The 3 Best Shoulder Strengthening Exercises


Recovering from injuries, warming up before working out, or just in between: you don’t need much time, equipment, or expensive machinery to strengthen your shoulders.

The 5 Best Shoulder Strengthening Exercises
The 5 Best Shoulder Strengthening Exercises

Developed Shoulders Are a Key To Completing A Balanced Physique

Virtually, shoulders play a part in just about every single upper body movement. Hence it’s important to have strong shoulders which enable you to lift heavier weights for chest and back exercises.

Performing isolated shoulder workout can make your shoulders stronger; make them look wider and aesthetically pleasing. These exercises improve the blood flow in the muscle group that make up your shoulders and help in building powerful shoulders.

Put simply, the shoulder is made up of 2 groups of muscles:

  • Extrinsic muscles – These are muscles which originate from the torso, and attach to the bones of the shoulder.
  • Intrinsic muscles – These are muscles which originate from the scapula or clavicle and attach to the humerus.

1. Cable Reverse Fly

Cable reverse fly is a cable-based shoulder strengthening exercise which produces continuous muscle tension. This workout keeps the tension and resistance up and helps to strengthen your rear deltoids, rhomboids and trapezius.

1. Start off setting up handles on two low pulley cable machines, stand in between the machines and grab the handles with opposite hands.

2. Bend down so that your back is parallel with the ground and bring the handles right below your chest.

3. Slowly extend your arms out, squeezing your shoulders so that your arms reach the ‘open hug’ stance and hold for a count.

4. Return back to the starting position.

5. Repeat for many reps and sets.

2. Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The lateral raise is one of the most versatile exercises for those looking to build shoulders like boulders. You can do this standing up or leaning on your knees sitting down. Essentially, you’ll raise weights to the sides and up to shoulder level, then lower them again, utilizing other muscles as well.

1. Grab a set of dumbbells and bend your torso, until your chest is nearly parallel to the floor.

2. Raise your arms out to the sides as you lift the dumbbells.

3. Once both arms are parallel to the floor, pause and then slowly lower them to the starting position.

4. Repeat the set.

3. Face Pull

If you are doing a lot of pushing exercises in the gym (like pushup or bench press), face pull is a great way to balance all of that pushing with pulling. Face pull works many muscles in the shoulders and upper back, bulking them up while also balancing out the effects of all those pressing exercises.

1. Hold the rope with an overhand grip, with your thumbs up.

2. Take a few steps back from the tower to extend the cable.

3. Pull the handles towards you, keeping your upper arms parallel to the floor, so that the handles go either side of your face. Hold the position for 2 seconds, and then return to the starting position, keeping the tension in the cable.

3. Return to the starting position, making sure to keep your shoulders up.

4. Keep your movements slow and controlled throughout the exercise.