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Everyone loves to train their chest, as the chest is the most visually visible and appealing muscle group. However,  the shoulders are an objectively bigger muscle group compared to the chest. Not only that, if you want to have that V-taper look and fill up your shirts, you need to train your shoulders. The bigger your shoulders are, the more you will stand out and look bigger in a shirt. So, without further ado, here are the top 3 shoulder exercises you can start doing today, both at home (requires a pair of dumbbells only) or at the gym to build those delts.

Side lateral raise

1. Side lateral raise

The deltoids are what give your shoulder their rounded shape. There are three types of delts mainly referred to as front , medial and rear delts. The side lateral raise works your front (anterior )and medial part of your delts and is one of the best shoulder exercises when it comes to building bigger shoulders. The way to perform this exercise is to do it standing as this engages your core muscles as well. Stand shoulder-width apart and squeeze your glutes.

Keep your hands to your sides while holding the dumbbells. Your palms should be facing inwards to your thighs.  Now engage your core by tightening your abs, lift your arms up with a slight bend and stop when your arms are parallel to the ground. Allowing you to do more reps and at a heavier weight and is safer compared to a straight lateral raise.

overhead shoulder press

2. Overhead shoulder press (dumbbells /bar/ machine)

If you are at home or have bad shoulders, it will be in your best interest to do this exercise with dumbbells as this allows your shoulders more range of motion and doing isolation exercises for your shoulder  will help them grow stronger. If your at the gym and doing it on a bar or a shoulder press machine, the movement is almost the same. However, the machine allows you to train your shoulders while sitting without having to stand and can be a better alternative to a bar in cases like injured or bad shoulders.

Neutral & pronated grip

Now, to perform this movement with dumbbells, stand with your hands just a little narrower than shoulder-width with dumbbells in hand. Your hands should be up to shoulder length as the starting point for this exercise.  Do the press with a rotational grip. Which means during the start of each rep, your hand position has to be vertical (neutral grip) and when reaching the top of the press your hand position should be horizontal (pronated grip) with your palms facing forward. So, you start with a neutral grip and as you go up to the top you change to a pronated grip for each rep.

3.Rear delt row

The rear delt is the most ignored muscle of the three deltoids. It’s just as important as both the front and medial delt. The rear delt helps with retracting your shoulder blades, which can help reduce your shoulders from hunching forward as well as improve your strength. Whether it’s a pulling exercise like rows or a pressing movement such as a bench press. The rear delts acts like a stabilizer for both your pressing and pulling movements. The stronger your rear delts the more stronger you’ll be on these movements

Now to perform a rear delt dumbbell row, Stand upright while holding both dumbbells in each hand with a neutral grip (vertical hand position). Bend your knees and lean a little forward using your upper body (about 45 degrees). Now lift the weights up to your chest and squeeze your back as if your trying to make your shoulder blades touch together. Hold this position for 3-5 secs each rep. This will work on both your back and your rear delts.


  • Although there are many variations of the shoulder press, these are one of the most effective and safer options.
  • The shoulder muscles are the most prone to injury and should be trained with proper form.
  • Do not lift heavy on shoulders unless you’re doing a side lateral raise with a  slightly bent arm.
  • Going Heavy on straight lateral raises can damage your shoulder or dislocate them.
  • for more workout that you can do at home or at the gym. Read top-exercises-for-building-muscle-at-the-gym-or-home/
  • To build a bigger chest just with push-ups. Read 5-ways-you-can-increase-your-push-ups-fast/
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