Exercise Directory [Shoulders]



See Exercises For - Abdominal - Arms - Back - Chest - Legs - Shoulders

Clean and Press (Barbell)
Target Muscles: Anterior and medial deltoids, Upper Pectoralis major, Triceps, Shoulder girdle muscles (Trapezius, Supraspinatus)
Starting Position:
1. Assume a shoulder-width stance, with knees inside the arms.
2. While keeping the back flat, bend at the knees and hips so that you can grab the bar with the arms fully extended.
3. Using a pronated grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width grasp the barbell with your elbows out to sides.
4. Keeping the bar close to the shins, position the shoulders over or slightly ahead of the bar.
5. Establish a flat back posture.
The Movement:
1. Begin to pull the bar by extending the knees, while moving your hips forward.
2. Raise the shoulders at the same rate while keeping the angle of the back constant and continue to lift the bar straight up while keeping it close to your body.
3. As the bar passes the knee, extend at the ankles, knees, and hips forcefully, similar to a jumping motion.
4. Continue to guide the bar with your hands, shrugging your shoulders and using the momentum from your movement to pull the bar as high as possible.
5. At maximum elevation, your feet should clear the floor and you should start to pull yourself under the bar.
6. Rotate your elbows around and under the bar and rack the bar across the front of the shoulders while keeping the torso erect and flexing the hips and knees to absorb the weight of the bar.
7. Stand to full height, holding the bar in the clean position.
8. Without moving your feet, press the bar overhead as you exhale.
9. Lower the bar under control.
Tips:
1. The bar should travel close to your body, and you should keep your elbows out.
2. You should descend into a squatting position as you pull yourself under the bar.

3. The mechanics of this could change slightly, depending on the weight used.


Clean and Press (Dumbbell Easy)
Target Muscles: Anterior and medial deltoids, Upper Pectoralis major, Triceps, Shoulder girdle muscles (Trapezius, Supraspinatus)
Starting Position:
1. Assume a shoulder-width stance, with knees inside the arms.
2. While keeping the back flat, bend at the knees and hips so that you can grab the dumbbells with the arms fully extended.
3. Using a pronated grip that is slightly wider than shoulder width grasp the dumbbells with your elbows out to sides.
4. Keeping the dumbbells close to the shins, position the shoulders over or slightly ahead of the dumbbells.
5. Establish a flat back posture.
The Movement:
1. Begin to pull the dumbbells by extending the knees, while moving your hips forward.
2. Raise the shoulders at the same rate while keeping the angle of the back constant and continue to lift the dumbbells straight up while keeping it close to your body.
3. As the dumbbells passes the knee, extend at the ankles, knees, and hips forcefully, similar to a jumping motion.
4. Continue to guide the dumbbells with your hands, shrugging your shoulders and using the momentum from your movement to pull the dumbbells as high as possible.
5. At maximum elevation, your feet should clear the floor and you should start to pull yourself under the dumbbells.
6. Rotate your elbows around and under the dumbbells and rack the dumbbells across the front of the shoulders while keeping the torso erect and flexing the hips and knees to absorb the weight of the dumbbells.
7. Stand to full height, holding the dumbbells in the clean position.
8. Without moving your feet, press the dumbbells overhead as you exhale.
9. Lower the dumbbells under control.
Tips:
1. The dumbbells should travel close to your body, and you should keep your elbows out.
2. You should descend into a squatting position as you pull yourself under the dumbbells.

3. The mechanics of this could change slightly, depending on the weight used.


Deltoid Row (Cable Wide Grip Seated)
Target MusclesLatissimus dorsi, Rhomboids, Teres major and minor, Erector spinae, Biceps, Fore-arms, Pectoralis major
Starting Position:
1. Sit facing the cable row machine and place your feet against the foot rests. Grasp the bar and bend your knees slightly.
2. Lean forwards, while maintaining a normal, slightly curved spinal position.
3. Pull back a little way until your torso is nearly upright and your arms are fully extended.
The Movement:
1. Pull the bar towards you until it touches your lower rib / upper abdomen region. You should be pulling your elbows and shoulders directly backwards as far as possible.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly return to the starting position, maintaining a near ­upright position.
Tips:
• To achieve rear deltoid development, keep your torso nearly upright during the entire movement - it should not move forwards or backwards more than 10°.
• Maintain a normal curve in your back - do not arch your back excessively.
• Keep your legs slightly bent and still throughout the movement.
• Inhale at the start of the movement; then hold your breath during the pulling phase - this helps stabilize your torso. Exhale only towards the end of the movement once your arms are extended.



