What a Burn! My Favorite Shoulder Exercises

Shoulders are my favorite muscle group to work and I’ve heard a lot of people say the same. With the right form and exercises, you can see a lot of definition in your deltoids. Along with a muscular back, sculpted shoulders can make your waist look smaller, giving you that attractive V-shape everyone wants. Plus, there are three muscles to hit in your shoulder and many exercises to choose from, making boredom a non issue.

If you start to struggle and your form suffers, lower the weight. If you can do more than your target rep range, increase the weight. This will ensure you’re challenging your muscles while protecting you from injury.

I’ve spotlighted a few of my favorite shoulder exercises that have helped me through plateaus and given me great results. You don’t need to do them all in one workout; choose one or two to add to your existing workout and remember to increase the weight regularly and change the exercises after four weeks.

Tip: Be sure to do regular shoulder maintenance exercises to help prevent injuries.

Iron Cross

This exercise incorporates two moves into one and will really give you a nice burn in your shoulders. I broke through a plateau adding this to my routine! Use very light weight (start with 5 lbs) and keep your shoulders down. If your shoulders start to bunch up near your ears, then lower your weight.

One-Arm Reverse Fly

You must incorporate some kind of rear lateral fly into your workout to work your rear delts. If you use the cable machine, you may need to go fairly light to start. This video shows it done bending over using a cable machine. I also do one-arm reverse lateral raises with a dumbbell, the other one hand leaning on an incline bench.

See the the One-Arm Reverse Fly

Military Press-Lateral Raise Superset

Superset the standing dumbbell military press and seated lateral raises. This superset will give you an amazing pump! Standing instead of sitting for military presses engages your core and is more challenging. Seated lateral raises isolate the medial deltoid, which is the middle of the three main shoulder muscles. You’ll definitely need lighter weights for both versions.

Note: The link for the standing dumbbell military press shows the seated position. When standing, do not swing your body and use a lighter weight.

Enjoy your pump and the results you’ll be getting from mixing it up with shoulder exercises!

12 thoughts on “What a Burn! My Favorite Shoulder Exercises

    • You bet. I’ve always had an aversion to putting my face on the bench, but nothing a towel can’t fix ;). Both arms are more challenging, thanks for mentioning it.


  1. Oh my! The military press/lateral raise super set would be a killer! I’ve gotta try that!

    Watchout – I’m subscribed – consider that a warning LOL

    PS – I LOVE my shoulders – they’re always the 1st part that starts looking “defined” on me — God Bless Our Shoulders!


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