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Home / Movement / The Best 8 Movements To Build Shoulder Muscles

The Best 8 Movements To Build Shoulder Muscles

The joints between these three bones are surrounded by a capsule (a sort of envelope), lined internally by a synovial membrane that secretes synovial fluid.

The mobility of the shoulder is mainly ensured by the deltoid muscle which pulls the arm upwards and by other muscles which ensure the movements downwards, backward, or forwards.

The rotator cuff is a set made up of the tendons of 4 muscles (sub-scapular, supraspinatus, sub-spinous, and small round muscles) which form a “cap” above the head of the humerus.

Between the head of the humerus and the acromion (protrusion of the scapula overhanging the shoulder joint), there is a sliding bursa called the subacromial bursa.

The biceps is an arm muscle whose tendon (tendon of the long biceps) attaches to the shoulder.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:

1- Front Dumbbell Raise

Front Dumbbell Raise, allow work in isolation of the anterior deltoid.

Simple and effective exercise to build shoulders, frontal elevations must, however, be practiced with a measure so as not to generate imbalance with the posterior (rear) portion of the shoulder. It is, therefore, better suited for advanced people than for beginners.

How To Make A Front Dumbbell Raise

Take a supine dumbbell in each hand.

In the starting position, stand straight and let your arms hang in front of your body (the dumbbells must be at the level of your pelvis).

Slightly bending your elbows, lift a dumbbell until your arm is parallel to the floor. The dumbbell is then found on the axis of your gaze.

Be careful not to arch your back or “cheat” using a back movement.

Hold the position (approximately less than a second) and then slowly lower the weight back to the initial position.

Then repeat with the other side

2- Reverse Machine Flyes

Reverse Machine Flyes is a variant of the bird for working the back of the shoulders.

This exercise is excellent for targeting the posterior deltoid and is very technically accessible since it is performed on a guided machine. Feel free to include the Reverse Machine Flyes in some of your shoulder sessions for working in amplitude.

How To Make A Reverse Machine Flyes

1- Starting position

  • Adjust the seat so that the handles are at shoulder height and the arms are parallel to the floor.
  • Sit on the machine, pressing your stomach against the backrest. The back should be straight, the shoulders back and the pecs extended.
  • Position your feet flat and spread your legs shoulder-width apart so that you are perfectly stable throughout the exercise.
  • Grasp the handles, palms down, arms almost outstretched with elbows slightly bent.

2- Execution of the movement

  • Slowly spread your arms, without bending them further, to go as far back as possible.
  • Once at your maximum pause for at least one second.
  • Come back slowly and perfectly controlling the movement to the starting position.

Repeat the exercise as many times as necessary.

3- Barbell Upright Row

If you are not comfortable with the weight training exercise of the Barbell Upright Row, your barbell or weight gain may be the culprit.

Here is a little guide for more performance with this classic shoulder exercise!

The Barbell Upright Row is an effective, but often overlooked, multi-joint bodybuilding movement that never gets as much love as its little brother, the overhead press.

One of the reasons for this “disenchantment” is that some people’s shoulders do not tolerate vertical draws, but for those who can, it is a great exercise to build their shoulders.

How To Make A Barbell Upright Row

1- Starting position:

  • Stand upright, knees bent, in front of the bar.
  • Grasp it with an overhand grip (palms facing the thighs) and a spacing slightly less than the width of the shoulders.
  • Extend your arms while keeping your elbows slightly bent. The bar should then be roughly on the upper part of the thighs.
  • Workout your lower back and abs to help keep your chest straight and still during the exercise.

2- Execution of the movement:

  • Contract the shoulders to lift the bar making sure to keep it close to the body (the further it is, the more the posterior/rear portion of the deltoid is used, to the detriment of the others).
  • It is the elbows that must rise, while pointing outwards, and direct the gesture. They must be permanently above the hands (if the hands are above you turn the exercise into a curl with an overhand grip).
  • Continue until the bar almost touches your chin.
  • Stay a second at the point of contraction before slowly lowering the bar back to the starting position.

Repeat the movement until the end of your series.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:

4- Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This bodybuilding exercise solicits the shoulders, more particularly the lateral beam, on the side, which gives the famous shoulder width so much sought after. It is true that the build is the first thing you notice when you meet someone on the street. Wide and shapely, good shoulders put you in value dressed. No need for padding or shoulder pads to accentuate the build of your costume! Let’s say it, shoulders on top, huge and dry, it has its effect! So better bet on this key muscle group and leave nothing to chance …

In terms of training, nothing better than doing basic movements like barbell Shoulder Press, to gain overall mass and to thicken the entire top of the bust. Complete, if necessary, with isolation movements like Leaning dumbbell lateral raise if you lack breadth (thick in profile but lack of width), or Reverse Machine Flyes if you lack thickness (wide but thin in profile). The objective is then to target a specific part of the shoulder, rather late, to tweak the details.

How To Make A Dumbbell Lateral Raise

1- Starting position

  • Take two dumbbells in your hands and stand with your chest straight.
  • Spread the feet apart enough to ensure good stability. Bend your knees slightly.
  • Let the dumbbells rest alongside your body, arms outstretched, elbows slightly bent, palms facing you.
  • Keep your head still and your torso straight during the entire movement, they should not wobble.

