Sculpt your shoulders in 15 minutes with this five-move dumbbell workout

Strong shoulders improve posture and can make our upper bodies look more muscular

Woman doing dumbbell shoulder press
(Image credit: Getty)

I feel like shoulders are really underrated for a number of reasons. Firstly, sculpted shoulders can enhance the silhouette of the body, making the waist appear smaller and the upper body wider. The other reason is that they're really important for good posture. If you’ve been neglecting yours, then this workout will sort you out. It'll help build muscle, takes less than 20 minutes and all you’ll need is a pair of dumbbells.

As previously mentioned, apart from aesthetics, incorporating shoulder exercises is key to maintaining and improving our body’s overall health and function. For starters, we use our shoulders for lots of everyday activities, such as picking things up to carrying things – if our shoulders are weak, the likelihood of injury will be higher compared to someone with stronger shoulders. They’re also vital for good posture (those who sit at a desk all day long with hunched over a computer will know this well). If your muscles around the shoulder joint are stronger, it will enable a sturdier posture, as well as arm movement.

In this workout you’ve got five dumbbell exercises to complete. As you’re looking to complete 10 to 12 reps of each exercise, you want to opt for light to medium dumbbells. Almost all the exercises are performed singly, so on each side, as opposed to both sides at the same time. So, if you don’t own a pair of dumbbells, an adjustable dumbbell will also work perfectly. This type of training is ‘hypertrophy training’ where you do high reps with the aim to increase the size of your muscles, which will give them that nice defined and toned look, so trust us when we say don’t go too heavy. Especially as you're aiming to do three rounds in total. Here’s what you’ll be doing:

  • Single arm lateral raise 
  • Dumbbell steering wheels 
  • Rear delt rows 
  • Dumbbell front raises 
  • Around the worlds

If you're pressed for time and need something even quicker, then give this 10 minute shoulder dumbbell workout a go. Remember, if you don't own dumbbells you can always fill up two large water bottles instead. The best type to replicate dumbbells are the barrel-style water bottles (check out an example on our best gym water bottle guide).

Bryony Firth-Bernard
Staff Writer, Active

Bryony’s T3’s official ‘gym-bunny’ and Active Staff Writer, covering all things fitness. In her spare time, you will find her in her natural habitat - the gym - where her style of training is a hybrid of bodybuilding and powerlifting. Bryony loves writing about accessible workouts, nutrition and testing innovative fitness products that help you reach your fitness goals and take your training to the next level.