Essential than any fundamental component for a comprehensive workout routine, the best shoulder exercises bring you much closer to that beautiful and evergreen V-shape. Indeed, strengthening your shoulders gives a slim waist and adds definition to your overall shape and physique. Furthermore, studies have proven that the best shoulder exercises help to get rid of pain and reduce the chances of future displacements. Of course, that being said, you need a healthy body and desirable that alone is sufficient to get on the board.

What are Your Shoulder Muscles?

Our shoulder muscles are classified into two groups: extrinsic muscles and intrinsic muscles. They are as follows:

Extrinsic Shoulder Muscles


This muscle is like a triangle and runs down the spine supporting your arm and shoulder when you lift it high. Trapezius muscles are present on both the right and left sides.

Latissimus Dorsi

The meaning of Latissimus Dorsi is “broadest muscle in the back” and it helps to rotate both arms.

Levator Scapulae

The levator scapulae muscle lifts the shoulder bone, which connects the upper arm bone and collarbone.


These diamond-shaped muscles are responsible for the repudiation of the scapula. These muscles are in the middle of the shoulder blades.

Intrinsic Shoulder Muscles


Named after Greek letter delta, this triangular muscle is situated on top of the shoulders. Deltoids muscle develop a foundation for arm rotation and injury avoidance.

Teres Major

This muscle starts from the shoulder and goes towards the back of your armpit.

Rotator Cuff

If you have ever wondered why your arm bone doesn’t come out of your shoulder, you have this muscle to thank.

Best Shoulder Exercises for Men

Now that we’ve understood all the Anatomy behind our shoulder muscles, it’s the time to put shoulder muscles to work. From Barbell’s overhead shoulder press workouts to One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise, you’ll find some of the best shoulder workouts below.

Barbell Overhead Shoulder Press

First is, barbell’s overhead shoulder press also referred as standing shoulder press. It is effective not only for your shoulders but for almost your whole body. That makes it an awesome mass builder.

To perform, place your feet at shoulder-width, and hold the barbell at your shoulders. Then, push the bar up and squash your shoulder together at the peak. Lower carefully and slowly.

Reverse Pec Deck Fly

This shoulder exercises target your deltoids and you can perform this shoulder exercise by a pec deck machine.

To begin, position the seat, face towards the machine and handles at around shoulder level (both sides). Then, grab the handles firmly with your hands facing at the inner side. Keep your chest firm and spread your arms through all the way. Carefully return to the starting point and repeat.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This riotously effective shoulder exercise is among the best workouts for shoulders and targets your middle deltoids, however, it also shapes up your overall body and physique. You have the option to perform this exercise either in a standing position or in a seated position.

To start, grab dumbbells in both hands, keep your chest high, straight and flat back, knees should be slightly bent, and focus your eyes towards any specific point on the ground. Now, bend until the core is mainly parallel with the floor, and keep your elbows in a marginally bent position.

Next, lift both the dumbbells up and out from both sides, creating an arc till your upper arms are matched with your chest. Take a small pause before lowering both the dumbbells back into the initial position. Repeat.

One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise

Very much similar to the reverse crossover, One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise workout shoulder targets mainly the deltoid muscles and offers ample tension.

To start, stand sideward to the cable machine, keep your feet at around shoulder-width apart. Use the handle that’s opposite the pulley and grip the D-handle. With your shoulders at back and with tight abs, elevate the cable using the cue of your shoulders and arms. Place your arms just around the shoulder level and pause for a minute before gradually returning to the initial position. Repeat as described and you can then switch the sides as well. Your elbows and hands must move in combination with each other during the entire workout.

Front Raise

You can perform this Front raise workout by using a weight plate or barbell. This shoulder exercise targets your front delts muscle.

It doesn’t matter what you are using, but be prepared for an extremely intense shoulder exercise that brings a lot of healthy pain.

For that particular reason, don’t use too much weight, as this shoulder workout can quickly turn a healthy pain into a serious injury.

To start, place your hands at around hip height. Your core should be tight and your both feet must be even with your shoulders. Next, pull back your shoulders and keep both arms flat and straight as you lift some weight to your shoulder level. Breathe gradually and lower the weight plate cautiously. Repeat the process.

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