Deltoid Row (Machine Wide Grip Seated)
Target MusclesLatissimus dorsi, Rhomboids, Teres major and minor, Erector spinae, Biceps, Fore-arms, Pectoralis major
Starting Position:
1. Sit facing the row machine and place your chest against the pad. Grasp the handles palms facing down in a wide grip.
2. Maintain a normal, slightly curved spinal position.
3. Pull back a little way until your torso is nearly upright and your arms are fully extended.
The Movement:
1. Pull the handles towards you until it grips are beside your chest. You should be pulling your elbows and shoulders directly backwards as far as possible.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly return to the starting position, maintaining a near ­upright position.
Tips:
• To achieve maximum rear deltoid development, keep your torso nearly upright during the entire movement - it should not move forwards or backwards more than 10°.
• Maintain a normal curve in your back - do not arch your back excessively.
• Inhale at the start of the movement; then hold your breath during the pulling phase - this helps stabilize your torso. Exhale only towards the end of the movement once your arms are extended.



Shoulder Press (Dumbbell Seated)
Target Muscles: Anterior and medial deltoids, Upper Pectoralis major, Triceps, Shoulder girdle muscles (Trapezius, Supraspinatus)
Starting Position:
1. Sit on an upright bench, angled at 75-90° so that your lower back is firmly in contact with the bench.
2. Hold a pair of dumbbells, hands facing forwards, level with your shoulders.
The Movement:
1. Press the dumbbells upwards and inwards until they almost touch over your head. Straighten your arms but do not lock out your elbows. Hold momentarily.
2. Lower the dumbbells slowly back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your torso upright - don't lean backwards or arch your spine as you press the bar upwards as this will strain your lower back.
• Hold your abdominal muscles taut to help stabilize your spine or, if you are using a very heavy weight, wear a weightlifting belt.
• Lower the dumbbells until they touch your shoulders. Don't shorten the movement.


Shoulder Press (Cable Standing)
Target MusclesAnterior and medial deltoids, Upper Pectoralis major, Triceps, Shoulder girdle muscles (Trapezius, Supraspinatus)
Starting Position:
1. Stand between two evenly placed cable towers,.
2. Place your feet and knees together, grab the opposite cables in each hand holding the snap back balls or handles.
The Movement:
1. Press the Cables upwards and inwards until they almost touch over your head. Straighten your arms but do not lock out your elbows. Hold momentarily.
2. Lower the Cables slowly back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your torso upright - don't lean backwards or arch your spine as you press the cables upwards as this will strain your lower back.
• Hold your abdominal muscles taut to help stabilize your spine or, if you are using a very heavy weight, wear a weightlifting belt.
• Lower the cables until they touch your shoulders. Don't shorten the movement.


Shoulder Press (Smith-Machine Barbell Seated)
Target MusclesAnterior and medial deltoids, Upper Pectoralis major, Triceps, Shoulder girdle muscles (Trapezius, Supraspinatus) 
Starting Position:
1. Sit on an upright bench, angled at 75-90° so that your lower back is firmly in contact with the bench.
2. Hold an evenly weighted barbell, hands facing forwards, level with your shoulders.
The Movement:
1. Press the barbell upwards until your elbows are nearly straightened. Straighten your arms but do not lock out your elbows. Hold momentarily.
2. Lower the barbell slowly back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your torso upright. Don't lean backwards or arch your spine as you press the bar upwards as this will strain your lower back.
• Hold your abdominal muscles taut to help stabilize your spine or, if you are using a very heavy weight, wear a weightlifting belt.
• Lower the barbell until it touches your shoulders. Don't shorten the movement.


Press (Seated Machine)
Target MusclesAnterior and medial deltoids, Upper Pectoralis major, Triceps, Shoulder girdle muscles (Trapezius, Supraspinatus)
Starting Position:
1. Sit at a shoulder press machine
2. Place your hands on the handles with a shoulder width grip.
The Movement:
1. Press the handles upwards, straightening your arms but do not lock out your elbows. Hold momentarily.
2. Lower the handles slowly back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep your torso upright - don't lean backwards or arch your spine as you press the cables upwards as this will strain your lower back.
• Hold your abdominal muscles taut to help stabilize your spine or, if you are using a very heavy weight, wear a weightlifting belt.
• Don't shorten the movement.


