This is a basic shoulder exercise that works the front and side delts and the triceps. It also works the upper chest and upper back as secondary muscles.
Sitting on an upright bench. Grab the barbell with a wider then shoulder width grip. Push the barbell directly upward until it is at arms length above your shoulders. Lower the barbell down to the front of your shoulders, then press it back to starting position.
This exercise can also be done lowing the barbell to back of the head. But some people find that the behind the head version places more stress on the shoulder joints.
Tip - you should always have a training partner spot you when doing the barbell shoulder press, just in case you need help lifting the barbell.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
This exercise works the entire deltoid area and the triceps. Secondary stress is placed on the upper chest and upper back muscles.
Sit on an upright bench. Grab 2 dumbbells and pull them to your shoulders. The palms of your hands should be facing forwards during the exercise. Keep your feet at least shoulder width apart.
Keeping your elbows directly under the dumbbells press them upwards until they are at arms length above your head, then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Tip - when handling heavy weights you may want to have a couple spotters help hand you the dumbbells rather then try and position them by yourself.
Barbell Upright Row
This is a good exercise for working the muscles of your shoulder girdle. Primary muscles are the traps and the deltoids. Secondary muscles are the biceps, brachialis, and the forearms.
Stand holding a barbell with a shoulder width grip and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Keep your elbows above your hands at all times. Pull the bar directly up from the starting position until your elbows are shoulder height. Hold this position for a second to maximize the peak contraction, then lower to the starting position.
Tip – using an EZ bar is generally more comfortable on the wrists compared to using a straight barbell.
Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
This exercise works the medial (side) deltoids. Secondary stress is applied to the front deltoids and the forearms.
Grab 2 dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the dumbbells just in front of your body with the palms of your hands facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
Using your deltoid strength, raise the dumbbells out to the sides and upwards in a semicircular arc until they are just above shoulder level. Hold this position for a second to maximize the peak contraction in the deltoids. Lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat.
Tip - to really isolate your deltoids you can do this exercise seated on a bench. This will eliminate any body motion.
Bent Over Lateral Raises (aka "Bent Over Dumbbell Flyes")
This exercise works the entire upper back, rear deltoids, and traps.
This is a very important shoulder exercise because most people tend to focus more on the front and side deltoids and the rear deltoids are most often neglected. Well developed rear delts will balance out your shoulder development and help to prevent a lot of shoulder injuries and rotator cuff problems.
Grab 2 dumbbells. Bend over at the waist with your feet shoulder width apart. Keep a slight bend in the knees to prevent stain on the lower back. Hold the dumbbells at arms length in front of you with the palms of your hands facing each other. Keep a slight bend in your elbows.
Using your rear deltoid and upper back strength, raise the dumbbells to the back and upwards in a semicircular arc as far as you can. Hold this position for a second to maximize the peak contraction in the rear deltoids and then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Tip - to really isolate your deltoids you can do this exercise lying face down on a high exercise bench. This will eliminate any body motion.
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