2- Execution of the movement

  • Lift the dumbbells sideways by contracting the shoulders, while keeping a slight bend in the elbows.
  • The hands should be tilted slightly forward (as if you were pouring water into a glass with a carafe).
  • Continue riding the dumbbells until the arms are roughly parallel to the floor.
  • Stay one to two seconds in the upper position before slowly lowering the dumbbells to the starting position.

Repeat the movement until the end of your series.

5- Barbell Shoulder Press

Barbell Shoulders are the best strength training exercises to gain muscle and build good, muscular shoulders. Since the shoulder is a particularly fragile joint, we will avoid getting stuck on this exercise and we will work in a slow and controlled manner.

A partner is not a luxury especially if you are trying to beat your records, moreover, it can help you clear the bar of supports and put it back.

How To Make A Barbell Shoulder Press

To start, you need to load the bar that is placed on the candles. Then you can sit on the bench. This can be specially equipped with a backrest to practice this exercise but it is also possible to practice the bench press in a squat cage, by placing a bench in the middle.
Grasp the overhand bar, i.e. with the palms facing forward, and lift it above your shoulders. Your hands should be shoulder-width apart, if not more.
Then lower the bar by bending your arms, up to your chin, above the upper chest. Control the descent, the movement should be slow.
Once at the bottom, go back to the starting position without fully extending your arms to preserve your elbows and maintain tension in the muscles.

On this exercise, you have to breathe in while the bar goes down and then breathe out slowly while you go up.
During the movement, your chest may be slightly extended but you should not arch your back too much. Know that this is the main problem in this exercise. The bar goes down, approaching the obstructing face, then you risk arching unnecessarily to avoid it and this is where you take risks for your back.

6- Arnold Press

Among the best bodybuilding exercises to get shoulders as big as melons are the developed classics that you can do with the barbell or dumbbells. But few people know about the “Arnold Press“.

This version, which is named after the sevenfold Mr. Olympia Arnold Schwarzenegger, works on the shoulders in a different way with an emphasis on the front of this muscle group.

You would think that this exercise is not really useful because this part of the shoulder is already used in many weight training exercises like the Barbell Bench Press or Weighted Dips. But it may be wise to integrate it into your routine to vary the training a little and work on muscle coordination.

And then, as some would say, if Arnold did it, there must be an interest!

How To Make An Arnold Press

  • Sit on a bench with a backrest and bend your knees so that your feet are flat on the floor.
  • Arms bent and elbows in the frontal plane or slightly in front of the body, a dumbbell in each handheld approximately at neck height. Orient the palms of the hands towards the body. This is the starting position.
  • Inhale deeply then exhale while developing the loads. The gaze must remain directed towards the front.
  • When the dumbbells are higher than the head, rotate the arms inward so as to complete the movement with an overhand grip (palms of the hands facing forward), the arms being fully extended.
  • Return to the starting position while inhaling.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:

7- Cable One-Arm Lateral Raise

Standing in a stable position (feet at shoulder level and right back), between two Cable crossovers, the left handle in the right hand and the right handle in the left hand in a neutral grip, it involves raising the arms laterally until they are parallel to the ground.

The exercise is carried out with the arms almost extended. Bending your arms only reduces the lever and forces you to put heavier to do the same job.

How To Make A Cable One-Arm Lateral Raise

1- Starting position

  • Stand next to a low pulley, left arm outward.
  • Grasp the handle attached to the pulley on the other side of the chest with your left hand, palm back (overhand grip).
  • Use your right hand to grip the machine and gain stability, or place it on your hip.
  • Be sure to keep your back straight during the whole exercise and keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • The right elbow and knees should be slightly bent.

2- Execution of the movement

  • Raise the left arm laterally so that it describes an arc.
  • Continue until the arm is level with the shoulder, horizontally.
  • Stay in a high position for a second for optimal contraction.
  • Slowly lower the handle and the right arm to the starting position.

Repeat the movement until the end of your series, then start again by changing arms.

8- Barbell Shrug

Barbell Shrug is a very effective back-building exercise for targeting trapezius muscles.

The movement carried out at the Barbell Shrug is interesting for developing and strengthening the trapezoids, thus making it possible to lift and carry larger loads.

(I see you as a person with an interest in bodybuilding! )
So I advise you of these products that you will need in this sport:

How To Make A Barbell Shrug

  • Standing, bust straight, feet about shoulder-width apart, and spine in neutral (slightly arched) position. Look directly ahead, keeping your shoulders back and your chest forward.
  • Take a bar with an overhand grip, the hands being slightly more apart than the width of the shoulders and the arms outstretched so that the bar rests against the thighs.
  • Inhale and mount your shoulders as high as possible, then exhale at the top. Do not bend your elbows when you go up the shoulders.
  • After reaching the highest position, hold it for 1 to 2 seconds to contract as much as possible, then lower your shoulders back to the starting position while controlling the movement.
  • Make sure you keep a good position when performing the Shrug: keep your shoulders as far back as possible and extend your chest forward when you shrug your shoulders.

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