10 Best Shoulder Exercises for Beginners (2024)

Shoulder workouts are very important, some people lift weights that’s too heavy but in the wrong way, so here are the 10 best shoulder workouts.

The shoulders are very complicated joints that are not easy to target without proper knowledge, if you put them under pressure before they are ready; you can definitely end up with injuries.

 If you are looking for a V-shape body you should do shoulder workouts, it can improve your appearance and add definition to your overall physique.

You can develop your shoulder muscles quickly compared to other areas of your body, but don’t think that means shoulder exercises are so easy. A decent number of men skip their shoulder exercise day at the gym.

The shoulder is made with three heads, 1) The Anterior (front delt), 2) the posterior (rear delt), 3) medial (side delt). You should need to work for all the three heads.

If you’re looking for good shoulder workouts, then we have some good news, here are 10 best shoulder workouts and best shoulder exercises for beginners and intermediates.  

10 Best Shoulder Exercises (2024)

01. Front Raises

Front Raises exercise for shoulder workouts

Front Raises exercise is the best workout to target for front deltoids. You can use the weight plates or dumbbells for this shoulder exercise.

You can hold weight plates or dumbbells in front of you, instead of holding them by side, and you can start swinging your arms one by one so your weight plate or your dumbbells is at shoulder level.

Your feet should be shoulder and keep your core tight. When you’re lifting the weight your hands should be straight.

(4 sets) (13 Rep Each Hand) (25 Sec Rest)

02. Lateral Raises

 Lateral Raises for shoulder workouts

This exercise is very important for targeting the middle deltoids; you can use the dumbbells for shoulder workouts.

You can take a pair of dumbbells, but not too heavy; just enough to do your shoulder workouts properly and feel a burn after 10 to 16 reps.

Start this exercise in the standing position; you should keep your feet shoulder width apart, your chest should be up, your head straight, hold the dumbbells each hand by your sides. 

Start to raise both hands at shoulder level, and hold there for 3 Seconds so your body makes like T shape. You should maintain a neutral balanced position while doing the exercise.

(4 Sets) (12 Reps) (25 Sec Rest)

03. Cable Raises

Cable Raises for shoulder workouts

This workout is similar to front raises and Lateral raises, you will perform the same motion with cables. This exercise will put more tension on your shoulder and more control on your shoulder training.

You can do this exercise with a cable machine; take a single hand attachment of one side. Don’t add heavy weight; add weight enough to do your workout properly.

You can stand facing away from the machine and lift the weight and bring the cable at shoulder level and hold there for a few Seconds, and come back to the normal position.

You can do both exercise of front and lateral raises shoulder workouts with cable machine, or just you can do one. You just focus on the tension of your shoulder.

(2-3 Sets) (12-15 Reps Each Hand) (25 Sec Rest)

04. Overhead Dumbbell Press

This workout is very important for targeting the anterior, posterior and lateral deltoids muscles. You can do this workout sitting down on a bench or standing up; it’s up to you how you will compare with, but the motion will be in the same manner.

Take two dumbbells; the weight should be enough to properly do your shoulder exercise.

Hold the dumbbells each hand at the shoulder level and your elbows facing 90 degree angle. Lift the dumbbells overhead and your hands should be straight. There is no bend of your hands and don’t touch them at the top. Hold the dumbbells for a few seconds and bring them back down on the same position to the 90 degree angle.

Keep in mind that your head and spine should be straight, and also your body posture should be straight while doing this workout.

(4-5 Sets) (12-15 Reps) (1 or 1 ½ Min Rest)

05. Overhead Machine Press

This shoulder workout is very important to give more tension to the shoulder. Some gyms will not keep this machine; in that case you can skin this workout.

Adjust the machine and seat according to your comfort; and keep the weight should be enough to feel comparable. You can just lift the weight up and hold there for a few seconds, and come back to the same position.

Make sure that your back should be very straight and upright, otherwise you could face risk of injury.

(4-5 Sets) (12-15 Reps) (1 Min Rest)

06. Smith Machine Press

smith machine for shoulder press workouts

This workout is a favorite for a lot of people and this one is very effective for overall shoulder muscle growth. You just need a smith machine to do this exercise.

You can set the machine in the right spot, when you sit on the seat your shoulder should be under the bar. Once you are done with the proper position; add weight according to your control and start lifting the weight as high as you can, and come back to the same position at 90 degree angle of your arms.

Make sure that your head and back should be straight, and the best thing about this exercise is that your motion will always be consistent.

(4-5 Sets) (12-15 Reps) (1 – 1 ½ Min Rest)

07. Barbell Overhead Press

Barbell Overhead Press shoulder exercise

This exercise is very good for your shoulder and most of your body; it does improve your strength and mass builder, you just need a barbell to do these shoulder workouts.

You can do it while standing, to start this shoulder workout; you can put your feet at shoulder width, and tight your core.  Your elbows are forming a 90 degree angle when you hold a barbell on your shoulder. Push the weight upward (overhead) and hold there for a few seconds, and back to the same position.

Make sure that your head and back should be straight and tight. And also take the weight as you can control.

(3-4Sets) (12-13 Reps) (45 Sec Rest)

08. Standing Barbell Shrugs

This exercise is good for your shoulder and your neck; it will give the tension for your shoulder and neck. Keep this exercise in your overall routine.

To do these shoulder workouts you just need a barbell, keep your feet at shoulder width, and bring the barbell to the waist level; and lift your shoulder up and hold there for a few seconds and release them in a normal position.  

Make sure that your back and head should be straight because it will give more tension to your shoulder and neck.

(3-4 Sets) (15-18 Reps) (30 Sec Rest)

09. Reverse Pec Deck Fly

This exercise is very important for targeting the posterior delt; to do these shoulder workouts you should need a pec deck machine.

To start this workout, you can position the seat so the handles of this machine are at shoulder level on each side. Hold the handles and push inward, hold there for a few seconds and back to the starting position.

Make sure that your core and back should be straight, and tighten your torso.

(3-4 Sets) (13-15 Reps) (30 Sec Rest)

10. One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise

This exercise is very important for targeting the middle deltoid, and gives more tension to your shoulder.

To start this workout, you should stand sideways of the cable machine, put your feet shoulder- width apart. Raise the cable using the shoulder and arms and take them fast to shoulder level, hold there for a few seconds and come back slowly to the starting position, and you can do it for both hands.

Make sure that, your abs tight and your shoulder bit back, your head and core should be straight.

 (3-4 Sets) (13-15 Reps) (40 Sec Rest)

QNA on Shoulder Workouts

  • How Many Shoulders Exercises a Week?

    I personally recommend that you do the shoulder exercises one to two times per week. You can start with light to moderate weights, and build up intensity and duration. This will help you to avoid injury.  

  • Should I Lift Heavy for Shoulders?

    You can lift the weight that you’re able to do, and also follow lighter weight and higher reps training. Make sure that for heavy lifting, stick to the 5 to 7 reps and most of the chest and back exercises will also work for your shoulders. So, make sure not to go overdo it.

  • Are Broad Shoulders Attractive?

    The short answer is Yes, broad shoulders are attractive to women. If you have a strong upper body, wide shoulders, being physically fit and have great hand-grip strength can make a man more attractive to women. 


Here are 10 best shoulder workouts for you and start doing it in the gym. Be careful while doing it in the gym and read the instructions carefully and avoid the injury and risk. Take your own time, do it healthier and you will be fit for the long run.

If you have any queries and suggestions leave them below in the comment box, thanks for reading.

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