Our shoulder is an important part of our body and it should be taken care of with all the necessary shoulder strengthening workouts, which will allow us to strengthen our shoulders in the best possible way. Shoulder workouts are a crucial component of any good fitness routine. Not only will the right shoulder exercises do wonders in helping you achieve those fitness goals, but adhering to a shoulder workout regime will nevertheless keep things interesting at the gym. Stronger shoulders will evade any possible training-related injury from regularly hitting the iron church. With the help of this article, we will try to enlist some of the finest shoulder workouts that you can incorporate into your daily fitness regime for strength and stability.
The shoulder is one of the most mobile and complex areas to train. For starters, the shoulders are composed of multiple joints, which means to properly train them, you need to roll out a strategy and intent behind exercises. The shoulder joint is the most complex joint in the human body. It is tasked with giving you both the mobility to move your arm 360 degrees, as well as the stability that allows all the bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments that make up the shoulder to work together. With all of the parts that make up the shoulder, it’s common to experience pain or loss of mobility due to injury.
Shoulder exercises are important for all individuals to maintain as a part of their daily exercise routine. As shoulder exercises are performed, the shoulder muscles are strengthened, which benefits individuals in many ways such as attaining a better posture and reduction of back pain.
The shoulder of our body contains three bones. They are the upper arm bone, shoulder blade and collarbone. The shoulder muscles are of two types, the first being anterior Axio-appendicular muscles and the second being posterior Axio-appendicular muscles. The deltoid is the most important muscle of your shoulder and is also large. Further, other shoulder muscles such as trapezius and subscapularis muscles are present over the top of the rib cage and below the deltoids respectively. All of these muscles provide support to your shoulder joint, in addition to generating the movements of the shoulder girdle. You can set up your own shoulder routine by performing a variety of shoulder exercises.
Anatomy of Shoulder Muscles
By comparison, shoulder muscles are one of the easier muscle groups to develop through the right exercises. With a little direction and consistency, you can expect relatively fast gains. But it’s important to employ a varied routine that targets all the different regions that go beyond just your shoulder joint.
From your traps to your cluster of rotator cuff muscles, there are about 20 distinct muscles that all play a part in stabilising the shoulder, controlling its movements and maintaining great shoulder health. Let’s find out what are the different muscles that exist in our shoulders.
- Trapezius – This muscle connects your two shoulders in the back and extends to support your neck. It runs all the way down to just before your lower back.
- Deltoid Muscles – The deltoids are a set of three muscles. These thin layers of tissue connect your shoulder to your chest. You’ll find the anterior deltoid between your chest and shoulder, your lateral deltoid on top of your shoulder, as well as your posterior deltoid between your upper arm and shoulder blades.
- Pectoralis Major – You may be more familiar with the biggest of the pectoral muscles. Your pectoralis major is a large muscle that covers your chest and connects it to your shoulder. This rather large muscle makes up the bulk of the chest muscles and is positioned under the breast and the upper chest. The pectoralis major is distinctive from the pectoralis minor, which helps with the stabilisation and movement of the scapula.
- Rhomoid Major – The rhomboid major is a back muscle that connects your shoulder blades together with your spine. These are positioned in your upper back along with the rhomboid minor muscles; together they help hold your shoulder blade and shoulder stable so are important for shoulder joint movement. It’s one of the more crucial muscles to work on since shoulder stability is what will ultimately help you perform all the below shoulder workout routines safely and effectively.
- Serratus Anterior – You can find this muscle on the side of your chest, directly underneath your armpit. The fan-shaped muscle is widely referred to as the boxer’s muscle as it is largely responsible for the retraction of the scapula that occurs when you throw a punch. All three parts of the Serratus Anterior also work to lift the ribs and assist in respiration.
- Rotator Cuff – The rotator cuff muscles are a collection of four components. The function of rotator cuff muscles is to support articulation between your arm and shoulder.
Top 10 Shoulder Strengthening Exercises
1.) Pushups – Pushups are considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. Pushups are the ultimate shoulder workout, arguably one of the most fundamental ones for both strength and muscle building. You can do this essential shoulder exercise practically anywhere without any equipment. However, with plenty of variations to try out, the standard pushup almost needs no introduction. Get down on all fours, extend your legs behind you, and lower your upper body. Hold this position for a few seconds and push yourself back up parallel to the floor.
2.) Incline Bench Press – The incline bench press is considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. This exercise is the cornerstone of any solid shoulder workout, targeting your upper pecs. Adjust your bench at a 45-degree angle and perform a standard shoulder press by lifting either a barbell or a dumbbell in each hand. Using this angle will engage the upper portion of your chest instead of the entire pectoral muscle and strengthen your chest’s connection to your shoulders.
3.) Lateral Raise – Lateral Raise is considered one of the best shoulder strengthening workouts. Lateral raises are a versatile shoulder exercise that you can perform with a pair of dumbbells, resistance bands, cable machines, or improvised weights like books or water bottles. Performing this exercise will help you develop your lateral deltoid muscles and improve shoulder mobility.
4.) Overhead Press – Overhead Press is considered one of the best shoulder strengthening workouts. The overhead press sometimes referred to as an overhead shoulder press is a perfect exercise for any routine aiming to develop both strength and muscle mass. You can turn up the difficulty setting by using heavier weights. This one will target your deltoids, pectorals, trapezius, and triceps.
5.) Standing Cable Pulley Fly – Standing Cable Pulley Fly is considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. This is an excellent exercise for targeting your deltoid muscles and your chest. Use two cables at chest height and extend your arms to your sides while adopting a neutral posture. Take a step forward and lower the weights slowly while letting your shoulders open up. Engage your pecs to make the lift.
6.) Crab Walk – Crab Walk is considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. The crab walk is a bodyweight exercise that targets your shoulder, core, arm, and leg muscles. The starting position is a seated one. Bridge your hips off the ground, bend your knees, and support yourself using your hands. The purpose of this exercise is to crawl by moving one hand along with the opposite foot and repeating on the other side. It will take some practice to master, but it’s a worthy inclusion in any full-body workout.
7.) Prone T – Prone T is considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. This workout improves stability in your shoulders. Lie belly down on a bench with your head, neck, and spine aligned. Let your arms hang loose in front of you before raising them to form a T. You can make this exercise more challenging by throwing some small weights into the mix. A variant of this exercise is called a prone Y. Instead of raising your arms laterally, raise them above your head to form a Y or V shape.
8.) Dumbbell Shoulder Push Press – Dumbbell Shoulder Push Press is considered one of the best shoulder strengthening workouts. This exercise engages your deltoids and trapezius, and also works your glutes, quads, and core. It’s a simple move to learn and is recommendable if you are new to weight training.
9.) Kettlebell Single-Arm Press – Kettlebell Single-Arm Press is considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a kettlebell in front of your shoulder with your palm in, elbow tucked, and the weight resting on the top of your forearm. Press it straight up, rotating your arm so your palm faces forward. Do the same number of presses for both arms.
10.) Standing Barbell Shrugs – Standing Barbell Shrugs are considered one of the best shoulder-strengthening workouts. You are going to be targeting the trapezius muscle by performing standing barbell shrugs. It’s one of the most straightforward and effective exercises you can do to help develop strong shoulders, but it’s also a rather advanced exercise so make sure your form is excellent before starting. To perform this, keep your feet aligned with your shoulders in the first instance and then slightly bend the knees and pick up the barbell, bringing it to waist level. Remember to stand tall and hold the bar with an overhand grip so your hands land just outside of your thighs.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as a health advice. We would ask you to consult a qualified professional or medical expert to gain additional knowledge before you choose to consume any product or perform any exercise.