5 Best Shoulder Workout For Mass and Strength

When it comes to training shoulders most of the people have well-developed front delts only. But for the well-defined development of the shoulder muscles, you need to focus on all the parts of the shoulders which are anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoids.

There are numerous workout techniques that can be applied to build shoulder mass and strength. Here we are going to see 5 of the best exercises for shoulder mass and strength.

But in my opinion, when training shoulders people should pay more attention to working on there side and rear delts because that is where most people lack definition and is underdeveloped.

For instance, just check yourself by looking at a mirror for seeing the picture of any gym guy. You will see that the front part of the shoulder will be sticking out and will be quite dominant while the side and posterior part will be flat and smooth because of the lack of development in the rear and midsection.

Without further ado, let’s get into the list of best shoulder workouts for mass and definition.

Best Shoulder Workout For Mass And Strength

Seated shoulder press

This workout primarily focuses on two portions of the Deltoids, or Shoulders that are the anterior deltoid and the lateral deltoid.Your triceps and rotator cuff muscles will also work together with your shoulders while doing this exercise.
This exercise will help you increase strength and endurance at the same time.
According to Ace Fitness, if you are trying to build strength do 2 – 6 sets of 4 – 8 reps, and if you are trying to increase endurance do 1 – 3 sets of 8 – 15 reps will be okay.

How to perform seated Shoulder Press?

  1. Pick up to two equal weight dumbbells and hold the dumbbells by your shoulders with your palms facing forwards.
  2. Position your elbows out to the sides and bend at A 90-degree angle.
  3. Without leaning back extend your elbows to press the weight above your head. Do not press up to the locking position of the elbows.
  4. Slowly return to the starting position.
  5. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Common mistakes while performing seated Shoulder Press

  1. Not using a full range of motion
  2. Provided that you don’t have any pre-existing shoulder injuries, you should try bringing your upper arms below then the position when it is parallel to the floor.
  3. Letting your elbows flare out. As it puts unnecessary pressure on your joints it can lead to elbow overuse injuries over time.
  4. Looking up instead of forward.
  5. Resist the urge of looking upwards rather look forward because looking after can increase the potential of neck injuries.

Seated Dumbell lateral Raise

The Seated dumbbell lateral raise is an isolation exercise that will strengthen your whole shoulder but its emphasis is more on the sides of the deltoid muscle which is lateral deltoids.

By working on your lateral Deltoids you can make your shoulders look broader. Bear in mind that while doing this exercise you don’t have to use heavier weights rather grab some light dumbbells that you don’t struggle to lift.

How to do Seated Dumbbell Lateral Raise?

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit up straight with your feet around shoulder-width apart on the age of flat bench or a chair.
  2. Hold the dumbbells at your sides at around 4 inches from your body facing your palms in.
  3. Look forward and keep your body Still. Slowly repeat the movement around shoulder height with a slight bend in your arms.
  4. Pause for a few seconds and then slowly lower the dumbbells to the initial position.
  5. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps.


You can also do this exercise by standing.

Common mistakes while performing seated dumbbell lateral raise

  1. Do not let your hands go higher than your elbows.
  2. Perform the exercise slowly as it is an isolation exercise and your focus should be on doing the exercise correctly not moving as much weight as you can

Barbell shoulder press

Shoulder Press or the military place is a compound exercise that is a must for building serious upper-body mass strength. It is very useful to boost performance for strength power and fitness athletes. Barbell Shoulder Press is one of the best shoulder workouts you can do for building wider looking more powerful Shoulders.

This exercise can be done in both the seated and the standing position.

If you are a beginner or have a problem with your back then it’s better to perform seated Barbell Shoulder Press.

How to do Seated Barbell Shoulder Press?

  1. Sit on a bench with back support in a squat rack. position of our well at a height that is just above your head. then Grab a barbell with your palms facing forward.
  2. After you pick up the bar with correct grip width lift bar over your head by locking your arms and hole at shoulder level slightly in front of your head which will be your starting position.
  3. Lower the bar down to the shoulders slowly as you inhale.
  4. Lift the bar back to the starting position as you exhale.
  5. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps.

VARIATIONThis shoulder exercise can also be performed standing.

Common mistakes while doing Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

Not using a full range of motion

What Caliberstrong says is, assuming that you don’t have pre-existing shoulder injuries, you should actually bring the bar down to talk to your clavicles for each rep.

Letting the elbows flare out. As this will hurt your elbows, the natural tendency to flare out your elbows adds an unnecessary burden on your joints which is why many people complain about their elbow pains.

Not completely locking out the weight

For overall stability and to avoid elbow and Shoulder injuries it is very much important to fully extend your arms at the top of the movement, with your traps and upper back tight.

Seated Bent-Over Lateral Raise

Also known as rear lateral raise, this exercise builds strength and size of the rear delt, a muscle on the backside of the shoulder.

“In the worst cases, weak rear delts cause strength imbalances in the Shoulders which overtime causes shoulders to round off towards your front giving you bad poster and characteristics of a shoulder injury.” says iron grip.

How to do seated bent-over lateral raise?

  1. Start by sitting on a chair or a bench holding dumbbells in both your hands at your sides, palms facing in.
  2. Bend at your waist to lean over until your torso is nearly parallel to the ground. hang your arms below your shoulders with your elbows slightly bent.
  3. Maintaining that bent position of your elbow throughout the movement, raise the dumbbells to the side until your elbows are in line with your shoulders.keep your back flat and core tight.
  4. Lower the dumbbells to the starting position in a controlled way.
  5. Perform 1 – 3 sets of 8 – 12 reps.

Common mistakes in Bent-over Lateral Raises 

Bouncing your back

Generating the momentum using a bad does not sufficiently challenge the rear delt. it also takes the dumbbells out of their path to safely work your upper back and rear delts.

Performing low reps with heavyweights

As this is not a strength exercise like shoulder press, it is better to perform bent-over lateral raises in control and effectively strengthen the rear delt.

Dumbell Front Raise

Dumbbell front raises is an isolation exercise which isolates shoulder flexion. When it comes to working on your front delts, there is no fine exercise than the front raises.

It primarily works the anterior or real deltoid while your serratus anterior, biceps brachii, and clavicular portions of the pectoralis major are also involved.

There are two ways to do the dumbbell version of front raises- the double front raise and alternating single-arm front raise.

How to perform the double-arm dumbbell front raises?

  1. Begin by holding two dumbbells of equal weight in front of your thighs with your palms facing towards your body( pronated grip).
  2. Keep your back straight and feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lift the dumbbells in front of you in a controlled way until your hands are in line with your shoulders. pause for a few seconds.
  4. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  5. Perform 1-3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Common mistakes to avoid while doing dumbbell front raises

Lifting above the shoulder level. Lifting higher is unnecessary as it will provide no extra stimulation to the front delts rather it will increase the risks of injury to the shoulder joint.

Using a heavyweight.

Since front delts are relativity a small muscle that can be sufficiently tensed by using light weights, using heavy weights will increase the chance of injury.

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Aaron Reiner

Aaron is a fitness blogger, founder & editor of Prosfitness. He has been lifting weights & writing about fitness for over 3 years. He has been a contributor for several health and fitness publications.

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