For all the talk around big guns and big pecs and ripped abs, but no physique is complete without a pair of ripped, chiseled shoulders. The shoulders hold your physique together, popping out of T-shirts and sweaters alike when built correctly, and creating a truly superheroic look.
Thing is, not all shoulder exercises are created equally. Plenty of guys overtrain their shoulders, either by hammering them or by doing the wrong exercises. Remember: Your shoulders get plenty of work on chest day, where they’re a key driving force in your bench press, and on back day, too.
That’s why it pays to think carefully about your go-to shoulder exercises, working through motions that pack on muscle in smart ways. That means doing the classics, like shoulder presses and lateral raises, but doing them at smart times. And it means finding more efficient ways to train your shoulders, too. The classics are great, but there are also a host of other moves that can aid in your shoulder development.
And it means doing more than building shoulder size and strength. It means bulletproofing your shoulders, insulating them against injury with smart, smaller motions that give them longevity and stabilize the shoulder joint. The shoulder joint, overall, is one of the body’s most delicate joints, and if it’s not properly taken care of, it’s subject to plenty of injuries. Lifting heavy weights for your shoulders is great, but working through lightweight moves that stabilize and strengthen your rotator cuffs is also important.
You’ll get a blend of all those moves in these 15 shoulder exercises, which should be in your training rotation if you truly want to build boulder shoulders.