Lateral Raise (Dumbbell Seated)
Target Muscles: Medial deltoids, Triceps, Anterior deltoids
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or sit on a bench.
2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight at your sides and hands facing inwards.
The Movement:
1. Keep your elbows very slightly bent (at 10°) and raise the dumbbells out to the sides.
2. Raise them until your elbows and hands are level with your shoulders - i.e. parallel to the floor. Your palms should face the par. Hold momentarily.
3. Slowly return to the starting position, resisting the weight on the way back down.
Tips:
• Your little finger should be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement, as if you were pouring water from a jug.
• Do not swing the dumbbells out or lean back as you raise them. Keep your body very still.
• Lead with your elbows rather than your hands.
Variations:
Single arm: Lateral raises can be performed using one arm at a time. Hold on to an upright support with the other hand to help keep you steady. This allows you to concentrate fully on the move­ment and helps to prevent you swinging the dumbbells upwards.
Cable lateral raise: The movement can be performed using a low pulley machine. You will need to use a lighter weight but this keeps more continuous tension on the deltoids.
Seated lateral raise: You can perform the movement sitting on the end of a bench. This reduces the tendency to generate momentum by swinging your body and is, therefore, a stricter movement. You may need to use lighter dumbbells to complete the exercise in good form.


Upright Row (Cable Indy Arm)
Target Muscles: Anterior and Medial deltoids, Trapezius, Biceps, Brachioradialis
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold the barbell with your hands about 15 cm apart, palms facing towards your body. The bar should rest against the front of your thighs.
The Movement:
1. Pull the bar directly upwards towards your chin, bending your elbows out to the sides until the bar is level with your neck.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep the bar very close to your body throughout the movement.
• Make sure you do not sway backwards as you lift the bar.
• At the top of the movement your elbows should be level with, or slightly higher than, your hands.
• Lower the bar slowly, resisting the weight.
Variations:
Wide grip: Using a shoulder width grip, places more emphasis on the deltoids and less on the trapezius.


Upright Row (Standard Cable)
Target MusclesAnterior and Medial deltoids, Trapezius, Biceps, Brachioradialis
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold the cable bar with your hands about 15 cm apart, palms facing towards your body. The bar should rest against the front of your thighs.
The Movement:
1. Pull the bar directly upwards towards your chin, bending your elbows out to the sides until the bar is level with your neck.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep the bar very close to your body throughout the movement.
• Make sure you do not sway backwards as you lift the bar.
• At the top of the movement your elbows should be level with, or slightly higher than, your hands.
• Lower the bar slowly, resisting the weight.
Variations:
Wide grip: Using a shoulder width grip, places more emphasis on the deltoids and less on the trapezius.


Upright Row (Standing Barbell)
Target MusclesAnterior and Medial deltoids, Trapezius, Biceps, Brachioradialis
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold the barbell with your hands about 15 cm apart, palms facing towards your body. The bar should rest against the front of your thighs.
The Movement:
1. Pull the bar directly upwards towards your chin, bending your elbows out to the sides until the bar is level with your neck.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep the bar very close to your body throughout the movement.
• Make sure you do not sway backwards as you lift the bar.
• At the top of the movement your elbows should be level with, or slightly higher than, your hands.
• Lower the bar slowly, resisting the weight.
Variations:
Wide grip: Using a shoulder width grip, places more emphasis on the deltoids and less on the trapezius.


Upright Row (Standing Dumbbell)
Target MusclesAnterior and Medial deltoids, Trapezius, Biceps, Brachioradialis
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold two dumbbells with your hands about 15 cm apart, palms facing towards your body. The dumbbells should rest against the front of your thighs.
The Movement:
1. Pull the dumbbells directly upwards towards your chin, bending your elbows out to the sides until the bar is level with your neck.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep the dumbbells very close to your body throughout the movement.
• Make sure you do not sway backwards as you lift the bar.
• At the top of the movement your elbows should be level with, or slightly higher than, your hands.
• Lower the bar slowly, resisting the weight.


Lateral Raise (Dumbbell Bent Over Seated)
Target Muscles: Posterior deltoids, Trapezius, Upper back muscles
Starting Position:
1. Sit on the end of a bench with only half of your thighs supported.
2. Place your feet and knees together, bend forwards from the waist and hold a pair of dumbbells underneath your thighs with your palms facing each other.
The Movement:
1. Draw the dumbbells out to the sides, simultaneously turning your hands so that they face the floor.
2. Raise them until your elbows and hands are level with your shoulders. Hold momentarily.
3. Slowly return to the starting position, resisting the weight on the way down.
Tips:
• Your little finger should be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement, as if you are pouring water from a jug.
• Keep your torso still - do not raise your body as you raise the dumbbells.
• Lead with your elbows rather than your hands.
• Keep your elbows bent at about 10° throughout to avoid straining them.
Variation:
Standing bent-over lateral raise: The movement can be executed from a standing position. Stand with your feet hip­width apart, bend forwards from the waist and hold the dumbbells directly below the shoulders (arms straight). Perform the movement as described above. As your back is in an unsupported position do not use a heavy weight or attempt this if you have a weak lower back as it may place undue stress on it.


