Strengthen Every Shoulder Muscle With This Workout | STACK

How to Strengthen Every Shoulder Muscle

January 18, 2013 | Richard Choueiri

Must See Strength Training Videos

Strengthening the shoulders should be a critical aspect of any workout program. However, many athletes make the mistake of failing to work their entire shoulder joint.

The shoulders are made up of three main muscle groups—the deltoid, rotator cuff and upper trapezius. To develop strength and size in each of them, you must perform several different shoulder exercises that mirror the movements they perform.

You can do all of these shoulder exercises with dumbbells, which are among the most effective pieces of training equipment.

Deltoid Exercises

From the outside, the deltoid may seem like one large muscle, but it is actually comprised of three separate components:

Rotator Cuff Exercises

The rotator cuff muscles typically go unnoticed when looking at the shoulder; however, these smaller muscles play a critical role in joint stability.

  • Subscapularis internally rotates the arm, so perform DB Side-Lying Internal Rotations
  • Supraspinatus abducts the arms, so perform DB Side Raises
  • Infraspinatus externally rotates, so perform DB Side-Lying External Rotations
  • Teres minor (same as above)

Upper Trapezius Exercises

The upper trapezius, the large muscle that sits on top of the shoulders, is broken into two heads that act on the neck and collarbone.



To strengthen and develop the muscles of the shoulder, complete a total of three sets per exercise. For the deltoid and upper traps, use the maximum amount of weight that allows you to perform six to 10 repetitions per set. For the smaller rotator cuff complex, use moderate resistance that allows you to do 12 to 15 reps per set.

For optimal performance and safety, always train larger muscles first. Begin with deltoid exercises, followed by upper trap exercises, and finally rotator cuff exercises.


More Cool Stuff You'll Like

7 Ways to Build Explosive Strength

3 Effective Power Clean Alternatives

Power Training Without Olympic Lifts

Exercise of the Week: Straight-Arm Hang Pull

Boost Power With This Med Ball Chest Workout

Plyometrics to Improve Explosive Football Power

Increase Power With Sand Plyos

3 Ways to Develop Fast-Twitch Muscles

5 Reasons Why Football Players Should Power Clean

Increase Your Power Output With Strongman Training

Train Like Steven Jackson

Moves to Improve Your Clean and Jerk

Master the Power Snatch in 4 Steps

Get More Powerful With Perfect Reps

Get Powerful With These Exercises

In-Season Baseball Strength and Power Workout

Explosive Power Tips from UFC Fighter Jessica Eye

Get Faster: Strength and Power for Speed

Avoid These 6 Mistakes to Boost Your Athletic Power

Master the Hang Clean in 4 Steps

Use Combo Lifts to Increase Strength and Power

Alternatives to Olympic Lifts for Power Development

Exercise of the Week: Explosive Sled Row

Off-Season Football Workouts, Part 5: Developing Power

Rolling in the Deep End: Aquatic Plyometric Training

Add Size and Power With Contrast Sets

Size Does Matter: Understanding Power-to-Weight Ratio

3 Workout Styles Every Athlete Should Try

Improve Punching Power With Physics

The Differences Between Strength and Power Training

Build Power With Partner Med Ball Drills

How to Get More Powerful