Man posing with big muscles broad shoulders

Best exercises for shoulders – build out your shoulders

There is seldom more of an attention getter than broad shoulders, they have a tendency to be an attention getter, as well as a sign of strength. Building shoulders is often times at the top of the list for weight trainers, I have noticed quite often that people have a tendency to spend a lot of time on shoulder training.


Today I will be discussing what some of the best exercises for shoulders are and how to build out your shoulders. Many times people have a tendency of not spending enough time on doing the exercises for shoulders that will give the most results and muscle size, depending on what their goals are.

We will be looking into how to form a shoulder training routine so that you are doing compound movements as well as isolation movements, how often you should train your shoulders and to always remember to eat smart, that is not eating too much of anything that isn’t going to give your muscles the food they need and avoiding too much fat in your diet.

Training hard

It is essential that if a person is serious about building up a muscular physique and topping it off with a set of broad shoulders, you will need to be dedicated and train hard, and realize that you will not see results overnight, it takes a long time to develop an eye-catching physique.

If you are serious about building muscle size, it takes plenty of hard work and training hard. Some people might misunderstand training hard as doing far too many sets which will lead to over training, or maybe even training their shoulders more than twice a week.

If you are training your shoulders more than twice a week, you are definitely overdoing it and after a period, if you continue to over train a body part, you will become fatigued and fail to see the results that you are looking for if any results at all and eventually your inspiration to work out will become zapped.

It its important that you stay tuned into your system and draw upon a muscle and mind connection, this is just simply a practice of paying attention to how your muscles feel, if they are stiff you definitely don’t want to work them, if feeling muscle stiffness you will want to give them a break.

Compound movements

When you develop a shoulder training routine, it is definitely important to throw compound movements into the mix. These compound movements you should generally perform toward the beginning of your workout when you have the most energy.

Compound exercises for shoulders would typically be any overhead pressing movements whether it be with a barbell, dumbbells or weight machines. Compound movements are exercises that are working more than one muscle at a time, in the case of shoulder training it would be more than just your shoulders that are getting the attention from an exercise.

For example, for shoulders you started out doing a compound movement of military presses, this exercise would not only work the shoulder but would also involve triceps, chest and trap muscles. More specifically when performing military presses which directly hit the shoulder muscle, they will precisely target the front head of the shoulder.

Another variation of a compound movement for shoulders would be upright rows using a shoulder-width grip. Upright rows can be done with either a barbell, dumbbells or cables, but which ever device you use, upright rows should be performed using a shoulder-width grip which will target the side head of your shoulders.

Isolation movements

Isolation movements are exercises that you perform for a specific muscle commonly targeting just specifically that muscle and not involving any other muscles. For example a classic isolation move for shoulders could be the side laterals.

Side laterals when performed stand up straight with a pair of dumbbells in each hand letting your arms hang down at each side, raise your arms out to the sides while keeping a slight bend in your arms, raise your hands high enough so that they are slightly higher than shoulder level.

Once you have raised the weight, return your arms back down to your sides with a slow controlled motion keeping tension on your shoulders. Doing the side laterals will target the side head of your shoulders and they are referred to as an isolation exercise because they are targeting just your shoulders and there is no other muscles involved such as the chest or triceps.

Isolation exercises are great because you can single out specific heads on shoulder to directly work just them. When you form a training program for your shoulders, you should start out with compound movements which will take more energy to perform so you will need to do these at the beginning of your workout.

Once you have performed at least one compound movement at the beginning of your shoulder training workout, then you can follow up by incorporating isolation moves for your shoulders. Commonly some good isolation moves for shoulders are front laterals for the front head of the shoulder, side laterals for the side head of your shoulders, rear laterals for the back head of your shoulders.

Eat for size

Eating or muscle size you will want to keep your food consumption at a moderate level for each meal consuming five to six times a day. The purpose for eating a smaller amount at a time while eating more often in the day is for the sake of helping your food to digest better.

If you consume three larger meals in one day, the food will tend to sit heavier and quite commonly can be more likely to turn to fat whereas it is better if you eat smaller amounts of food per meal, this will help to split up the cycle of nutrients targeted to the muscles throughout the day at a better level.

When consuming food you will want to take in a good share of protein for building muscle, typically you should follow a plan of 0.8 to as much as one gram of protein per pound of body weight. It is also necessary to make sure that the type of protein you take in is lean, typically white meat such as chicken, fish and tuna are all excellent choices because they have a lower fat content.

Other great sources of protein could be dairy products such as milk and cottage cheese and Greek yogurt. You will also want to take in a good share of carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables which is where you will receive your energy from.

This is not always an easy thing to do, but if you can have fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet is best, because quite often if you purchase canned stuff can tend to be higher in sugar and fat which is exactly what you are trying to avoid.


I hope that you have taken away something positive in this article on shoulder training so that you can make the most of your training and see the best results from your hard work.

To see the best results in your training it is always necessary to get in a minimum of eight hours of sleep per night, it is during the sleeping hours is when your muscles will actually do the growing. When you are in the gym training, you are breaking the muscle fibers down. It is during the sleeping hours is when you will see the results you are dreaming for

You will need to stick with it and keep at a regular training routine targeting your shoulders twice a week but no more. Target compound movements first so that you have the most energy for performing these exercises, as well the compound exercises you can lift heavier on which promote better muscle gains.

Finish off your training programs with isolation moves which you can perform with dumbbells and cables, typically barbell’s and weight machines are good for compound exercises.

Keep training hard and stick to the outline that I have laid out for you here today, keep your goals written down and in a place that you can see quite frequently throughout the day and never allow discouragement set in. Keep training hard and shoot for the stars, you can do it, keep a positive mental image in mind of where you desire to be and follow through with it.

If you are interested in supplementation for gaining muscle, click on this link.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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2 thoughts on “Best exercises for shoulders – build out your shoulders”

  1. Thank you for the great advice, I have always worked out and had good gains in the chest and arms area, but struggled to get the same gains in my shoulders. These tips should help me, as well as eating the correct way to gain mass. I do not eat 5 to 6 meals a day right now, maybe that will help as well. Thank you again!


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