Shape and strengthen your shoulders with these 6 simple exercises

Stronger shoulders can actually improve your back and chest exercises too

Attractive red-haired fitness woman trains shoulder muscles doing overhead dumbbell press in a modern gym. Bodybuilding and Fitness
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Shoulders can often get put to the bottom of the pile when it comes to upper body workouts, but they shouldn’t. Not only are they easy to train, but they help with strength in other areas of the upper body too, such as the chest and back. If you’ve been neglecting them, then these six simple exercises will strengthen them in no time, all you need is a pair of dumbbells

According to the American Sports and Fitness Association the shoulders are one of the most important muscle groups in the upper body “responsible for a wide range of movements from pushing and pulling to lifting and carrying”. As well as this, they can also help improve your posture, which can reduce the likelihood of neck and back pain.

If you don't have a pair of dumbbells for this workout, you can always use two kettlebells or grab two big bottles of water (keg water bottles make decent dumbbells and we have a great one in our gym water bottle guide). You'll be doing 10 to 12 reps of each exercise and you want to do three rounds in total. Here's your workout:

  • Hinge alternating raise
  • Seesaw overhead rotation press
  • Bent side raises with alternating press
  • Lateral raises
  • Rainbow press
  • Seesaw front raises

This workout should roughly take you 20 minutes, but if you need something a little more speedy then we've got this 15 minute shoulder workout. We've even got a floor shoulder workout — yep, it's all done completely on an exercise/yoga mat, just incase you fancy something that's a little lower impact, you're welcome!

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.