6 Ultimate Shoulder Exercises Inspired by Kai Greene’s Workouts

Kai Greene performs compound exercises to stimulate shoulder growth. (Image via IG @kaigreene)
Kai Greene performs compound exercises to stimulate shoulder growth. (Image via IG @kaigreene)
Soniya Y

It's no secret that Kai Greene has one of the best pair of shoulders in bodybuilding. If you want awe-inspiring shoulders and a physique similar to Kai Green’s, then you should know what his workouts look like.

For well-defined shoulders, you should pay attention to individual muscles of the region.This will give you clarity on the type of workout required to achieve complete success.

Ultimate Shoulder Exercises Inspired by Kai Greene’s Workouts

1. Lying Side Raise

The side-lying dumbbell lateral raise is a good isolation exercise for the deltoid, especially for the middle section of the muscle. It will help you broaden your shoulders and see how Kai Greene does it the right way.


To do this workout:

  • Lie down sideways on a flat bench.
  • Bend your knees, and pull them toward you.
  • Lift a dumbbell with your other hand; bring it to touch the top of your shoulder and hold it there.
  • Slowly raise the weight pushing it towards the ceiling.
  • Bring it down but do not let it touch the floor.
  • Reverse the move and repeat.

2. Overhead Smith Machine Press

Building the deltoids can give you hefty shoulders and a similar frame to Kai Greene. Strong shoulders help to reduce pain and injuries to the shoulders. The Smith machine press is a good workout to strengthen your shoulders and improve the range of motion, especially overhead lifting.The Smith machine can be safer than a barbell or dumbbell shoulder press.


To do this workout:

  • Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip. Lower the dumbbell to your chest, then push it straight up.
  • Keep your torso tight as you press the bar overhead.
  • Push your head through the arms, as if pushing it through a keyhole, so that your body stays under the bar as it travels in a straight line.
  • Repeat the exercise, lowering the bar more slowly.

3. Arnold Press

Arnold press uses a fuller range of motion than the ordinary dumbbell press, and hits your rear, middle, and front delts with every rep. It's the most preferred routine for Kai Greene and to sculpt his physique.


To begin:

  • Choose a weight that allows you to do 3-4 sets of 10 reps without compromising your posture and stability.
  • Holding two dumbbells, stand straight with your head and spine in neutral position.
  • Lift the weights above your shoulders with your chin tucked, elbows pointing down toward the floor, and palms facing each other.
  • Move smoothly as you press up from this position until your arms are straight but not locked and your palms are facing forward from the wrist rotation.

4. Cable Lateral Raise

Shoulders like Kai Greene's aren't built in a day, but you can get started with cable lateral raises to help you. The cable lateral raise is a shoulder exercise that can help you achieve more division and roundness in your deltoid muscles. It is an efficient exercise as you can see results quickly.


To do this workout:

  • Attach the handle of a cable machine to the lowest pulley.
  • Stand to one side of the machine and grab the handle with one hand, bracing yourself with your other hand against the tower, which is used for balance.
  • With your elbow slightly bent, raise your arm to shoulder height and lower it again; repeat.

5. Upright Row

You should pay attention to movement and position during the barbell upright row. It is one of the best exercises to help you build upper traps and shoulders, like Kai Greene's.


To lift a barbell:

  • Load it with the desired weight and stand facing it at an arm's length away.
  • Grasp the bar with an overhand grip, hands slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
  • Bend at the knees and keep your back straight while lifting the bar up to chest height, keeping it close to your body.
  • Pause, then slowly lower the bar back down to starting position before repeating for desired reps.

6. Bent-Over Rear Delt Raise

Kai Greene's upper back and shoulders have fullness, and you can achieve the same with the bent-over dumbbell rear delt raise. It increases the range of motion so you are less prone to soreness.


To do this workout:

  • Face front, stand with your feet together and arms at your sides.
  • Now, keeping your back straight, lean forward from the hips.
  • Your arms will be perpendicular to the floor in front of you, facing each other.
  • Your torso should remain parallel to the floor. This is your starting position.
  • Bring your chest to your knees, with your arms straight and parallel to the floor.
  • Then lift the dumbbells to the side until they are parallel to the floor.
  • Repeat this move several times and then lower the dumbbells back to their original position. You may also do this exercise while seated.


When it comes to building a truly massive pair of shoulders, isolation exercises are always be the best way to go. Compound movements are great for developing overall size and strength, but for really thick and defined shoulders, you are going to have to focus on isolation lifts. These Kai Greene-inspired shoulder exercises take some getting used to, but you'll get there in the end. And don't forget to warm up properly!

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Edited by Ramaa Kishore


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