Side Laterals: 1-2 Sets of 5-7 Reps

Make sure you use a weight that is heavy enough so that the proven range of 5-7 reps is challenging.

So there you go! Large and wide muscular shoulders shouldn't be that far away in your reach now you are armed with this knowledge of how to perform the best shoulder workout.

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