6 Best Shoulder Exercises and Workouts For Women

Here are the best shoulder exercises for women! (Image via unsplash/John Arano)
Best shoulder exercises for women (Image via Unsplash/John Arano)

The shoulder is one of the most important parts of the body. It's not only connected to the spine, but it's also an important part of the arm and hand.

The shoulders are used to lift heavy objects, throw balls, and much more. That makes it very important that you train them regularly to avoid injury and keep them healthy. Here are a few great shoulder exercises for women:

Best Shoulder Exercises for Women

Here's a look at six such exercises:

#1 Face Pull

Face pulls are a variation of bent-over row, which is a great workout for building back muscles.

This variation is great for those with shoulder issues, as it does not involve any external rotation, so it can help strengthen that muscle group. For those who need to warm up before their workout, face pulls are a good choice, as they get the blood flowing and heart rate up.


#2 Upright Row

The upright row is one of the best shoulder workouts for women, as it works the three heads of the shoulder muscles: the front, middle and rear deltoids.

It's done as follows:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your sides and palms facing away from you.
  • Lift up both weights till they're almost in line with your chin, and lower them back down again to the starting position.
  • Make sure to keep your wrists straight, and contract (squeeze) your shoulders at the top of the movement.
  • You can also use an exercise band instead of weight if you prefer; just wrap it around something sturdy like a table leg so that it provides resistance while allowing free movement.


#3 Lateral Raise

The lateral raise is an isolation exercise that targets the sides of the shoulders. It can be done with dumbbells or cables and can be done standing or sitting.

It can also be done with a barbell or dumbbells, depending on your fitness level and equipment availability.

It's done as follows:

  • Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and hold either one or two weights in each hand by your side and palms facing forward.
  • Lift arms straight out to the sides till they’re parallel to the floor; lower them back down to the start position without letting them drop below parallel (i.e., don't let them lower beyond where they started).
  • Focus on using only your deltoids (the muscles at either side of your upper arm) during this movement.
  • Don’t use momentum from other parts of the body like the legs or shoulders — that means no leaning back as you lift.


#4 Rear Delt Flye

The rear delt flye is a great exercise for women to add to their shoulder workout and fitness plan.

It's done as follows:

  • Sit at a weight bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Lean forward slightly, with your arms down by your sides.
  • With elbows bent, raise the weights up till they're slightly above shoulder height, with the palms facing back towards you.
  • Slowly lower the weights back down to the starting position, and repeat for the desired reps (it's usually best to start out small).


You can perform this exercise as part of a larger shoulder workout or on its own once per week, but don’t overdo it. Start out using just enough weight so that you feel challenged but not exhausted when performing this movement pattern.

#5 Front Raise

This shoulder exercise targets the front deltoids and can also help shape up the biceps and strengthen the triceps and upper back muscles. If you're raising an object upward, that action requires some pretty strong triceps muscles.

Here's how this exercise is done:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart, and hold dumbbells by your sides.
  • Raise the dumbbells out in front of you in a straight line with your shoulders.
  • Lower the weights back down in front of you to complete one rep.

To increase the intensity, hold heavier weights for more reps, or do partial repetitions where only part of the movement is completed (for example, raise the weight halfway up before lowering it again).

#6 Seated Overhead Press

The seated overhead press is a great exercise to build up the shoulders. It's also a great exercise to prevent injury, as you're working with a relatively lighter weight than some other shoulder exercises.

This movement works well with any form of resistance training programme, as it helps increase bone density and improve balance.

Here's how it's done:

  • Use ten-pound dumbbells, and perform four sets of eight repetitions on each side.
  • Sit on a bench, and lift the dumbbells over your head, remembering to keep your back as stable as possible to prevent the use of momentum.
  • You will feel in your anterior deltoids, which are located on the front of your shoulder blade, when you raise the arms towards the sky.


The shoulders are very important, as they act as a link between the back and chest. That makes it even more important to do shoulder exercises.

Make sure your shoulders are strong enough. You don’t want them to get injured or having soreness when you wear certain clothes. Apart from the aforementioned ones, there are so many more out there. So pick one, and get started.

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