10 best shoulder exercises for home and gym


Their effectiveness has been proven by scientists and professional trainers.

The deltoid muscle, which covers the shoulder joint and consists of three heads: the front, middle, and back, determines the shape of the shoulders. All of the exercises below are aimed at maximizing the involvement of this muscle.


Why these shoulder exercises are the best

ACE research identifies the best shoulder exercises, analysis of anterior, middle and posterior deltoid muscle activation during single and multi-joint exercises, electromyographic analysis of the deltoid muscle during different strength training exercises by scientists. Electromyography (EMG) was used for this purpose. Special sensors were used to measure the electrical activity of the muscles during the performance of a specific exercise. The best of them were included in the article.

As an alternative for people working out at home, we’ve added exercises from Jeff Cavaliere, a bodybuilder and physical therapist, to the list.

How to practice

When training the deltoid muscles, it is important to pump all three bundles evenly. This protects the lower dynamic stabilizers of the shoulder joint from injury.

The muscle bundles of the deltoid have different functions, so you can’t train them all with a single exercise: You need to incorporate at least three movements into your workout.

We have divided all exercises into three parts: to pump up the front, middle and back bundle. Choose one exercise from each category and add it to your workout.

The weight should be chosen so that the last repetitions of an attempt are not light, but without compromising the technique.

What shoulder exercises to do

How to pump up the anterior thigh muscles

Dumbbell press standing

10 best shoulder exercises for home and gym

Raise the arms with the selected weight to shoulder height and turn the palms so that the fingers point forward. Press the dumbbells up and bring them slightly behind your head, then lower them to the starting position and repeat.

Perform three to five sets of 10-12 times.

Standing barbell press

10 best shoulder exercises for home and gym

Hold the barbell on your chest, bring your elbows forward and tense your abs, glutes and legs. Press the barbell up, lower it again and repeat the process.

When the bar passes your face, do not lift your chin, but press it into you: this way the bar will follow the optimal trajectory.

If the bar stays in front of your body at the top point instead of above it, the strain on your lower back increases. So try to move the bar behind your head.

Perform three to five sets of six to eight repetitions.

Handstand push-up

10 best shoulder exercises for home and gym

This exercise has not been tested with EMG, but the movement itself is equivalent to pressing up with a barbell in a reduced range.

Stand in a handstand with your feet against the wall. Bend your elbows, lower yourself and touch your head to the floor. Push yourself back up and repeat the process. Be sure to rest your head on the floor: If you move carelessly, you can injure your neck.

To make the exercise easier, place something under your head, such as a rolled-up blanket or a thick book. To make the exercise more difficult, support your arms with a firm base.

Perform the test as many times as possible. Do 3 to 5 sets, depending on how you feel.

To pump the middle deltas

Dumbbell pull on an incline bench

best shoulder workout

Set up the bench at a 45-degree angle and lie on your stomach. Hold the dumbbells in your outstretched and lowered hands with your wrists facing forward.

Bring your shoulder blades together, straighten your shoulders back and bend your elbows at right angles. At the farthest point, your shoulders are in line with your body and your forearms are perpendicular to them and pointing toward the floor. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat.

Perform three to five sets of 10-12 times.

Pulling the bar to the chin

delts workout

Grasp the bar with a grip that is 1.5-2 times wider than your shoulders. This starting position ensures that the effect of grip width on electromyographic activity during upright rowing maximizes mid-thigh involvement in this exercise.

Raise the bar to the level of the collarbones and pull the elbows up. Lower the barbell and repeat the process.

Perform three to five sets of eight repetitions.

Dumbbell side stretch with U twist

shoulder workout routine

Stand upright, take the dumbbells and align the wrists so that the fingers point towards each other. Spread the arms apart and rotate the little fingers upwards. Lower to the starting position and repeat.

Perform three to five sets of 10-12 times.

Exit into the side plank on the forearm

shoulder mobility exercises

Stand in a lying position and place one hand on your forearm. Place the palm of the other hand on the opposite shoulder. From this position, turn your body to the side, into the forearm support, and then return to the starting position.

Perform the exercise as many times as possible in one attempt. Then switch hands and repeat the process. Make three attempts with each hand.

How to pump up the rear thigh muscles

Dumbbell stretch in a seated bend

aaos shoulder exercises

Sit on a bench, tilt your body back as straight as your mobility allows, and hold dumbbells in your lowered hands. Without changing your body position, spread your arms with the weight at your sides at shoulder height. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.

Perform three to five sets of 10-12 times.

Inverted butterfly

chest and shoulder workout

This exercise can be done on a machine, with an extension cord or with dumbbells. The main rule is to spread the arms outwards, with the little fingers pointing upwards at the outermost point.

If you want to perform the dumbbell exercise, place a bench on two boxes, lie on your stomach and spread your arms with the weights to your sides.

Perform three to five sets of 10-12 times.

Get up from the floor with the help of fists

best back and shoulder workout

Lie on the floor and spread your arms in the shape of a cross. Raise your upper body with your fists and try to lift your shoulder blades off the floor. It is important that you use your abdominal muscles as little as possible: Try to lift only with your arms.

Hold the position at the top, then lower to the floor and repeat. Perform the exercise as many times as possible. Do three to five sets.


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