Training Series – Shoulders

Training Series


Best 5 exercises to Develop your Shoulder Muscles



To keep the shoulder healthy, mobility and strength are key in the surrounding

muscles to protect the joint. If you are also looking to appear wider, having

impressive shoulder muscles can really help you get that V-shape we talked about in

the back series.

So, same as chest, let’s look at the basics of anatomy at the shoulder, I say basics as

it can get very complicated and confusing, simple is best. We are going to briefly

look at the anatomy of the deltoid muscles and the movements they help create, as

this will give you a better understanding out how they work and why each exercise is

helping to develop them.


There are three muscles that make up the shoulder and they are call your deltoids.

You have your anterior (front), lateral (middle) and posterior (back) deltoids. They

are all individually responsible/required more during different

movements/exercises, so to isolate or target a specific deltoid muscle you need to

think about the movement happening at the joint. Anything in front of the body is

using the anterior deltoid, side of the body the lateral deltoid and then behind the

body the rear deltoid.

As with the chest article, the same tips apply when training shoulder –  remember

while performing the exercises to really maximise results.

  • Lock your shoulders blades in and down while performing each rep
  • Work on your upper back/shoulder mobility and strengthen these muscles to.
  • Work within your active range – were you can feel the muscle working

Now let’s get to the best exercises that will help you develop your shoulde

r muscles.

You will notice that there is a lot of crossover between muscle groups, which is a

common mistake when most people program there shoulder routine. Shoulders are

active during most upper body movements, so they don’t need that much attention

unless they are a lacking body part but then you will need to reduce other muscle

group volume to compensate for this.


Number 1) Shoulder Press

  • Shoulder press is the king of shoulder exercises to build muscle. You can do this one seated or standing, however, seated is the easier as you are more stable and technically should be able to lift heavier. Standing is harder due to being unstable and having to brace your abs and a common mistake you see is the over aching of the lower back. So if lower back issues, start seated, can be done with a barbells and dumbbells.




Number 2) Pull Ups

  • You may be thinking that this is a back exercise, which is correct. However, there is a huge amount of shoulder/deltoid recruitment. Think about the shoulder positioning, it is similar to the shoulder press but the load is distributed differently, there is still load/stress being placed on them. See training series back for more information.


Number 3) Dips

  • Again another crossover exercise, this time is dips. Even though it is specially a chest exercise, again there is a great amount of stress on them and they are working hard to stabilize the shoulder joint. Keep the torso upright and straight if you wish to hit more of the triceps muscles, so you will see this exercise again, when looking at the arms.


Number 4) Reverse Flyes and Lateral Raises

  • Reverse flye and lateral raises are a good exercise to isolate specific parts of you shoulder muscle. If you remember to the brief anatomy break down there are 3 muscles that make up the deltoids. Reverse flyes targets the rear deltoids and lateral raises targets the middle deltoid. Lateral raises will help make you look wider, whereas reverse flyes are good for improving posture and shoulder health.


Number 5) Upright Row

  • This is a good exercises to develop strength and size of the front and lateral deltoids. When performing this exercise instead of leading with your hands, lead with your elbows. So I mean, drag them out as wide as you can, then focus on bring elbows in line or slightly above shoulders.



Again focus on the 3 tips to maximize your results and look at your programming to

ensure you develop strength and health within the shoulder joint. If you would like

any help on developing a training program suited for you then let me know by either

of the ways below.


Alternatively, book a free taster session with me at Our Gym personal training page or head to and

contact me there directly.



Train hard and be ready for change!!