7 exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles

The shoulder muscles are what give aesthetics and size to your arms, in addition to being essential for day-to-day tasks. today we are going to show you seven of the best exercises you can perform to strengthen the muscles of your deltoids.

7 exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles

What are the shoulder muscles?

The shoulder or deltoid is one of the most important and complex structures of our body. The shoulder joints are mainly responsible for all the movements we usually do with the arms.

The muscles of the shoulder can be divided into three broad categories: the external, posterior and anterior musculature.

External musculature


the deltoid is the largest of the entire structure. Due to its size, it shapes the humerus joint. it is the abductor of the arm.

Internal muscles


This muscle is covered by the trapezius, which makes it difficult to see. It has also a pyramidal shape and its main function is to abduct the arm.


It is a superficial muscle and is protected with a tissue called fascia that flattens it against the scapula. It is responsible for abducting the arm and facilitating external rotation movements.

Round major

It is a round-shaped muscle that is lined by the broad dorsal and triceps. Its function is to abduct the arm and facilitate internal rotation movements.

Round minor

The smaller round abdicates the arm and facilitates the external rotational movement of the humerus bone.


Broad, flat and triangular-shaped muscle. It raises the arm laterally and facilitates the rotational movements of the humerus.

Anterior musculature

Pectoralis major

 As we the pectoralis major configures an independent muscular structure and there are some who do not include it within the shoulder muscles, but we must keep in mind that this muscle protects the structure of the deltoid. It is a muscle of considerable extension and size. It can be divided into the clavicular portion and the sternal portion and both have as their main objective the abduction of the arm and facilitate the movements of internal rotation.

Pectoralis minor

It is located below the pectoralis major. It is responsible for mobilizing scapula down and forward.

Exercises to strengthen shoulder muscles

Military Press

The press militar is a basic movement to train strength and generate muscle mass in your shoulders. It consists of a compound and multi-articular exercise in which the muscles of your shoulders work directly, but indirectly the whole body in an isometric way while the movement is executed, so we recommend that it be present in your shoulder training routine.

  • Hold the bar with a prone grip, that is, with your hands at a biacromial width, wrapping with the big toe of the hand (and the rest of the fingers).
  • The wrist must remain stable throughout the tour.
  • The head is aligned with the spine. To do this, look towards a specific point.
  • The feet are at an opening equal to the width of the shoulders and well fixed to the ground.
  • Raise the bar vertically: extending your arms.
To do it correctly:

  • Hold two dumbbells with each of your hands.
  • The elbow should be semi-flexed.
  • Raise the arms laterally until you reach the horizontal with the dumbbells.
  • Your core and spine should be fixed throughout the movement, avoiding oscillations of your torso.

Oar around the neck

The neck paddle, in addition to working the muscles of your shoulders, will also work your trapezius, a large muscle that shapes your back and helps you look a more aesthetic figure.

To perform this exercise:

  • Hold a gripped bar with a prone grip of your hands.
  • Tighten as much as you can your abdomen and keep your back neutral.
  • Pull the bar slightly towards your chin by raising your elbows and shoulders

Press Arnold

The Arnold press is one of the most complete exercises to work the muscles of your shoulders. This kind of movement activates a large part of the muscles that make up your deltoids.

It is a combined movement in whose first phase the work will fall mainly on the front of the shoulders, and then give greater stimulation on the side of the same musculature.

  • Sit on a bench where you can leave your back resting on the back of it.
  • Hold two dumbbells with each of your hands.
  • Draw a 90ยบ angle with your elbow and raise your shoulders until the dumbbells stay at eye level.
  • Perform an elevation of them at the same time that you incorporate a turn of your wrist that makes the two external faces of the dumbbells meet above your head, when the arms are fully stretched.


In the Facepull work the muscles of the superior posterior chain, which include rhomboids (upper back), posterior deltoid, trapezius and biceps,because it is a traction movement.

Although it is an exercise that is usually performed in shoulder routines, the back muscles are also very involved in movement.

This is an exercise where weight should take a back seat and focus on executing a correct technique to feel that the muscles that need to work are working.
  • Position yourself in a bilateral position with a pulley located in front of your eyes and above your head.
  • Grab the pulley with your finger knuckles inward.
  • Hold the posture and pull the rope until the fists end up next to your ears.
  • The position of your elbows should be left open in the final movement and perform a retraction of the scapulae at each pull.

Front lift with disc

It is a movement that focuses mainly on the stimulation of the anterior deltoid.

  • Hold a disc with both hands on the sides.
  • He remains standing.
  • The width of the feet is at the height of that of the shoulders.
  • Tighten your abdomen and maintain the posture of your neutral spine.
  • Raise the disc with your arms semi-flexed until you bring it to eye level.
  • Hold isometrically for a few seconds and begin to descend.

Inverted push-ups or making the pine

This is one of the most complete and demanding exercises you can perform to train your deltoids.

It is an exercise with self-loading, that is, you will not need any type of material to perform it, so you can execute it anywhere.

If you are not able to perform the pine with stability,we suggest that you use a wall on which to support your body and stay inverted. If you still do not manage to take the correct posture, we advise you to start by raising your legs to a platform as we will describe below.

  • Place your toes on a bench (the height of this will depend on your level and skill).
  • The hands remain on the ground with the palms resting on the ground.
  • Your body is vertical (depending on the intensity you want to apply). The more vertical you stand, the more complexity and strength the exercise will require.
  • Flex your elbows and lower your head to the ground.
  • Extend your arms by applying force to return to the starting position.
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