For that "V-shape" back, you need to focus more on shoulder exercises. (Photo by Gorilla Freak on Unsplash)

7 Best Gym Workouts for Bigger Shoulders

Shoulder exercises ensure that your shoulders are strong and give you a better body overall. Failure to strengthen your upper body means that no matter how many squats or crunches you do to lose inches from your waist, you are not going to get bigger shoulders and achieve that “V-shape”. To achieve that, you need to focus on shoulder exercises and work your delts extensively.

Know your shoulders


The shoulder is made up of the anterior or the front delt, posterior or the rear delt, and the medial or the side delt. To get bigger shoulders, you need to target all three, along with the trapezius muscles in your upper back.

You should target all your shoulder muscles. (Photo by Scott Webb via pexels)

Bigger shoulders not only give the appearance of a slimmer waist but also enhance your overall physique. Furthermore, iproper shoulder exercises prevent the chances of injury and pain, and the possibility of shoulder dislocations.


You’ll also be amazed to know that shoulder muscles develop faster than other muscles in your body; however, this doesn’t mean that shoulder workouts are easy; instead, they are quite intense and require great upper body stamina.

So, for the good of your overall health, and to get muscular shoulders, here are a few shoulder exercises that you can incorporate into your workout routine.


1.) Barbell Standing Press:

This exercise not only targets your shoulders but also works great for your whole body. It is one of the best overall mass builder workouts that increases your strength and engages your core.

How to perform Barbell Standing Press?

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Grab a barbell at your shoulder height with your palms facing forwards.
  • Now slightly bend your knees to start the move.
  • While making a firm grip, push yourself up with your legs and explosively take the barbell above your head. Make sure your hands are straight when pressing the barbell upwards.
  • Slowly return the barbell to the starting position and repeat.

Check out this video:


2.) Arnold Press:

Arnold press is a challenging way to do the conventional press as the rotating motion of this exercise targets your shoulders more than the standard press and gives out that V-shape.

How to do the Arnold Press exercise?

  • Start by sitting straight on a bench with dumbbells in your hand and your palms facing your shoulders.
  • Slowly push the dumbbells over your head and rotate your arms until your palms face outwards.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds and then properly straighten your arms and reverse the movement.

Check out this video:


3.) Seated Dumbbell Press:

This workout is performed by sitting down as it helps to isolate your shoulder motion. During this exercise, make sure you bring the dumbbells low to get a good range of motion. Do not put the load on your feet, rather engage your delts.

How to perform a Seated Dumbbell Press?

  • Sit straight on a bench.
  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height. Make sure to have an overhand grip.
  • Now press the dumbbells above your head and ensure your arms are extended fully.
  • Slowly return to the starting position and maintain control.

Check out this video:


4.) Lateral Raise:

This shoulder exercise is great for isolating the medial part of your shoulder. It is generally done with higher reps and lighter weight; however, remember that the slower you’ll perform lateral raise the more effective it will be for your shoulders.

How to perform Lateral Raises?

  • Stand straight with your palms facing your body and dumbbells by your side.
  • Your core should be tightened and your shoulders pulled back and down.
  • Keeping your upper body and back straight, and slightly bending your elbows, lift the dumbbells higher than your forearms.
  • Make sure your arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells and return to the starting position.

Check out this video:


5.) Upright Row:

The upright row is another great shoulder exercise for mass building, which also works on the traps. Exercises like these benefit you more as they allow for bigger weights and fewer reps and keep your delts rigorously engaged.

How to perform the Upright Row?

  • Grab a dumbbell in each hand and place them in front of your thighs.
  • Now lift the dumbbells in a controlled movement until they are aligned with your collar bone.
  • Make sure your elbows are pointing upwards to the ceiling.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells to their starting position and repeat.

Check out this video:


6.) Front Raises:

If you want to work harder on your front deltoids, then this exercise is the best way to target that muscle. Front raises allow you to have high reps and low weight and help you get busting gains.

How to do Front Raises?

  • Hold two dumbbells next to your sides at arm’s length with your palms facing each other.
  • Slightly bend your elbows and raise both your arms straight in front of you so they are parallel to the floor.
  • Make sure the dumbbells are at your shoulder level and the sides of your hands are facing up.
  • Hold this position and then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

Check out this video:


7.) Bent-Over Reverse Fly:

Bent-over reverse fly, also called bent-over dumbbell reverse fly or the rear delt raise mainly targets your shoulder muscles and upper-back muscles, including the rear deltoids, the posterior deltoids, and the back of your shoulders.

How to perform Bent-Over Reverse Fly?

  • Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells at your sides.
  • Press back your hips, and bring your chest a bit forward.
  • Allow the dumbbells to hang straight down with your palms facing each other. Keep your back straight, engage your core and bend your knees.
  • Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise both your arms out to the side.
  • Now as you pull both the dumbbells towards your spine, squeeze your shoulders together.
  • Lower the dumbbell back to its starting position.

If you want bigger shoulders and want to keep them healthy, fit and balanced then shoulder exercises need to be included in your daily fitness routine. Trying the above-mentioned shoulder workouts will ensure you get stronger, bigger and wider shoulders, provided you do them the right way.


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Edited by
S Chowdhury
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