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Tone and Sculpt Your Arms
You don’t need a fancy gym membership or expensive equipment to obtain beautifully sculpted arms. All you need is a few minutes a day, a pair of dumbbells, and a few key shoulder exercises that you can perform three times a week, every other day.
When it comes to arm exercises, quite often we focus on the biceps muscles, located in the front of the upper arm. The fact is, we regularly engage our biceps in everyday life, every time we pick something up.
While it’s important to strengthen your biceps too, we shouldn’t neglect the other muscle groups in the upper arm.
Today we will focus on the 5 best exercises to sculpt your shoulders! There is no denying that having beautifully sculpted shoulders looks great on everyone. Toned shoulders improve the look of the male and female physique and look amazing in sleeveless shirts and dresses.
But as I discuss in 7 Reason Why Women Should Be Lifting Weights, strength training has benefits beyond the aesthetics.
Your shoulders are the most moveable joints in your body, and as a result, also the most susceptible to injury. Strengthening the muscles around your shoulder joint provides better stability, enhances your posture and reduces your chance of injury.
5 Best Shoulder Exercises to Sculpt Your Arms at Home
Summertime is right around the corner, and I don’t know about you, but I’m looking forward to tank-tops, strapless dresses, and bathing suits. My shoulders will be on display for ALL to see, and I want to make sure they look good!
Because the shoulder muscles are naturally weaker than the biceps, don’t expect to be able to handle much weight. Depending on the exercise, I use dumbbells between 5 – 10 lbs.
I know it’s tough to always make it to the gym so I’m sharing with you five different shoulder exercises that you can perform at home.
1. Dumbbell Upright Rows
Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in, arms extended, and dumbbells resting on your thighs, about shoulder-width apart. Breath in and as you exhale, use your shoulders to raise the dumbbells all the way until they nearly touch your chin.
At the top of the move, your elbows should be bent and sitting higher than your shoulders. Inhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
2. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raises
Standing up straight, with feet shoulder-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand down at your sides with your palms facing your hips. Keeping your body stationary (no swinging), exhale as you slowly raise your arms to form a “T”, using only your shoulder muscles. Inhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
3. Dumbbell Front Raises
Very similar to the side lateral raises, but you raise the dumbbells in front of your body instead of to the sides. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing in, arms extended, and dumbbells resting on your thighs, about shoulder-width apart.
As you exhale, keep your arms straight as you use your shoulders to raise the dumbbells in front of your body until your arms are parallel to the floor. Inhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
You can perform this exercise either sitting or standing. Either way, ensure you maintain good posture with your back straight and core engaged. With a dumbbell in each hand, keep your elbows bent as you raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, with your palms facing forward.
Exhale and push the dumbbells toward the sky until your arms are extended and the dumbbells nearly touch. Inhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
5. Seated Bent-Over Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises
This exercise will target both your upper back and shoulders. Sit on a bench or chair, bending your torso forward at the waist, keeping your back straight. Pick up the dumbbells with your hands facing each other.
Keeping your torso stationary, lift the dumbbells out to the side until both arms are parallel with the floor, forming a bent-over “T”. Inhale as you slowly lower back to the starting position. Repeat for 8-12 reps.
Shoulder Workout Circuit
If you are feeling especially determined to show off your sculpted shoulders sooner rather than later, commit to a shoulder circuit workout 3-4 times a week. Perform the above 5 exercises back-to-back, rest for 1 minute, then repeat. Begin with two sets and work your way up to four sets.
Reps (repetition) = one complete motion of an exercise
Set = a group of consecutive reps
Remember! Always maintain good posture, engage your core, and practice proper breathing through all exercises.
How much Weight to Start?
Remember that shoulder muscles are naturally weaker than other muscles, so don’t expect yourself to handle much weight at the beginning.
If you are brand new, start with 2-3 lb. weights. It’s better to start with too little weight than too much weight. Once you can perform at least two sets of an exercise without completely fatiguing the muscle, only then should you increase the weight.
I hope you enjoyed this little tutorial on exercising your shoulder muscles. If so, please leave me a comment below!