Blasting Shoulders with a New Routine

Everyone seems to love working their shoulders – they respond well to weight training and look ever so nice when developed.

Even if your shoulders are already your best feature, you need to keep challenging them to the max. I recently decided I need to amp it up, so I created a new routine that I’m going to use for the next four weeks. I’ll increase the weight as I go and consequently do lower repetitions. When I’m able to increase the reps, I’ll increase the weight again.

My shoulders get worked hard with compound movements such as bench presses, dips, pull ups, and overhead presses. But I enjoy mixing in additional isolation exercises to give my shoulders an extra burn. This routine includes some compound moves as well as a few isolation exercises.

Shoulders Routine

Reverse Fly

Trainer Roy Cohen has recommended doing posterior shoulder exercises first. The posterior shoulder muscles typically aren’t as strong as the front and sides so do them first, while they’re fresh. Note: You can do these flys with bands or the FreeMotion machine.

Arnold Press

This is a compound move that should be a staple among serious and recreational weight lifters alike. My Twitter friend JC of JCD Fitness does mostly compound exercises such as the Arnold press.

Smith Machine Shrug

If you don’t have access to a Smith machine, use dumbbells or a barbell. I use a Smith machine so that I can lift more; if you can’t use a Smith you can use straps to help you lift more.

Cheerleader Version 2

This is different from the cheerleader exercise I already have posted. A trainer at my gym showed it to me… it’s less complicated and just as effective. I hate taking picture of myself doing exercises, so I’m just reusing pictures from the other exercise I posted.

  1. Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, arms hanging down in front of you.
  2. Raise arms (without bending wrists) to shoulder height, elbows bent (do not let elbows go past shoulders).
  3. Keeping dumbbells together in front of you, lower your elbows so that your palms are facing in.
  4. Press the dumbbells overhead, palms facing in.
  5. Lower dumbbells and so that they are facing each other in front of you again.
  6. Raise elbows as in step 2 and repeat.

You may also be interested in What a Burn! My Favorite Shoulder Exercises.

11 thoughts on “Blasting Shoulders with a New Routine

    • Michelle: Thanks babe. Really, the picture makes me look monstrously big, whereas in reality I look quite normal . You’ll get there. Get well first. My shoulder hurt today because I’ve been working them twice a week. Going back to once a week for chest & shoulders anyway.

      Ines, let me know how you like the cheerleader. Shoulders need a little push right now. Next up is a biceps crush; they’re behind.

      Kelly: Sure- I suggest using enough weight to make it challenging for about 10 reps & 3 sets. Or, I go by this:
      For strength gains: 1-6 reps, heavy weight
      For gaining muscle and size: 8-12 reps, medium-heavy weights
      For endurance: 12-16 reps (or more), light-medium weights


  1. I have a weird obsession with the arnold press. I think I just like using the phrase “arnold.” hehe! Thank you for such kind words on my blog suzanne. You amaze me with your kindness!


    • Cool, let me know how you like it. I find that I have to use pretty light weight. And yes – I’ll take Madonna’s trainer (and shoulders) any day! Thanks for stopping by Kelly!


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