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A Simple, No-Equipment Shoulder Workout Routine

by Jordan Smith NASM-CPT - July 26, 2021

When you step into the gym (or your home workout space) you likely have some goals in mind. Whether you want to run longer and stronger, get more stable in the saddle or build more overall strength there's one body part you can't neglect — your shoulders. 

You need strong shoulders to help with all of the above, and more. Without strong shoulders, it will make it much harder to lift heavier and work out with proper posture. Enter: shoulder workouts!

Here's a simple routine for strong shoulders. And the best part? There's no equipment needed, so you can do these shoulder workouts just about anywhere!

Vital Note: This article has been made available for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Your licensed healthcare professional can best provide you with the diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition and assist you as well in deciding whether a dietary supplement will be a helpful addition to your regimen.

shoulder workouts

What are the best exercises for shoulders?

What shoulder workouts you do depend on your goals. If you're looking to increase power, you'll want to incorporate moves such as a front medicine ball oblique throw or an overhead medicine ball throw. If you're looking to increase strength, you can try a seated military press or dumbbell shoulder press.

How can I increase my shoulder size?

While you can't necessarily change the size of your shoulders, you can build muscle and muscle definition through shoulder workouts. Incorporating moves, such as a rear delt fly or plank with shoulder tap, that work your delts can help you build strength.

What shoulder exercises should I do?

Looking to up your shoulder workouts? Try this workout created by Lisa Payne, CPT, or add some of the moves to your next upper body session.

shoulder workouts

Walk-Out
Start standing, then bend your knees and bring your hands all the way to the floor in front of you. Walk your hands out until you are in a push-up position with hands directly underneath your shoulders. Brace your core and hold for a few seconds. Walk the hands back until they are at your feet and then stand to return to starting position. Repeat 15-25 times.

Triceps Dip
Sit at the edge of your chair and extend your legs out with a slight bend at the knee, heels touching the ground. Press into chair to lift your tailbone off the chair and slide your body slightly forward so you can clear the front of the chair. Slightly bend at the elbow to lower yourself down until elbows are bent between 45 and 90 degrees. Slowly push back up to starting. Complete 10 reps.

Plank with Shoulder Tap
Start in high-plank position, with hands just underneath the shoulders. Your core, quadriceps, and shoulders should all be engaged. Without rocking your hips side-to-side, touch your right hand to your left shoulder and then place it back to the floor. Then tap your right shoulder with your left hand and bring it back. Alternate right and left 15-25 times (right/left equals one rep).

Side Plank
Start by lying on your left side, propped up on your forearm. Both feet should be stacked on top of each other. Lift your hips off the ground and reach your right arm to the ceiling. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Pike Push-Up
Come back into your plank position. but this time, push your hips up toward the ceiling and keep your spine long. If you do yoga, you’ll know this position as downward-facing dog. Keep your entire body active and your neck relaxed, and bend the elbows as if you were about to head-butt the floor. How much you bend the elbows is up to you, but your head should never actually reach the floor. Step your feet closer to your hands to intensify this move. Try to do 15-25 reps!

Depending on how much time you have, complete all five of these shoulder workouts at least three times, with a minimum of 15 reps. Aim to do these exercises 2-3 times a week and you’ll be stronger inside and out!

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