Strong shoulders are often considered a masculine trait. However, a lot of men also appreciate beautifully sculpted shoulders on women. This is why I believe that this post on shoulder dumbbell exercises is useful to men and women both.
What I’m going to do is describe a number of shoulder exercises that you can do at home, in the gym, or anywhere where you have dumbbells with you.
Check out this video to see me performing these exercises and then read below for a more detailed explanation of each:
OK, let’s start going over the proper technique of each of these exercises:
Shoulder Dumbbell Press – Regular and Alternating
In the video I show the alternating shoulder press so let’s discuss that and talk about the regular press a bit later on.
To do the alternating shoulder press you grab a dumbbell in each hand. You can either stand or sit in a chair. If you do it standing up you need to keep your knees slightly bent throughout the exercise. Hold the dumbbells at both sides of your head and, one hand at a time, press the dumbbell upward until your arm is full stretched. Lower it slowly and repeat with the other arm. 8 – 15 reps with each arm makes a complete set.
Doing a regular dumbbell press is simple: press both dumbbells together instead of one at a time.
Y Shoulder Press
This is a great variation of the shoulder press and you will feel it quite differently when you do it. Doing a Y Press is similar to a regular press only you raise the dumbbells in a diagonal line. At the completion of the movement your upper body will resemble a Y.
This exercise works the shoulders in a completely different way that presses do. You can do this sitting or standing. I’ll discuss the standing variation as this is the one shown in the video.
You stand with a dumbbell in each hand close to your sides. Bend your knees a bit. Take a breath and raise both dumbbells together to the side until they reach the height of your shoulders. Lower them slowly and repeat 8 – 15 times for a complete set.
Make sure to not use your hips and legs to complete the movement. Work with your arms and shoulders alone.
Dumbbell Front Raise
This exercise can be done with both arms together or in an alternating fashion. Let’s discuss the two-handed version as shown in the video.
Take a dumbbell in each hand. Hold it next to your thighs or at the sides of your body. Keep your arms straight. Bend your knees. Raise both arms together in an even movement until the dumbbells are at the height of your shoulders. Lower them slowly to the starting position and repeat.
To do the alternating version is simple: raise one dumbbell at a time. 8 – 15 reps for one set.
Squat and Dumbbell Press
You start this exercise by holding a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Go into a squat. Rise and press both dumbbells over your head. Another variation which I show in the video is the squat and Y press.
Squat and Overhead Dumbbell Swing
This is a great core, legs, and shoulder exercise that I do in practically every one of my home workouts. I believe that everyone should be doing it.
This exercise is done with a single dumbbell. You hold it in one hand in front of your body. Go into a squat and let the dumbbell dangle between your legs. Rise from the squat and swing the dumbbell over your head. Go into a squat again and so on. Repeat with the other hand.
Squat and Lateral Raise
Another full body combination exercise that works the legs and the shoulders. You simply combine a squat and a lateral raise which is done when you rise from the squat position.
Using These Exercises In a Complete Workout
Naturally, you don’t need to do all of these exercises or even most of them in one workout. You need to pick 2-3 at the most and do 2-3 sets of each. I prefer doing combination exercises myself as it allows me to do short sessions and it fits in perfectly with my metabolic resistance training workouts.
I also suggest to alternate between these various exercises and try different ones from time to time. You want to work your shoulders in a variety of ways to build them up properly.
So, which of these exercises is your favorite or which did you like best? Drop me a comment and let me know.