8 Best Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts to Get Lean Muscle in 2024

Hello Guys, Thanks for visiting our website. Today we will talk about “8 Best Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts”. These exercises will help you to get lean muscle at home. So let’s dig into the topic and read in brief.

If you want a muscular look, one of your top priorities should be to work on your shoulders.

Dumbbell shoulder exercises are one of the best ways to add mass to your shoulders and get full, dense shoulders.

Here are some of the best dumbbell shoulder workouts for adding mass to your shoulders, as well as instructions on how to incorporate them into your training routine.

Dumbbells You Need for Home Shoulder Workout

You only need two sets of dumbbells: one pair heavier and one pair lighter.

  • Beginner – (2) 5/8 and (2) 15/20 pound dumbbells 
  • Intermediate – (2) 10 and (2) 20 pound dumbbells
  • Pro – (2) 15 and (2) 30 pound dumbbells

There is some variation here, and it is a matter of personal preference.

The rubber dumbbells are highly recommended. They are extremely durable and provide superior floor protection.

For shoulder workouts, You’ll need lighter dumbbells for side raises and heavier dumbbells for shoulder presses (above your head).

Best Dumbbell Exercises for Shoulders

Before we begin, let’s go over the six dumbbell shoulder exercises that will be performed…

1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

The dumbbell shoulder press, like the strict press (barbell), can result in significant growth of the shoulder, triceps, and upper chest. Certain aspects of the anterior, posterior, and overall shoulder region can be highlighted depending on the grips used, angles, and variations of the shoulder press. The shoulder press targets the following major muscle groups:

  • Deltoids (posterior, medial, and anterior shoulder)
  • Triceps
  • Traps
  • Upper Chest

Dumbbell shoulder presses can be performed seated or standing. The seated version is better for building shoulder mass because it isolates the shoulders and removes any support from the legs and lower back. The most common rep range for muscle growth is eight to twelve reps.

Some people make the mistake of using too heavy weights during a dumbbell shoulder press. Because the shoulder is a mobile joint, doing very heavy low reps is not a good idea.

Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do Dumbbell Shoulder Press

  • Begin by sitting on a bench with your back straight and two dumbbells at your shoulders.
  • Your hands should be facing forward, and one dumbbell head should rest on your shoulders.
  • Brace your core and raise both dumbbells straight up overhead.
  • Make sure the dumbbell heads do not touch at the top, then lock your elbows and lower the dumbbells.

2. Dumbbell Front Raise

The dumbbell front raise is a basic weight training exercise that is great for building strength or adding definition to the shoulders. The dumbbell front raise can be used in any upper body workout; just make sure to choose a weight that you can lift with proper form.

Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do Dumbbell front raise

Position your feet shoulder-width apart. Allow your arms to hang in front of you, and place the dumbbells in front of your thighs (palms facing the thighs). Your back is straight, your feet are flat on the ground and your abdominal muscles are contracting.

  • Maintain the dumbbells in front of you, palms facing your body, from a standing position.
  • Lift the dumbbells straight in front of you until your arms are parallel to the ground. Hold the position of up for 2 seconds.
  • Return to the starting point.

3. Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

The dumbbell side lateral raise is a shoulder-strengthening exercise that isolates the lateral head of the deltoid muscle. When done on a regular basis, this can help you develop stronger, wider shoulders.

In general, lateral raises should be added to upper-body strength training routines after compound exercises that involve the shoulder, such as incline dumbbell press, shoulder press, push-ups, or pull-ups. This is comparable to the dumbbell front raise.

 Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do dumbbell side lateral raise

A side lateral raise does not require much space or equipment. You only need a dumbbell set and just enough space to raise your arms in a “T” formation out to each side.

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand tall. Your arms should be at your sides, palms facing in. Place your feet about hip-distance apart. Roll your shoulders back, engage your core, and look straight ahead to check your posture.
  • Raise your arms simultaneously a few inches out to each side, then pause. This brief pause should help you disengage your trapezius muscle from the movement, allowing you to focus on the deltoids as intended.
  • Lift the dumbbells up and out to each side, keeping your arms nearly straight, and stopping when your elbows reach shoulder-height and your body forms a “T” shape. As you lift, take a deep breath in.
  • At the top of the movement, pause and hold for a second.
  • Lower the weights slowly (about twice as long as it took to lift them), bringing your arms back to your sides. As you lower the dumbbells, exhale.

