Almost every arm movement involves the shoulders, yet few people target shoulder muscles with their workouts. This is sad as shoulders – also called deltoids or 'delts' in gym circles – are easy to train and maintain, especially if you perform your shoulder workouts correctly. This 10-minute delts session can help you build shoulder muscles in a fun and engaging way using only two dumbbells.
Shoulder injuries are common among the general population and especially among those who often do resistance training. One meta-study concluded (opens in new tab) that "up to 36% of documented resistance training-related injuries and disorders occur at the shoulder complex." To avoid injuries and improve muscle definition, it's recommended to incorporate delts exercises in your workout routine to strengthen the joints and improve the range of motion.
This shoulder workout consists of 10 exercises, each performed for 40 seconds with a 20-second break in-between. This is one set, so there are no longer breaks between groups of exercises. How many reps you fit in in each 40-second interval depends on your fitness level and the weight you're using. Instead of churning out more low-quality reps, focus on the muscle and use slow, controlled motion to increase time under tension (the duration the muscle is worked). The exercises involved in this workout are as follows:
- Seated shoulder press
- Egyptian lateral raise (left)
- Egyptian lateral raise (right)
- Dumbbell halo
- Upright row and press
- Front raise
- Dumbbell shrugs
- Kneeling single-arm press (left)
- Kneeling single-arm press (right)
- 90-degree lateral raises
And that's it! By now, you should feel your delts, especially the large lateral deltoid, burning (in a good way). If at any point you feel discomfort, clicking or crunching in the shoulders, you should consider stretching a bit more or using lighter weights. Speaking of weights: check out T3's best dumbbells and best adjustable dumbbell guides to see the best options for your workout needs.
Do you need more shoulder workout inspiration? Here are the best shoulder exercises to build 3-dimensional delts and 14 shoulder workout tips and exercises to reduce pain during push-ups, pull-ups and dips. Here's another 5-move home workout targeting the shoulders and, finally, the three best shoulder exercises for men.