12 Shoulder Exercises to Add to Your Gym Workout

shoulder exercises at the gym

The gym offers a wide range of equipment and exercises to help you effectively target all three parts of your shoulder muscles: the front deltoids (anterior), side deltoids (lateral), and rear deltoids (posterior). Here are some of the best shoulder exercises you can do at the gym:

1) Overhead Barbell Press (Military Press)

Stand or sit with a barbell on your upper chest. Press it overhead until your arms are fully extended. This exercise targets all three parts of the shoulder muscles.

2) Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Similar to the barbell press, but you use dumbbells, which allow for a greater range of motion and can help balance any strength imbalances.

3) Seated Shoulder Press Machine

Many gyms have machines that simulate the shoulder press. They offer stability and are great for beginners.

4) Lateral Raises

Hold dumbbells in each hand at your sides and lift them out to the sides until they are parallel to the ground. This targets the lateral deltoids.

5) Front Raises

With dumbbells in each hand, raise your arms in front of you until they are parallel to the ground. This targets the anterior deltoids.

6) Rear Delt Flyes

Use a pec deck machine or a bench with dumbbells to target the rear deltoids. Bend forward at the hips and lift the weights out to the sides behind you.

7) Face Pulls

Using a rope attachment on a cable machine, pull the rope toward your face. This exercise primarily targets the rear deltoids and upper traps.

8) Upright Rows

Hold a barbell or a pair of dumbbells and pull them up to chest level, leading with your elbows. This targets the lateral deltoids and upper traps.

9) Shrugs

Hold dumbbells or a barbell at your sides and shrug your shoulders up and down. This primarily targets the trapezius muscles but also engages the upper traps.

10) High Pulls

Similar to upright rows but with a wider grip and more explosive movement. This exercise targets the lateral deltoids and upper traps.

11) Barbell or Dumbbell Shrugs

Hold a barbell or dumbbells at your sides and shrug your shoulders up and down to target the trapezius muscles and upper traps.

12) Arnold Press

A variation of the dumbbell press, where you twist your hands as you press the weights overhead, engaging all parts of the shoulder.

13) Machine Shoulder Press

Most gyms have machines designed for shoulder pressing. They offer good support and are suitable for beginners.

When performing these exercises, it’s essential to use proper form to avoid injury. Start with a weight that you can lift with control and gradually increase the resistance as you get stronger. Also, consider varying your shoulder routine to target different angles and muscle fibers. Always warm up before lifting heavy weights, and cool down afterward to promote recovery.