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Building up your shoulders is an excellent way to build strength, the perfect complement to exercises that target your biceps and triceps.

6 Men’s Shoulder Exercises for Building Strength
The best shoulder exercises to build strength.

Building bigger shoulders, along with bigger arms, is optimal for increasing overall strength and achieving the coveted V shape of strongmen everywhere.

Here are 6 Men’s Shoulder Exercises to help you build strength and get better shoulders.

6 Men’s Shoulder Exercises

1) Face Pulls

Face pulls may be one of the greatest secrets of the fitness world. If you’re looking for that exercise you’ve been missing on shoulder day, it’s face pulls.

Ideally, face pulls should be performed with a cable machine at a gym. They can also be performed with resistance bands at home.

To make sure you get the most out of your workout and avoid injury, it’s essential to learn how to do face pulls correctly. [1]

This means square stance, with an underhand grip with thumbs, pointed backward – this allows external rotation of the shoulder – and then pulling toward the face.

When done correctly, the advantages of face pulls are considerable. They target the posterior deltoids, mid and lower traps, infraspinatus, and teres major muscles.

2) Barbell Standing Press

Barbell Standing Press

The barbell standing press is a staple of bodybuilding, and it’s not hard to see why: in addition to providing an excellent full shoulder workout, it also gives your whole body a workout.

Also known as the standing barbell shoulder press, this exercise is somewhat self-descriptive.

To perform it, you will need a barbell and a manageable amount of weight. Using an overhand grip, press upward from a standing position.

When performed correctly, the barbell standing press can not only build your shoulders but also add to your core strength.

In fact, this exercise is a complete shoulder workout for mass builders, making it a good candidate for helping you build a beast body.

3) Seated Dumbbell Press

Seated Dumbbell Press

The seated dumbbell press is a great exercise for the deltoids. As the name suggests, it is performed from a seated position, using dumbbells and a bench.

What makes seated dumbbell presses particularly worthwhile is the range of motion they allow. There’s something to be said for adding an exercise that forces your muscle to gain strength through a full range of motion in the way that the seated dumbbell press does.

4) Arnold Press

Arnold Press

The Arnold Press is the seated dumbbell press with a twist – literally. Invented by Arnold Schwarzenegger himself, the Arnold Press uses a unique rotating motion that helps to develop the coveted, classic v-shape of every strongman. [2]

The movement is particularly effective in that it targets the deltoid in a way that hits all three sections.

This actually remedies a problem many workout enthusiasts have. It is quite common for people to do plenty of work on the anterior delts thanks to pushups and bench presses. However, many fail to adequately target the medial (lateral) or posterior heads of the deltoids.

Try the Arnold press, and experience the difference it makes for yourself.

CAUTION: be careful not to over-rotate the weights. It is very important to be cognizant of how you move the dumbbells.

If you experience shoulder pain, stop doing this exercise until you have built strength in your shoulders using other exercises.

5) Lateral Raises

Lateral Raises

Dumbbells provide some of the best ways to build stronger shoulders.

Many people get into exercise for larger arms and use dumbbells in ways that are designed to strengthen the biceps and the triceps.

Of course, we’re concerned here with building bigger shoulders, and the lateral raise is a great example of an exercise that beefs up the shoulders and actually makes arm flexion more impressive overall.

The lateral raise is performed by taking dumbbells and extending them outward. Begin with the dumbbells held next to your sides, and then extend them until they’re at shoulder height.

The advantage of the lateral raise is precisely that it focuses on building up the medial part of the deltoid. It’s a good idea to perform this exercise with dumbbells that are of moderate weight and to do more reps.

6) Bent-over reverse fly

The bent-over reverse fly is excellent for targeting the posterior deltoid.

Begin by standing with feet apart, bent over at about 90 degrees, and with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Your arms should be perpendicular to the ground, with elbows slightly bent.

Now, raise the dumbbells laterally, and as you do so tilt your hands forward. Make sure your elbows are fixed and your shoulders are contracted. Complete the movement, and lower the dumbbells slowly.

This is an excellent step for building up your full back and shoulder workout.

Final Verdict

The 6 shoulder exercises for pain relief profiled here will help you build larger shoulders and experience the many benefits of rigorous exercise.

Make sure to take the time to learn how to perform them correctly to avoid injury, and pace yourself carefully.

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2 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] How To Do Face Pulls?:
[2] How to Build Shoulders Like Arnold -- The Right Way:
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Ashley Veenstra, CPT

Ashley earned her Pro Status with the WBFF in 2014 and now continues to focus on Pro Fitness events worldwide. Also, being a Pro athlet