Top Shoulder Exercise #1 – Seated Barbell Press
- Sit down on a military press bench or adjust an adjustable angle bench, setting the back to 90 degrees.
- Load a barbell with the appropriate weight. Ideally, you can un-rack the weight from a weight rack or have a training partner hand you the bar.
- Hold the bar with an overhand grip (palms facing forward) with your hands just beyond shoulder width. Your arms will now be almost fully extended above your head with a slight bend in your elbows. This is the starting position.
- Slowly begin lowering the bar to your upper chest – almost touching your collarbone.
- Pause, and then begin pushing the bar back up to the starting position.
- Repeat for desired reps.
Shoulder Press Tips:
- Keep your back straight throughout the movement. Don’t let it arc too much when pressing the weight.
- Use slow and controlled movement, both when pressing and when lowering the weight.
- Use a full range of motion by lowering the bar as far as possible, and raising all the way up without locking your elbows out at the top of the movement.
- Don’t “rest” with the weight on your chest during the set!
Top Shoulder Exercise #2 – Seated Arnold Press
- Set up for the exercise by getting an adjustable angle bench and setting the back to 90 degrees.
- Grasp a pair of dumbbells and sit down on the bench with the ends of the dumbbells on your thighs.
- Use your thighs to help you raise the dumbbells to shoulder height on each side, and twist so that your palms are facing your body. The dumbbells should now be positioned directly in front of your shoulders.
- Your back should be flat against the back rest and your feet firmly planted on the floor for stability. This is the starting position for the exercise.
- Keeping your eyes facing forwards, slowly raise the dumbbells above your head while turning your wrists so that your palms are now facing forward (away from your body).
- Keep raising the weight until your arms are almost fully extended.
- Do not pause at the top of the movement, and immediately begin lowering the dumbbells back down to the starting position – twisting at the wrists until your palms are facing your body once again.
- Repeat for desired reps.
- Always use a full range of motion and control the dumbbells throughout the set.
This exercise can be performed while sitting on the end of a flat bench, but a back rest is preferred – especially for those with lower back problems.
Top Shoulder Exercise #3 – Alternate Standing Dumbbell Front Raise
- Choose a pair of dumbbells and stand up straight with your feet at around shoulder width apart.
- Hold the dumbbells with your arms fully extended down by your thighs in front of you body. Use an overhand grip (palms facing your body). This is the starting position.
- Begin by raising your left arm straight out in front of you body with your palm facing the floor. Keep a slight bend in your elbow.
- Moving only at the shoulder and keeping your body as still as possible, continue raising the dumbbell out in front of you until your arm is just above parallel to the floor.
- Pause for a brief moment at the top of the movement, and slowly lower the dumbbell back to the starting position.
- Immediately repeat this movement using your right arm. This is one rep.
- Repeat for desired reps.
- Practice good form with a light weight.
- Focus on moving only at the shoulders. The rest of your body should be kept as still as possible and your arms should hold the same form throughout the movement.
- Use slow and controlled movement – avoid “swinging” the weights up and dropping them quickly.
Top Shoulder Exercise #4 – Dumbbell Lateral Raise
- The dumbbell lateral raise is a good exercise for building width in your upper body which gives you the “V” shape. Grab a set of dumbbells and stand straight up with the dumbbells at your sides.
- Your palms should be facing your body. You should be holding the dumbbells slightly off your body, as this keeps the tension on the side delts. This is your starting position for the exercise.
- To execute, slowly raise the dumbbells up to around shoulder height. It’s important that you do not let your wrists go above your elbows while raising the weight, as this will take the work off the side delts and put it on the front delts.
- Pause at the top of the movement, and then slowly lower the weight back to the starting position.
- Do not let the dumbbells touch your body, and then raise them for the next rep.
Lateral Raise Tips:
- The dumbbell lateral raise is one of those exercises that so many people do incorrectly. First, this is an isolation exercise, so you should be focusing on stretch and muscle contraction, not using heavy weights.
- Second, you MUST keep your rep timing slow and controlled. So many people use momentum to swing heavy weights up, and this is not going to get you the best results from the dumbbell lateral raise.
- Third, it very important that your elbows stay above your wrists. If your wrists come up too far, the focus comes off your side delts and onto your front delts. A good trick to ensure this does not happen is to tilt the dumbbells down as if you were pouring a jug of water as you raise them up. This makes it very hard to raise the wrists higher than the elbows.
- And finally, keep the side delts under stress for the whole set by not allowing the dumbbells to touch your body or “hang” at the bottom of the movement.
Top Shoulder Exercise #5 – Face Pull
- Sit in the same position on a low pulley row station as you would if you were doing seated cable rows for the back.
- Attach a rope to the pulley and grasp it with an overhand grip. Your arms should be extended and parallel to the floor with the elbows flared out.
- Keep your lower back upright and slide your hips back so that your knees are slightly bent. This will be your starting position.
- Pull the cable attachment towards your upper chest, just below the neck, as you keep your elbows up and out to the sides. Continue this motion as you exhale until the elbows travel slightly behind the back.Tip: Keep your upper arms horizontal, perpendicular to the torso and parallel to the floor throughout the motion.
- Go back to the initial position where the arms are extended and the shoulders are stretched forward. Inhale as you perform this portion of the movement.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
(From All fitness blog)