June 04, 2016

The best quality and the sign of strength in an imposing body is a set of strong, wide-rounded shoulders. Some men are born with narrow shoulders, others with medium width, and some are just well-framed since forever.

With proper training methods, you too can make your shoulders wider, stronger and more aesthetically pleasing. If the workout you are doing now doesn’t work for your shoulders, then you should reinvent the way you train and add a couple of shoulder exercises for mass.



The shoulder is one of the largest joint in the body and its musculature is very complex. The shoulder is made up of three bones – the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade) and the humerus (upper arm bone). It is protected by three ligaments that surround the shoulder joint, and most of its stability comes from the muscles and tendons of the rotator cuff. You need your shoulders to be mobile enough for a wide range of motions, but also stable enough so you can do actions such as lifting, pulling and pushing.

The largest of the shoulder muscles is the deltoid. This is the muscle which gives the shoulder its rounded-off shape. The action of the shoulder is complex, each portion of the deltoid acting singularly to produce distinct movements from the other portions of the muscle such as raising the arm and assisting the pectoralis muscle in the chest. The deltoid muscle is made up of three sets of muscle fibers:

  • Anterior – front part of the shoulder
  • medial – middle part of the shoulder
  • posterior – rear part of the shoulder

The most important function of the deltoid is preventing joint dislocation when carrying heavy objects.


When it comes to building those massive shoulders, you need to know what you are doing, put in the work necessary for the growth of the muscles, and understand that it takes time.

Building a well-framed shoulder isn’t rocket science. You just need to properly work the three deltoid parts. Here are a few examples that you can include in your workout routine to help you build a nice pair of well-rounded shoulders.


Dumbbell raise

  • With a dumbbell in each hand and standing up straight, place your feet wide apart and slightly bend your knees
  • The raising of the dumbbells begins with palms facing sides of thighs
  • Raise your weights to the sides of your ribs, bending your elbows outwards
  • Lower the weights and repeat the exercise.


Front dumbbell raise

  • The starting position is the same as before, only this time you raise one arm to shoulder height, keeping the arm straight
  • Hold the position briefly before lowering the weight
  • Repeat with your other hand


Barbell shoulder press

  • Sit on a bench and grasp barbell with an overhand grip slightly wider than your shoulders width
  • Position the bar near upper chest
  • Raise the bar over your head straightening your arms
  • Pause briefly then come back to the starting position


One arm dumbbell shoulder press

  • Stand up straight and position dumbbells near shoulder with your elbow below wrist
  • Push the dumbbell overhead until your arm is fully extended
  • Lower the hand to the side of the shoulder and repeat the movement for both hands


Rear deltoid barbell row

  • Hold you back straight and bend your knees with your arms in front of you holding a barbell with a double overhand grip
  • Pull the barbell up towards your upper chest
  • Slowly go back to the initial position breathing in
  • Do this exercise targeting the rear delts, using your arms only for holding the barbell


Front barbell raises

  • Hold the barbell using a double overhand grip, palms facing down
  • Hold your core tight, stand up straight and slightly bend your knees keeping feet apart
  • With your arms straight, raise the barbell to your shoulder height
  • Hold the position, then carefully lower the bar to the starting position


Lying rear lateral raise

  • Lie chest down on a bench grasping your dumbbells below to each side
  • Keep your toes on the floor to stabilize your body
  • Raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height
  • Lower and repeat

You can also do this exercise with a dumbbell in one hand and then switching to the other hand.


Cable rear lateral raise

  • Grasp the low pulley with your right hand
  • Bend over at hips until your upper body is parallel to the floor
  • Slightly bend your knees and keep your back straight
  • Raise your arm until elbows are shoulder height
  • Lower and repeat for both hands

You can execute this exercise using both your hands at the same time, with cable columns on each side.


Cable seated rear lateral raise

  • Sit at the end of the bench, resting your torso on your thighs
  • Reaching under legs, grasp the pulleys with your opposite hands
  • Raise upper arms to shoulder height, pausing at the top of the movement
  • Lower your arms to the starting position


Cable upright row

  • Grasp cable bar with shoulder width
  • Stand close to pulley
  • Pull the bar to your neck with elbows leading
  • Lower and repeat


When it comes to the amount of sets you need to do, it’s all about your goals. Generally, the amount of sets is between two to six reps for strength and eight to ten for building maximum muscle mass. It’s up to you and the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Do these exercises a few times a week focusing on the intensity of each exercise. Give it time, and you’ll see that having shoulder building exercises in your everyday routine is really worth it!