16 Shoulder Exercises

Upright Rows

Upright-Barbell-Row

Primary Muscle(s): Front Deltoids, Traps

  • Hold a barbell (an EZ bar works, too) with an overhand grip. Place your hands roughly 6″ apart.
  • Under control, slowly pull the bar up to the top of your chest — keep your elbows flared up so that they’re higher than your hands. Your core should be tight throughout.
  • Hold it for .5s at the top and slowly lower back down to the bottom.

Tip: Superset back-to-back with #14, Front Plate Raises.

Front Plate Raises

Front-Plate-Raises

Primary Muscle(s): Front Deltoids

  • Stand tall and hold the sides of a weight plate at your waist.
  • Powerfully contract your delts and raise the plate up to your face. Keep your arms locked.
  • Hold it for 1s and slowly lower back down.

Tip: Raise the plate all the way overhead.

Front Dumbbell Raises

front-dumbbell-raise

Primary Muscle(s): Front Deltoids

  • Stand tall with two dumbbells over your thighs.
  • Bend your arms slightly, contract your delts, and powerfully raise the dumbbells straight out in front of your face.
  • Hold for 1s and slowly lower back down to the bottom.

Tip: You can also alternate arms one after another to further isolate the individual shoulder caps.

Lateral Raises

Dumbbell-Lateral-Raise

Primary Muscle(s): Lateral Deltoids

  • Stand tall with two dumbbells.
  • Keep your arms straight and raise both dumbbells straight out sideways until they reach shoulder height. Your body should form a big T.
  • Hold for 1s at the top and slowly lower back down.
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