Reverse Fly (Cable Standing)
Target MusclesPosterior deltoids, Trapezius, Upper back muscles
Starting Position:
1. Stand between two evenly placed cable towers,.
2. Place your feet and knees together, grab the opposite cables in each hand holding the snap back balls.
The Movement:
1. Draw the cables outward so that they are parallel to the floor and straight out from the shoulders.
2. Slowly return to the starting position, resisting the weight on the way back inward.
Tips:
• Your little finger should be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement, as if you are pouring water from a jug.
• Keep your torso still. Do not bend forward or arch back.
• Lead with your elbows rather than your hands.
• Keep your elbows bent at about 10° throughout to avoid straining them.



Face-Pull (Indy Arm Cable)
Target MusclesAnterior and Medial deltoids, Trapezius, Biceps, Brachioradialis
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold the cables with your hands about 15 cm apart, palms facing towards your body. The cables grips should be held straight out in front of you.
The Movement:
1. Pull the cables directly upwards towards your ears, bending your elbows out to the sides until the grips are beside your ears.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly let the grips out and back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Keep the grips parallel to the floor.
• Make sure you do not sway backwards as pull the grips towards you.
• At the top of the movement your elbows should be level with, or slightly higher than, your hands.
• Bring the grips back to the starting position slowly stabilizing the weigh the entire way.


Facepull (Cable Indy Arm)
Target MusclesAnterior and Medial deltoids, Trapezius, Biceps, Brachioradialis
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
2. Grab a pair of handles attached to a single cable around chest to face level.
The Movement:
1. Pull the handles directly toward your face and out until the back of your wrists are beside your face.
2. Hold for a count of two; then slowly bring the cables back to the starting position.
Tips:
• Make sure you do not sway backwards as you pull the cable.
• At the top of the movement your elbows should be level with, or slightly higher than, your hands.
Variations:
Wide grip: Using a shoulder width grip, places more emphasis on the deltoids and less on the trapezius.


Shoulder Press (Dumbbell Front Seated)
Target MusclesMedial deltoids, Triceps, Anterior deltoids
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, or sit on a bench.
2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms straight at your sides and hands facing inwards.
The Movement:
1. Keep your elbows very slightly bent (at 10°) and raise the dumbbells forward.
2. Raise them until your elbows and hands are level with your shoulders - i.e. parallel to the floor. Your palms should face the floor. Hold momentarily.
3. Slowly return to the starting position, resisting the weight on the way back down.
Tips:
• Your little finger should be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement, as if you were pouring water from a jug.
• Do not swing the dumbbells out or lean back as you raise them. Keep your body very still.
• Lead with your elbows rather than your hands.
Variations:
Single arm: Front raises can be performed using one arm at a time. Hold on to an upright support with the other hand to help keep you steady. This allows you to concentrate fully on the movement and helps to prevent you swinging the dumbbells upwards.
Cable front raise: The movement can be performed using a low pulley machine. You will need to use a lighter weight but this keeps more continuous tension on the deltoids.
Seated lateral raise: You can perform the movement sitting on the end of a bench. This reduces the tendency to generate momentum by swinging your body and is, therefore, a stricter movement. You may need to use lighter dumbbells to complete the exercise in good form.


Shoulder Press (Cable Indy Arm Front)
Target MusclesMedial deltoids, Triceps, Anterior deltoids
Starting Position:
1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
2. Hold a cable grip in each hand, arms straight at your sides and hands facing inwards.
The Movement:
1. Keep your elbows very slightly bent (at 10°) and raise the grips forward.
2. Raise them until your elbows and hands are level with your shoulders - i.e. parallel to the floor. Your palms should face the floor. Hold momentarily.
3. Slowly return to the starting position, resisting the weight on the way back down.
Tips:
• Your little finger should be higher than your thumb at the top of the movement, as if you were pouring water from a jug.
• Do not swing the cables out or lean back as you raise them. Keep your body very still.
• Lead with your elbows rather than your hands.
Variations:
Single arm: Front raises can be performed using one arm at a time. Hold on to an upright support with the other hand to help keep you steady. This allows you to concentrate fully on the movement and helps to prevent you swinging the dumbbells upwards.
Dumbbell front raise: The movement can be performed using dumbbells. You will need to use a lighter weight but this keeps more continuous tension on the deltoids.
Seated lateral raise: You can perform the movement sitting on the end of a bench. This reduces the tendency to generate momentum by swinging your body and is, therefore, a stricter movement. You may need to use lighter dumbbells to complete the exercise in good form.