Top 5 exercises for your shoulders

  • By Dr. T Deepa Porkodi

Unlike most other muscles, the shoulder muscles are always visible. So, get working on your shoulders, to get the sexy V. Be careful though, as the shoulder has small muscles, and the joint itself is easily prone to injuries!

Here are the 5 best exercises that can help you give strong shoulders-

Uptight rows:

This is commonly used for back muscles. With a wide grip, the strength develops in the muscles of the trapezius muscle. For developing your shoulder muscles, use a narrow grip that will direct the strength into the 3 heads of the deltoid muscle. Place your hands no more than six inches apart on the bar. Pull the bar to just underneath your chin, allowing the elbows to flare out as wide as possible. Do not pull to a greater range of motion, than is necessary.

Standing military press:

This is the most basic form of exercise for the shoulders. This exercise can be done seated with a back support, or standing. The standing form is considered far superior. Hold the barbell is such a way that your forearms are perpendicular to the ground, at halfway level. For most of you, this will have your hands placed about two inches on each side, wider than your shoulders. Press up smoothly to lockout, taking care not to use any hip thrust, but pure shoulder power to press the barbell. Feel the shoulders working every inch of the rep.

A nice pair of muscular, and well-defined shoulders will help balance out body frame, improve your posture, and make you look good.

Dumbbell press:

To increase the shoulder width, target the middle head of the deltoid muscle. Side raises can be performed with a cable attachment or specialized machines, but the most widely-practiced version is with a plain old pair of iron dumbbells. Begin with your feet planted firmly at shoulder width. Hold the dumbbells in front of you, with your thumbs pointing forward. With a slight bend in the elbows, raise the bells up to just above your shoulder joints. You may either complete the movement with your palms parallel to the floor, or choose to tip the thumbs downward. Many trainers feel that a more pronounced contraction in the side deltoids when this extra motion is added. Slowly, lower the dumbbells back into the start position, under strict control. The negative, or lowering portion of the rep is just as important as the actual lifting. Never merely drop the weight back down.


Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms by your sides, and your palms facing in. Keeping your torso solid, raise your shoulders a few inches toward your ears, and lower them.

Three way shoulder press:

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and your arms bent at a 90° angle by your sides. Your fists are out in front of you. Keeping the 90° bend in your elbows, raise your upper arms, so that they form a "T" with your torso, and your palms end up facing down. Keeping your arms raised, and the 90° bend in your elbows, rotate your shoulders backward so that your hands end up above your shoulders, with your palms facing away from you. Then, press the dumbbells over your head, and lower them. Retrace your steps by rotating your shoulders forward, until your palms end up parallel to the floor, and bring your elbows back to your sides.