10 Best dumbbell shoulder exercises

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Every modern physical activity needs a “body base.” Fitted muscles are giving you freedom of flexing, pumping, jumping, running, etc. So, a rookie athlete needs a simple guide that helps: to make arms, torso, and legs stronger. The dumbbell shoulder exercises are helpful and universal that making them a first draft pick for everyone. Dumbbells are adjustable by weight and purpose. They fit everyone: from an experienced athlete right to the newcomer.

What are Your Shoulder Muscles?

Human upper joints are vulnerable and robust at the same time. A casual workout with dumbbells at home prepares your muscles for the bigger weights. Also, this is an opportunity to normalize the blood flow in your arms. As for the muscles, we need to go deeper into the anatomy. Every good professional builder and amateur athlete should know muscular mechanics.

Extrinsic Shoulder Muscles

These connect your torso with the joints of the upper limb, right to the shoulder bones. They are more massive than intrinsic muscles. Adjustable dumbbells are too good for warming up the torso alongside upper arm parts and whole shoulders. As usual, muscles can be superficial (right under our skin hull) and deep.

Superficial ones are:

  • The trapezius. Your attractive broad neck, upper back, and shoulder are not an accident. It will come with a pumped trapezius. And the dumbbell shoulder exercises help correct its shape and warm-up before lifting. Trapezius works with the scapula, allowing you to lift the arm as you want. Also, this muscle rotates the coarse bone of the upper limb;
  • The latissimus dorsi. The second big one. It comes from the middle and the lower third of your torso from the mack side. This muscle rotates the arm and shoulder. Also, it bends with the back as well. The pro tip is to keep this muscle fitted, especially when your boy is getting older.

Deep ones are:

  • The levator scapulae. The pairing bunch of fibers palpates on the sides of your neck. They help to manage the rotation of your head. Every warm-up complex of exercises should have advice about these muscles;
  • Major and minor rhomboids. It is the second muscular layer right under the trapezius. While the last one is considered the primary goal by many athletes, the rhomboids are the carcass for your broad and effective upper limbs.

Intrinsic Shoulder Muscles

These connect to your humerus and part of the torso. You can get strong arms only by building this part of the body. Aside from the natural strength, bodybuilders evaluate the developed “meat” around the humerus. This group of muscles has six separate branches:

  • The deltoid. A triangle chunk of fabrics is developed with the best shoulder exercises for mass with dumbbells. Deltoids gain a larger size with proper weights. But they also should be regularly trained with lesser devices. These muscles visually enhanced the width of the stature very well;
  • The teres major. This bunch of fibers is “diving” under the deltoid from the side part of the back. Regardless of the name, this muscle is relatively small but can be easily damaged. Because of its place at the side “edge” of the shoulder;
  • The rotator cuff muscles. These are four bunch of muscular fibers that run from scapulae to the humerus. The lateral dumbbell exercise for the shoulders would be helpful for these fibers. Because they are making arms moving in this projection. The strength of the arms heavily depends on these muscles because they are rotating limbs, helping the deltoid and slightly abducting arms. The flexibility of the shoulder joint is also a base function of the rotator cuff group.

The basic best dumbbell shoulder exercises

We are talking about absolutely standard adjustable dumbbells that use with every fit form. If your results become better – add the kilograms. Or use these exercises as a light warm-up program.

Dumbbell bench press

One of the basic movements for beginners. Also, it works best in recovery programs, especially after traumas of the back. Everybody can do it, starting with featherweights. The process is simple:

  1. Start with an elementary gymnastic bench. Adjust it according to your height;
  2. Take the proper dumbbells and lay down on your back. The palms are towards your feet;
  3. Push the devices up, and return your arms in a start position. This exercise works with the lesser muscles of your shoulder, but it trains your elbows as well.

Front raise

Primarily, this is the rookie training for biceps, but the deltoids are working together with the arm muscles. The procedure is elementary:

  1. Take up the irons;
  2. Raise them on the level of the chest middle;
  3. Push dumbbells frontally and return your arms to the chest. This exercise reminds us about rowing and shapes the frontal side of the shoulder fibers. Also, it develops the force of the upper joints, the strength of the elbows and wrists, etc. The start of this exercise recommends medium adjustable dumbbells.

Upright row

It is a medium level in the development of your upper limbs. This move isn’t difficult but requires proper technique.

Stand straight with the irons in your hands, laying on the sides freely:

  1. lift arms to a 90° angle. Your elbow should be at the level of the lower part of your neck;
  2. Push dumbbells down, and pull them again. You can easily include this sequence in every daily workout without a doubt. It would be an enrichment of a routine program.

Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

A simple movement that is great for your wrist, biceps, and shoulder at the same time. Every athlete periodically does it.

