The shoulder joint is one of the most delicate in the human body because it’s the most mobile, and its intricate design means you need to make it strong and stable before hitting it with any big lifts.

This workout will do just that, as well as getting your heart pumping to burn some extra blubber.

It’s crucial to start easy when training the shoulders, which is why this session begins with two of the best moves to train the rotator cuff: the tiny but invaluable muscles that are responsible for turning the shoulder joint.

After that you’ll blitz the shoulders, chest and triceps for rapid growth.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

1a. Lying Internal Dumbbell Rotation

To warm up those small but crucial stabilising muscles that support the shoulder joint. A strong rotator cuff will increase your ability in almost every upper-body lift.

Reps: 10
Rest: Straight into 1b

  • Lie on your side, holding a light dumbbell in the hand closest to the floor, with your elbow bent at 90 degrees.
  • Keeping your elbow by your side, rotate your hand up until the weight is by your opposing upper arm, then slowly reverse back to the start.
  • Repeat with your other arm.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

1b. Lying External DB Rotation

This works the rotator cuff in the opposite direction to the first move to warm up the muscles thoroughly before the heavy lifting begins.

Reps: 10
Rest: 60-90 secs, then repeat 1a
Sets: 3

  • Lie on your side, holding a light dumbbell in the hand furthest from the floor with your elbow bent at 90˚.
  • Keeping your elbow on your side, rotate your hand up until your forearm is vertical, then slowly reverse back to the start.
  • Repeat with your other arm.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

2. Barbell Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is a hugely effective upper-body lift for adding size and strength to this major muscle group.

Reps: 8-10
Rest: 90 secs
Sets: 3-4

  • With your feet shoulder-width apart, position a bar on your upper chest, gripping it with hands just wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your chest upright and your core muscles braced.
  • Press the bar directly upwards until your arms are extended overhead.
  • Lower the bar back to your chest and repeat.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

3a. BB Cuban Press

This applies a bit more load to the rotator cuff – the small but vital stabilising muscles of the shoulder joint. Use a light weight at first.

Reps: 10-12
Rest: Straight into 3b

  • Stand tall with your core braced, holding a barbell at the top of your thighs.
  • Lift the bar by raising your arms out to the sides until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees.
  • Rotate your arms so your forearms point up, keeping your biceps horizontal.
  • Press the bar directly overhead, then reverse the movement back down to the start.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

3b. Triceps Dip

As well as being one of the best moves for working the triceps, the dip hits the front shoulders hard.

Reps: 12-15
Rest: 60-90 secs
Sets: 3-4

  • Grip parallel bars, keeping your body upright.
  • With your elbows pointing straight back, lower your body as far as you can comfortably go without stressing your shoulders.
  • Keep your core braced and don’t swing your legs for momentum.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

4a. Alternating DB Raise

Working each arm independently ensures balanced growth.

Reps: To failure
Rest: Straight into 4b

  • Stand tall with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height.
  • Lift one weight out to the side and one out to the front.
  • Alternate arms with each rep.

This Workout Will Help You Build Bigger & Stronger Shoulders | Men's Fitness UK

4b. Inverted Shoulder Press

Simply the best way to work your shoulders without weights.

Reps: To failure
Rest: 60 secs
Sets: 3

  • Put your feet on a bench and your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor, so your body forms a V-shape.
  • Bend your elbows to slowly lower your head almost to the floor, then push back up powerfully.

 

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