Shoulder workouts with dumbbells are the best way to train and strengthen the shoulder muscles. Doing regular dumbbell shoulder exercises not only builds strength but targets the entire upper body while also preventing pain and injuries in the shoulder joints.
Additionally, shoulder workouts with dumbbells improve rotator cuff-related shoulder discomfort and help boost overall upper body functioning. All you have to do is opt for exercises that hit the entire shoulder and surrounding muscles. That include the serratus anterior, delts, upper trapezius, levator scapulae, and rotator cuff.
To help you get started, we have listed a few of the best shoulder workouts with dumbbells that you can do at the gym or even at home.
Top shoulder workouts with dumbbells
Get started with the following five exercises to hit the shoulder muscles from every angle:
#1 Seated dumbbell press
This is one of the best shoulder press variation exercises to train the shoulder with a dumbbell.
The seated dumbbell press is among the easiest and most productive shoulder workouts with dumbbells that isolate the shoulder motion and help strengthen the muscles efficiently. This exercise allows you to take the load off your feet and put a load on the shoulders, particularly the delts.
To do a seated shoulder press:
- Sit straight on an exercise bench, and hold two dumbbells in each hand at your shoulder height. Make sure to grab the dumbbell using an overhand grip.
- Slowly press the dumbbells up above your head till you're fully extended.
- Return the dumbbells to their starting position, and repeat the exercise.
#2 Dumbbell reverse flye
The reverse fly is among the best shoulder workouts with dumbbells that specifically target the rear deltoid muscles and also works on other major upper body muscles.
To do a dumbbell reverse flye:
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand, and stand with your feet together. Bend your knees, and lean forward at a 45-degree angle from the hips.
- Position the dumbbells together in front of you, and lift them out to your sides till the arms get parallel to the floor.
- While raising the dumbbells, ensure that the shoulder blades are retracted and the arms are slightly bent.
- Return the dumbbells to the starting position, and repeat the exercise.
#3 Renegade row
The renegade row is one of the best shoulder workouts with dumbbells that simultaneously engages the core and back muscles while also working on the biceps and triceps. This exercise helps build upper body strength and also improves stabilization and balance.
To do a renegade row:
- Get into a tabletop position on all fours, and place your hands on dumbbells on each side. Ensure that the hands are at shoulder-width distance.
- Slowly row the right dumbbell towards the right side, and balance on your left feet and hand.
- Pause at the top, and return your hand slowly to the starting position.
- Repeat the exercise on the other side.
#4 Leaning dumbbell lateral raise
If you want to improve shoulder stability and range of motion, look no further than this shoulder lateral raise variation.
Leaning dumbbell lateral raises are one of the best shoulder workouts with dumbbells that allow a stronger contraction of the lateral delts and help achieve more gains. This exercise also addresses strength imbalance between the two shoulders.
To do a leaning dumbbell lateral raise:
- Hold onto a pole or a power rack with one hand, and grab a dumbbell in your opposite hand. Place your feet together close to the power rack.
- Rest the dumbbell on your outer thigh, and lift the dumbbell away till there's a contraction in the lateral deltoid muscle.
- Lower your hand, and repeat the exercise a few times.
- Switch sides, and repeat.
#5 Dumbbell push press
The dumbbell push press engages the lower body and uses an extension of the knees, hips, and ankles. This lower body movement, though, allows you to press more weight over your head, hitting the shoulder muscles even more effectively.
To do a dumbbell push press:
- Grab a dumbbell in each hand, and rest them on top of your shoulders. Stand in an upright position, with your feet at shoulder-width distance.
- Take a quarter squat position with the knees over your toes, and press through your feet as you push the dumbbell up over your head.
- Lock out the weight once they reach over your head, and slowly lower them back to their starting position.
If you are trying to develop a muscular upper body, training the shoulders must be one of your priorities. The best way to put on some serious gains is by incorporating the aforementioned shoulder workouts with dumbbells in your exercise routine.
Look to do these exercises at least thrice a week and see how quickly you will achieve well-developed and strong shoulders.