Top 5 Cable Shoulder Exercises for Mass and Strength

Cable shoulder exercises target your shoulder muscles from every angle. (Photo via Pexels/Scott Webb)
Cable shoulder exercises target your shoulder muscles from every angle. (Photo via Pexels/Scott Webb)

Looking for cable shoulder exercises for mass and strength? Well, we’ve rounded up some of the best ones for you to try.

Cable shoulder exercises target your shoulder muscles from every angle and are ideal for sensitive joints as well. They develop some real muscles, offer consistent tension, and also help you learn the correct lifting technique. Cable exercises allow for more controlled movements, especially when doing overhead pressing exercises, and also offer maximum load for massive strength.

One of the best things about cable shoulder exercises is that they are adjustable and can be used by beginners and advanced exercisers alike.

5 cable shoulder exercises for mass and strength

Here are the top 5 cable shoulder exercises to build boulder shoulders.

1. Kneeling shoulder press


The kneeling shoulder press is one of the best cable shoulder exercises for increasing shoulder strength. To make the most out of this exercise, however, keep your core muscles engaged and hips tight throughout the movement.

How to perform:

  • Set the cable machine pulley to its bottom height and hold the cable using a wide neutral grip. Kneel on the floor and adjust yourself so that the cable is at the midline of your body.
  • Now pull the handles to your collarbones with your elbows tucked to the sides of your body and press the handles until your arms get straight above your head.
  • Now lower the handles slowly to return to the start.
  • Repeat the exercise.

2. Cable side lateral raises


Side lateral raises are an effective exercise to build strength and mass in the shoulders. Along with the shoulders, however, this exercise also targets your upper back and trapezius. While doing this exercise, remember not to move higher than your shoulder level.

How to perform:

  • Set the pulley to your waist level and stand on the side of the machine. Keep your feet positioned at shoulder-width distance.
  • Hold the cable using your outer hand with your arm straight. Remember to hold the cable at your thigh level.
  • Maintain this position and move your arm up and out to the side to your shoulder level. Lower the cable slowly to its initial position and repeat the exercise.

3. Cable overhead press


One of the most important cable shoulder exercises to add to your shoulder training is the cable overhead press. This exercise works on both deltoids equally and is also a joint-friendly and shoulder-sensitive overhead pressing exercise.

How to perform:

  • Attach a bar to a low cable and hold the handle using an overhand grip. Position your hands slightly wider than your shoulder width.
  • Now curl the cable up to your shoulder level and engage your core as pull your shoulder blades back and down. Remember to keep your feet at a shoulder-width distance.
  • Press the cable up and over your head to your arm’s length, then push the handle back.
  • Lower the cable back to your shoulder level and repeat the exercise.

4. Cable bent-over reverse fly


The cable bent-over reverse fly is one of the best cable shoulder exercises that directly targets your rear deltoids. For this exercise, however, you need to use a dual-adjustable cable machine.

How to perform:

  • Stand straight and lower the cables to the bottom using a single grip attachment. Come in between the cables and hold them by crossing them over one another. Keep your palms facing inward and positioned in the middle of your body.
  • With your feet at a shoulder-width distance, hinge forward at your hips and start to raise the cables out to your sides until they get parallel to the floor.
  • Once the cables reach the top, lower them to their initial position.
  • Repeat the exercise.

5. Cable upright row


While the traditional dumbbell upright row is great for the shoulders, the cable upright row is also effective when it comes to developing shoulder mass and strength. The cable version of the upright row is one of the best ways to build rear delts, upper back, and traps.

How to perform:

  • Stand in front of the cable machine and use a single bar attachment and cable. Ensure that the cable is in line with your middle body and your feet are at a shoulder-width distance.
  • Hold the bar using an overhand grip and start the movement by pulling the bar up while moving your elbows towards the ceiling.
  • Continue to pull the bar until it reaches your collarbone. Slowly lower it down and repeat the exercise.


If you are interested in training your shoulder muscles for mass and strength, look no further than the aforementioned cable shoulder exercises. To make the most out of these cable exercises, however, ensure that you control the execution of your movements and complete a full range of motion.

Quick Links

Edited by Ruby Khanna
Be the first one to comment