  1. Select the proper weight. It must be balanced. Lifting dumbbells is very tiresome. Especially when you have a quick style;
  2. Sit still, with a relaxed and straight back;
  3. Hold your devices with a forward orientated palms;
  4. Raise your arms to the maximum length;
  5. Make a 90° angle with your elbows;
  6. Do the cycle again. All the time, hold the back straight. The number of bents depends on your physical fitness. With time, your stamina will grow, and you can enlarge the time of exercises.

Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

It is the basis of the deltoid development and some rotator cuff muscles. These dumbbell shoulder exercises are relatively hard in comparison to the initial workouts. Also, the activity works with the shoulders, arms, back, and hips within one training complex.

  1. Take up your dumbbells;
  2. Bend over the torso.
  3. Place your palms at the level of the ankles. The legs are straight during the whole time;
  4. Make synchronic movements of your arms laterally. The moves should be vigorous and bursting. Lateral raise is the proven way to pump your deltoids up. It combines a static tension of the back and legs of the athlete with fiber development. You can easily say that this raise is doing right: your body is not bouncing through the whole process. Torso shouldn’t be rocking, too.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

It is another basic stuff with moderate tension. This activity should be in every program of extra weights.

  1. Stand straight, with a relaxed back and legs. The dumbbells are in the side position in your wrists;
  2. Make quick and powerful lateral moves up and down. At the highest points, the wrists are at the shoulders level. Notice for rookies: if your arms aren’t strong enough, take lighter devices. Also, you can make lower moves. Lateral raises are great helpers in building your stamina and fat burning.

The Arnold Press

Practically, these dumbbell shoulder exercises were renowned way before Schwarzenegger. But, of course, the Iron Arnie popularized them worldwide. You can do the activity in standing and seating form as well. Mister Olympia was right about the usefulness of these moves. The shoulder, biceps, and wrist are working as one mechanism with weight limits. It pumps all the upper limbs at the same time.

  1. Choose your weight. Arnold Press can be successfully done with the lightest dumbbells: the warm-up does a great work this way;
  2. Lift your wrists with the weight up to the torso on the shoulders level. Your elbows are fully bent;
  3. Make a bursting move with your arms right to the sky. Repeat the cycle. As usual, your movements should be heavy and aggressive.

T press-up

The best training complexes always include practice with body weight. It is the basis of our physiology: our muscular carcass has to manage every move swiftly. Pushups are the most democratic exercises for everyone, and they are doing great for your shoulders. A T press-up is an advanced level.

  1. Take the dumbbells. You will need hexagonal ones. The round models will be rolling on the surface;
  2. Make a standard pose for a pushup but with irons on the floor;
  3. Make an ordinary pushup;
  4. When your body is lifting, rotate your torso and raise one hand with the dumbbell;
  5. Do that again, with the other side’s flip. This workout is too heavy. Don’t do it unless you can’t perform at least a hundred ordinary pushups. Thus, this shoulder training is for advanced athletes and needs general strength improvement.

Chest pull-over

It is an advanced practice for well-trained arms. The exercise is done in a two-hand stance. That’s why you need just one adjustable dumbbell, but the heaviest one. Or, you can choose a lighter model for warming up. The steps are:

  1. Lay down on the bench. The dumbbell is in your both hands, right above your head at the maximum distance;
  2. Make a slow and steady move over your head on the maximal stretching range;
  3. Return your dumbbell to the starting position.

This exercise is good for the end of every workout. Firstly, your muscles are preparing for bigger weights. Then, you can make pauses during the process. The static tension is vital for strengthening your shoulder fibers.

Dumbbell snatch

It is another finishing activity for a workout. It requires a lot of fitness. So, beginner athletes should start with lesser weights. It is full-body training that involves: ankles, hips, back, torso, complex arm, and upper joints.

  1. Take up the initial pose, a straight back, and relaxed hips and ankles. The legs are at a medium distance between knees. The single dumbbell is in the hand that is lying down between the legs. The opposite arm is laying way back;
  2. Do the squat and lay your iron on the floor. Knees are slightly bent;
  3. Start standing explosively with the parallel lifting;
  4. Make a flip of the wrist on the chest level;
  5. Raise the dumbbell to the maximum distance above the head. The arm should be straight.
  6. Standing in this pose, do the squat, keep the weight all the way;
  7. Do that again.

This practice combines kinetic and static work. Moves must be heavy and bursting. Among dumbbell shoulder exercises, this one is one of the renowned fat-burners.

Conclusion about dumbbell shoulder exercises

All these tricks are basic for daily warm-ups and heavy workouts. We do not recommend using a certain number of repetitions or training weights of dumbbells. It depends: on the age, gender, fitness, and goals of every single athlete. These complexes are universal and could be combined with almost every gym program. Also, they are excellent for home use: you additionally need just a standard bench.