The Best Workout for Shoulders; 6 of our favourite exercises

At ProCoffee, we’re all about optimal performance when working out, ensuring that you have the correct nutrients to assist in muscle repair and enhance muscle growth. Our formula helps sustain your energy levels at the gym, which is very important when you’re knocking out sets for a heavy shoulder workout.

Whether you want to tone up or gain muscle mass, we’ve compiled a list of our favourite exercises for the best workout for your shoulders. Helping you target those muscle groups to define and chisel out your physique.

Best workout for shoulders

Before we get into the nitty-gritty details of the best workout for shoulders, you should take some time to stretch out your shoulder muscles beforehand. This will help prevent injury to your shoulders, neck and back and assist in muscle recovery after a hard workout.


Try out a variety of shoulder stretches; if you feel any pain when completing a slight stretch, then it indicates that you should avoid intense shoulder workouts or any form of heavy lifting. Injury is one of the biggest hindrances to growing your muscles and should be avoided at all costs.

Best shoulder exercises

Check out our favourite exercises for the best workout for your shoulders. We have specifically only included exercises that use simple gym equipment or body weight resistance, due to the variety of equipment and machines in gyms, we want to ensure that everyone is able to complete this shoulder workout.

Barbell standing press: full shoulder workout

This is a great exercise for targeting all those muscle groups around your shoulders, including the trapezius, rhomboids and deltoids. It also encourages core stability and is a great mass builder for the top half of your physique.


Start this exercise with your feet grounded in the floor, shoulder-width apart. Hold the barbell at shoulder height and push up with your legs until the bar is overhead. Beginners should initially complete this exercise with no added weights in order to perfect the form before adding any weight.

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Recommend: 12 reps x 2 sets

Arnold Press: shoulder workouts with dumbbells

It’s not hard to imagine who this exercise is named after, of course, it’s the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger, former body-building champion and Mr Olympia, long before he arrived on our screens as a robot sent from the future.


The Arnold Press is a great exercise for growing all main fibre sets of the deltoids, including the anterior, lateral and posterior. This exercise can be completed in a standing or seated position, lifting one dumbbell in each hand and raising it overhead and back down again to eye level.

Start with lighter weights to perfect this form before taking on heavier loads, you can also complete an Arnold Press with one arm at a time in order to build up strength and stability for this shoulder exercise.

Recommend: 10 reps x 3 sets

Lateral Raises

Probably one of the more difficult shoulder exercises is the lateral raise. Although it doesn’t look too challenging, it will have you gritting your teeth and pushing through by the time you’re on your second set.

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Stand shoulder-width apart, with your back straight, and hold one dumbbell in each hand. Lift the dumbbells with a slight bend at the elbow until they are just above the parallel line of your shoulder height. Due to the intensity of this exercise, it is typically completed with lighter weights and higher reps.

Recommend: 10 reps x 3 sets

Bent over reverse fly

This exercise is one of the best workouts for shoulders and the back muscles, targeting the trapezius, latissimus dorsi and rhomboids. It is similar to the lateral raises as described above, but places more focus on growing the back side of your shoulder muscles.


Stay in a seated position and lean your back at a 45-degree angle, with one dumbbell in each hand, and raise them until they are parallel to your shoulder height. Be sure to pause at the top for a brief second and work on controlling the speed of this movement before increasing weight.

Recommend: 10 reps x 3 sets

One Arm Dumbbell Swing

The one-arm dumbbell swing is a great exercise for creating dynamic movement in the shoulders, it also works to strengthen the upper back muscles and the rotator cuff. It is recommended that you start with a lighter weight before progressing to heavier dumbbells as control is very important in this type of movement.


Start with a slight bend in the knees, with your feet standing shoulder-width apart. Hold a kettlebell, or dumbbell, in one hand and bring it to eye level, before swinging it between your knees. It is important to keep your back straight throughout the whole movement and control the swing in order to protect your muscles from injury.

Recommend: 10 reps x 3 sets (per arm)


A classic shoulder exercise that requires zero equipment to complete. Pushups make for one of the best workouts for shoulders and are a great exercise for beginners or long-term gym addicts.


Push Ups are great for working out the pectoral muscles and the back of the shoulders, creating strength and stability the more you incorporate them into your routine. Ensure that you are increasingly challenging yourself with this exercise, incorporating more difficult variations and increasing the number of reps and sets.

Recommend: 10 reps x 3 sets

How often should I do a workout for shoulders?

It is recommended that you work out your shoulder muscles twice a week with around 2-4 rest days in between sessions. This will allow adequate time for your muscles to repair and recover, which is essential for muscle growth and for preventing injury to your shoulders.

You should also mix up which muscle groups you are going to target during your muscle days, incorporating different variations of shoulder exercises, ensuring optimal growth, stability and strength.

During your rest days, it is recommended that you perform some upper back and shoulder stretches as this will help speed up the muscle recovery process and improve your flexibility when completing these shoulder exercises.

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ProCoffee – your partner in the gym

As a group of health and fitness enthusiasts, we know only too well that the biggest impact on your health journey happens outside of the gym.

Even if you’re consistently doing the best workout for shoulders, getting the right amount of nutrients and hitting your protein goal is a lot more challenging than those few extra reps at the end of a heavy workout session.

With our ProCoffee range, you can hit your nutritional goals in a convenient and delicious way. Simply replace your usual coffee granules with our performance-enhancing protein coffee.

Check out more of our articles for your fitness journey: The Benefits of Vitamin D.

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