4. Dumbbell Bent-Over Raise

The dumbbell bent-over raise is a rear deltoid row variation that allows you to use a bench to sustain yourself and avoid injuries.

This exercise can be performed either seated or standing. The dumbbell bent-over raise, like the front and side raises, can be performed with a lighter weight and more repetitions. It’s common for this muscle to be underdeveloped, so don’t be surprised if you can’t use much weight at first.

 Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do the dumbbell bent-over raise

  • Begin by standing in front of an incline bench with a pair of dumbbells in each hand, bending your knees slightly and keeping your abs tight.
  • Bend over slowly, keeping your arms at your sides and palms facing each other, until your forehead touches the top of the bench.
  • Raise your arms out to your sides slowly, trying to squeeze your deltoids as you go.
  • Hold for a count while squeezing your muscles and then return to the starting position once your arms are parallel to the floor.

5. Dumbbell Shoulder Shrugs

The dumbbell shoulder shrug exercise is a great workout that uses a pair of dumbbells to target the upper trapezius.

A common mistake made during this exercise is choosing a weight that is too heavy. Another common blunder is failing to set priorities one of the most important aspects of training: full range of motion.

Dumbbell shrugs can be trained in a variety of rep ranges, ranging from 6 to 15 reps.

 Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do the dumbbell shrug

  • Pick up a dumbbell in each hand and place them outside your hips, by the side of your thighs.
  • Your arms should be fully extended, and your elbows should be relaxed but not locked out. By bringing your shoulders up towards your ears, lift the dumbbells as high as you can with your traps. Hold for a second before returning to the starting position.
  • Try not to move your head forward. This is a basic mistake, but it shortens the movement and reduces its effectiveness.
  • Repeat with your core engaged.
  • Aim for 2–3 sets of 8–12 reps.

6. One Arm Dumbbell Swing

The one-arm dumbbell swing is a total-body exercise that primarily targets the hamstrings and, to a lesser extent, the abs, calves, forearms, glutes, hip flexors, lower back, quads, shoulders, and traps.

 Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do the dumbbell swing

  • Position a dumbbell on the ground between your legs, with the ends perpendicular to your body.
  • Lower your hips, bend your knees, and lower your torso to form a 45-degree angle to the ground (pretty similar to a deadlift stance).
  • Lock your right elbow to keep your arm straight and your shoulder in place. Hold the dumbbell off the ground with your arm straight.
  • Begin the exercise by pushing against the ground and rocking the dumbbell back. Allow your hips and legs to do all of the work instead of bending your arm or raising your shoulder.
  • Continue to rock back and forth, getting higher as you push harder into the ground, until the dumbbell reaches head level. Repeat for 30 seconds. Then, gradually return to the starting position.

7. Spellcaster

The spell caster is a workout that focuses on the abdominal muscles, specifically the obliques. It also works the shoulders, back, hips, and legs, requiring all of those muscles to work together in a coordinated motion. It is usually done with light weights for moderate to high reps, with at least 8-12 reps per side. Use only weights that you can control.

How to do the spellcaster

  • In either hand, hold a dumbbell.
  • Stand with your legs wide apart and your knees slightly bent.
  • Swing both dumbbells to one side and raise them in a circular pattern from hip level to above shoulder height.
  • Swing the weights to the opposite side, lowering them to your hip before raising them again. Continue in this manner.

8. See Saw Press

Because they are not both above your head at the same time, the double kettlebell see saw press allows you to work with heavier kettlebells overhead. The exercise integrates your entire upper body and aids in the development of structural integrity.

 Dumbbell Shoulder Workouts

How to do the see saw press

  • To begin this exercise, take a dumbbell in each hand and cleanly lift them so that your palms face in at chest level.
  • Then, with your left arm extended overhead, rotate your wrist so that your palms are facing inward, and bend your torso in the opposite direction.
  • Return to the starting position after repeating the exercise with the opposite hand.
  • Repeat this exercise as many times you can.

Shoulder Workout Plan for Building Mass

This workout includes a variety of dumbbell shoulder exercises designed to target all of the muscles in your shoulder while increasing overall muscle mass.

ExerciseSets and reps
Dumbbell shoulder press3 sets x 10-12 reps 
Dumbbell side lateral raise 3 sets x 12-15 reps 
Bent over rear delt raises 3 sets x 15 reps 
Dumbbell shrug2 sets x 12-15 reps 

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