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Best Shoulder Exercises with Weights. My Top 5 Exercises

Best Shoulder Exercises with Weights. My Top 5 Exercises

In this article, I want to talk about Best Shoulder Exercises with Weights. Training shoulders are not that vital for us, because we are engaging shoulders while we executing other exercises like chest press or deadlifts. You can have a look at chest exercises with weights or back exercises with weights which targets your shoulders as well.

However, it’s not the end of the world to miss shoulder workout from time to time, but don’t forget to train your shoulders at least couple times a month if you want to have round and fully developed shoulders. Wider shoulder will help you to have that V shape look.

Let’s have a look at my top 5 best shoulder exercises with weights.

 

Shoulder press

This exercise primarily focuses on your shoulder (deltoids) secondary on your traps, triceps, and core.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Pick a set of dumbbells, sit on the bench that has back support and set backrest to 90 or 80-degree angle. Place the dumbbells upright on top of your thighs.
  • Kick your legs up helping to bring the dumbbells to shoulder height.
  • Keep the weights with palms of your hands facing forward. This is your starting position.
  • Push the dumbbells up until your arms are fully extended, but not locked at the elbows and your dumbbells at the same line as your shoulders.
  • Stop for a second and squeeze your shoulders.
  • Repeat between 6 – 15 repetitions for each arm. 3 – 5 sets.

 


Standing Military Press

This exercise primarily focuses on your shoulder (deltoids) secondary on your traps, triceps, upper chest and core.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Place the barbell on a squat rack at about chest height. Select appropriate weights and grab the barbell with palms facing forward wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Slightly bend the knees and place the barbell on your collar bone. Slightly lift the barbell up and take the step back with your feet at shoulder width.
  • Lift the bar up over your head until your arms are fully extended, but not locked. Hold the bar at shoulder level, slightly in front of your head. That is your starting position.
  • Slowly lower the weight down to the upper chest controlling negative movement.
  • Slowly lift the weight back up to the starting position. Stop for a second and squeeze your shoulders at the top.
  • Slowly lower the bar to the upper chest.
  • Repeat between 6 – 15 repetitions for each arm. 3 – 5 sets.

 


Seated Arnold press

This exercise primarily focuses on your shoulder (deltoids) secondary on your traps and triceps.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Pick a set of dumbbells, sit on the bench that has back support and set backrest to 90 or 80-degree angle. Place the dumbbells upright on top of your thighs.
  • Kick your legs up helping to bring the dumbbells to shoulder height.
  • Start holding dumbbells in front of you, palms facing body and dumbbell at about your eye level.
  • Raise the dumbbells and as raising rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward.
  • Continue lifting while your arms are fully extended, but not locked at the elbows and your dumbbells are at the same line as your shoulders.
  • Stop for a second at the top and squeeze your shoulders.
  • Lower the dumbbells to the original position by rotating the palms of your hands towards you.
  • Repeat between 8 – 15 repetitions for each arm. 3 – 5 sets.


Lateral raise

This exercise primarily focuses on side and front shoulders (deltoids) and secondary on your traps and core.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Pick a set of dumbbells and stand straight with your feet at shoulder width and knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells at natural standing position arms extended down and by your side length, palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
  • Keeping your body straight, without swinging or leaning forward or back lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow while your arms are in the straight line with shoulders.
  • Stop for a second at the top squeezing your shoulders.
  • Slowly lower your dumbbells down controlling your negative movement, don’t drop your weights.
  • Repeat between 8 – 15 repetitions for each arm. 3 – 5 sets.

 


Reverse cable fly

This exercise primarily focuses on your rear shoulders (deltoids) and rear back.

How to execute this exercise correctly

  • Attach handles to the cable machine pulleys set at chest height.
  • Reach across your body and grab one handle with a neutral grip. With other arm reach and grab the opposite handle.
  • Step back one step until you start feeling the tension in the cables.
  • Hold or arms extended in front of you at the chest height, keeping your knees slightly bent.
  • Keeping the elbows slightly bent pull the handles laterally back until your hands are at the same line as your body at chest height.
  • Stop for a second and squeeze your rear deltoids (shoulders).
  • Slowly, controlling your negative return your hands to a starting position (in front of you).
  • Repeat between 12 – 15 repetitions for each arm. 3 sets.

 

 

These are my best shoulder exercises with weights. Don’t forget to always keep the good form, do not cheat and always control your negative movement. If weights are too heavy and you can’t execute the recommended repetition range, change to a lighter weight for the next set. If your weights are too light and you can do more than a target repetition range, change to a heavier weight for your next set.

You don’t have to do all these exercises as part of your shoulder workout, it is enough to choose three exercises for your shoulder workout. Best to choose one exercise for each of the three shoulder heads.

As always, if you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Marius Mickevicius

Founder of ihealthylifestyle

 

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13 thoughts on “Best Shoulder Exercises with Weights. My Top 5 Exercises”

  • There are so many shoulder exercises I can find on the internet , but I always don’t know how to choose , after reading your post,I’ll choose 2~3 exercises of them and give it a try! Thanks for your helpful information!

    • You are welcome Chars, I’m very happy that my article helped you to decide and which shoulder exercises to choose and try. They all great but I suggest to start from seated shoulder press and lateral raises.

  • I really enjoyed this article, there are 3 exercises here that are my favorite already! Thanks for the detailed explanations and bullet points with them. The advice on weight to use and amount of shoulder exercises to include in a workout was helpful and important. Thanks.

    • Thank you, I am very happy that my article can help people. I wanted to give people a bit of advice on how often they should train shoulders and what weights are better to use and recommended sets and reps as well.

  • Love the look of this website and the article. I have really wanted to tone up my shoulders but have been using the lateral raise as this is what I was recommended in the past. I like the way you show your videos as this really enhances the exercises. I am going to try the seated shoulder shoulder press next time I’m at the gym as it looks like it will give off good results. Do you know which exercises get the fastest results?

    • Thank you so much Glenford, glad I can help. For shoulder mass, I would recommend seated shoulder press, military press with a heavier weight between 6 – 10 repetitions, and lateral raise for sides of the shoulders, so you would get nice round shoulders. Bench press for chest is very good exercise because you are engaging your triceps and front deltoids (shoulders) too.

  • What is considered a “good” standard for weight to be able to handle with the Standing Military Press?

    Also, thanks for the videos!

    • Hi Bob, for Military press It is best to choose weight, that you could do between 6 and 8 repetitions without cheating and rocking your body. I usually work with 40 kg to 50 kg barbell at the moment.

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