Killer Shoulder Workout For Size And Strength

As I’ve mentioned a few times on the site, I’m a big proponent of regular shoulder training. In terms of overall lifting, they’re a hugely important part of the body, and building strength and stability in your shoulders can really help your other lifts.

Big shoulders also have a huge influence on your appearance. They make you look strong, add width to your frame and can even make your waist look smaller (within reason – looking at you, powerlifters). If you’re looking to add strength and size, this killer shoulder workout will help you achieve it.


The Workout

  • Seated Military Press 3 x 5
  • Lateral Raise 3 x 12
  • Front Raise 3 x 12
  • Lying Rear Lateral Raise 3 x 12

The seated military press in the smaller rep range will help to build substantial strength as well as helping to add mass to your shoulders. Perform these three sets of 5 first, taking a decent rest between each set.

The lateral raise, front raise and lying rear lateral raise should be performed as a tri-set, performing each exercise one after the other. Take around 60 seconds between each set – your shoulders should be on fire by the end of it!

Good form is essential for shoulder training as the area can be rather injury-prone if you’re not careful. Lift with speed and intensity, but focus on form over all.

Seated Military Press

  1. Sit on a bench with our back straight, core tight and your feet facing forward
  2. Grab the bar around shoulder width with your palms facing outwards
  3. With the bar in front of your head, push the bar upwards by straitening your arm
  4. Pause slightly at the top of the movement (without locking your arms) before lowering the bar to the starting position


Lateral Dumbbell Raises

  1. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing inward towards your body and the dumbbells at your sides
  2. Standing with your feet shoulder with apart, draw your abs in and bend your knees slightly
  3. While keeping your torso still, raise your arms up to the sides keeping your arms straight with a slight bend in the elbows
  4. Raise your arms up until in line with your shoulders, your palms should face the floor
  5. Hold the position for a moment then in a controlled movement lower your arms to the starting position
  6. Repeat


Front Raise

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, core tight and your back straight
  2. Take a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip
  3. The starting position is with the weight at waist height with elbows very slightly ben
  4. Raise your left arm until the weight is in line with your shoulder, keeping the arm straight
  5. Pause briefly at the top of the movement, before lowering the weight to the starting position in a controlled manner
  6. Repeat the movement with your right arm


Lying Rear Lateral Raise

  1. Set up with your dumbbells at the end of the bench
  2. On a flat bench, lie face down with the height set height enough that you can move your arms freely underneath
  3. Put your toes on the floor to help stabilize your body
  4. Hold the dumbbells with your elbows at around a 30-degree angle
  5. Raise your arms up to around shoulder height in a controlled manner
  6. Slowly lower the weight to the starting position


  • Updated May 26, 2020
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