The 7 Best Shoulder Exercises (Don’t Shrug These Off)

June 24, 2020

Want to work out your legs? Take a run on the treadmill or do some lunges. Looking to tone your arms? Use a mix of free weights and bench press. Working on a six-pack? Engage your core with crunches and planks. But what if you want to strengthen your shoulders? Shoulders are an essential part of your workout, but they’re often overlooked because exercises to strengthen them aren’t as intuitive as those for other parts of the body. That’s why we’ve compiled the top eight shoulder exercises that only require dumbbells, a resistance band, and a bench.

1. Dumbbell Overhead Press

Choose a dumbbell weight you are comfortable safely holding above your head. Start by holding them just above your shoulders with your palms facing forward, then raise your arms straight above your head. Make sure not to move your back or allow it to arch, then return to start for one rep.

2. Bent-Over Fly

Begin by standing with your feet hip-width apart, knees bent, and bend forward until your back is flat and your torso is parallel to the floor. Then hold the dumbbells with arms extended straight down and palms facing each other. Raise your arms up and out to the sides while squeezing shoulder blades together, then return arms to straight down for one rep.

3. Standing Dumbbell Fly

Stand with arms at your side and, without shrugging, use just your upper body to swing the dumbbells up a few inches. You’ll know your form is correct if your arms and torso form an upside-down V shape. Return to start for one rep.

4. Trap Raise

Using a bench to a low incline, lie face-down with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Then retract your shoulder blades and raise the dumbbells straight out so your arms are parallel to the floor, then return for one rep.

5. Band Lateral Raise

Form an X in front of your body by stepping on the free end of each band with the opposite foot. Then raise your arms 90 degrees out to the sides until your upper arms are parallel to the floor and return for one rep.

6. Plank Dumbbell Shoulder Raise

Begin in the plank position while holding the dumbbells and set your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Then alternate reps lifting one arm off the ground and straight out in front of you until it lines up with your body and is parallel to the ground.

7. Alternating Dumbbell Front Raise

Stand with your knees slightly bent and hold your dumbbells in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Then alternate lifting your dumbbells in front of you until your arm is slightly above parallel to the floor while keeping your elbow slightly bent and your palm facing down, returning to start for each rep.

Did you suffer a shoulder injury while breaking a sweat? Orlin & Cohen offices across Long Island are open for immediate, personalized care. Balancing the need to help relieve your shoulder pain with the health and safety of our patients, staff, and community, we are taking every precaution to create the safest environment possible. Immediate in-person, as well as telehealth, appointments are available seven days a week: Request an appointment now or call 516-536-2800 or 631-706-2800.