So you’ve joined a gym (or maybe built your own) and dedicated yourself to getting bigger shoulders? Awesome—you’ve come to the right place. We’ve collected 10 of the most tried-and-true shoulder moves around, exercises that will build each part of your deltoid muscles as well as your traps and your triceps.
But before you start clangin’ and bangin’ in your basement sweatbox, you should know there’s more to gaining shirt-stretching shoulders than a volume-focused lifting program.
“Some lifters think training for hypertrophy means you must grab super-light weights and do as many repetitions as you can,” says Chris Falcon, personal trainer and founder of Chicago’s Reactive Performance Enhancement Center. “I am a firm believer that you if you want your muscles to grow, the load must be substantial, and the amount of force you are generating to move the load must be high and consistent.”
When utilizing the following best shoulder exercises, Falcon suggests using a load between 50 to 70 percent of your one-rep max, once you’re certain you have the movement patterns down. (Bad form + heavy weights = an injury waiting to happen, especially in a very mobile joint like the shoulders.)
As always, make sure you warm up your shoulders with exercises like these—they’ll go a long way to ensure you don’t suffer from routine-breakers like tendonitis.