7 Home Shoulder Workouts You Can Do in 15 Minutes

7 Home Shoulder Workouts You Can Do in 15 Minutes

Shoulders are one of the most frequently used muscles in the upper body. You’re using them every time you pull, push, press, or lift. This means that shoulder muscles get activated not only during specific shoulder exercises but also during arm exercises and back exercises, as well as during everyday activities such as lifting your baby or carrying groceries.

The shoulder joints have a great range of motion, which makes them very versatile but also very susceptible to injury. That’s why it is very important to strengthen the shoulders by doing shoulder workouts on a regular basis. Let’s not forget that strong shoulders can look great intank tops!

How to Do the Home Shoulder Workouts

It’s easy to build strong shoulders at home. You don’t need any equipment, just use your body weight. However, it's helpful if you perform the workouts with dumbbells or resistance bands in order to maximize the results.  

If you don’t have dumbbells or resistance bands, go for gallon jugs filled with water. A full gallon jug weighs about 8 lbs, which is more than enough to effectively perform the exercises. If the gallon jugs are too heavy for you, pour out some of the water or use lighter objects like water bottles (32 oz.) or big soup cans.

Always choose a weight that will offer a decent challenge without forcing you to sacrifice form. Begin with lighter weights, then increase gradually as you become stronger.

For each exercise, aim for ten to twelve reps with good form. You can do the following home shoulder workouts two to three times a week. Bear in mind that the shoulder muscles are engaged during a number of the arm, back, and chest workouts, as well as during pilates, stretching, and HIIT workouts.

To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 7 shoulder workouts you can do at home.

10 Best Home Shoulder Workouts

1. Standing military press

This exercise is great for growing muscle mass. In addition to working the entire deltoid muscle, it also targets the pecs, traps, and triceps.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your back straight, holding dumbbells in each hand.  
  • Raise the dumbbells to shoulder level with your palms facing forward.
  • Press the dumbbells above your head until your arms are fully extended. Make sure that your back remains straight and your core is engaged.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back to shoulder level, then repeat.

2. Standing Arnold press

This exercise targets all three sections of the deltoid. Working the lateral head of the deltoid adds width and thickness to the shoulders, while the back head is great for improving posture and stabilizing the shoulder joint.

Note:If you have lower back issues, perform the Arnold press seated, with a backrest.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet at hip width, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Raise the dumbbells to shoulder level, then turn the palms to face your body. Make sure your back is straight and your core engaged.
  • Press the dumbbells above your head while rotating the wrists so that your palms are facing forward.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position, then repeat.

3. Clean squat press

This is a full body workout that involves almost every major muscle group in the body: glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, shoulders, upper traps, triceps, back, abs, lower back, and arms.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells at your sides.
  • Bend your knees to squat down until your upper legs are parallel to the ground.
  • Push up to return to standing position, pressing the weights above your head.
  • Still standing, slowly lower the weights down to chest level and then down to your sides. Repeat.

4. Reverse fly

Also known as bent over rear delt fly, this workout is excellent for building a complete set of shoulders. It’s especially good for strengthening the rear deltoids, which results in a better posture, greater strength on other lifts, tighter chest muscles, and can help prevent injuries.

How to do it:

  • Sit on a chair holding the weights by your thighs with the palms facing each other and your feet at hip width.
  • Lean forward so that your chest is positioned over the top of your thighs.
  • Raise the weights to your sides until your arms are parallel to the ground.
  • Squeeze your shoulders for a moment, then slowly lower the weights back down and repeat.

5. Alternating side lunge with lateral raise

Just like the regular lunge, the side lunge is great for tightening the legs and glutes. Besides the usual use of quadriceps and glute muscles, the lateral raise also incorporates the outer and inner thighs, as well as the muscles around the knee joint and the core. Combined with the front raise, which targets the chest and shoulders, this is an amazing full body exercise!

Note:  Ensure that you don’t use momentum when you raise the weights. Your arms should be slightly bent at the elbows, your abs engaged, and your spine straight.

How to do it:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the weights in front of legs.
  • Step out with your right leg into a side lunge until your knee is into a 90-degree angle. As you lower, raise your arms to the front until you reach shoulder height. Make sure your left leg remains straight.
  • Return to the starting position slowly lowering your arms, then repeat on the opposite side.

6. Plank raise tap crunch

Plank is an exercise that can do it all: tighten your thighs, firm up your abs, and make your arms stronger. There’s a number of ways to modify the plank, so it’s really hard to get bored. This variety focuses on improving shoulder stability, but it also works your core.

How to do it:

  • Assume a regular plank position with the shoulders positioned above the elbows and the feet at hip width.
  • Stretch your left arm forward, then bring it back down.
  • Stretch your left arm to the side, then bring it back down.
  • Keeping your body straight, reach your right arm under your body, then move your left leg towards the core, and touch your left foot with your right hand.
  • Return to plank position.
  • Once you’re done with all the reps, repeat on the other side.

7. Dolphin Dive

Another version of the plank, this bodyweight workout is great for strengthening the core, shoulders, and upper back while giving you a good stretch. If you have weak wrists and you can’t last long with straight arms, the dolphin dive is perfect for you.

How to do it:

  • Assume a regular plank position, with the shoulders above the elbows and the feet at hip width.
  • Using your upper back muscles, push your chest towards your thighs and walk your feet toward your arms to slightly lift the hips.
  • Slowly lower the hips to pull your body back into plank position. Make sure your body is straights and your abs tight, so you don’t sag through your lower back.

Final Thoughts

Before you begin performing the above-listed home shoulder workouts, do several dynamic stretches like shoulder rolls or arm swings to warm up the joints and muscles in your upper body.

Don’t forget that working the shoulders also requires proper nutrition. Make sure to consume sufficient amounts of protein (especially whey protein) to aid muscle growth and recovery, immediately after the training session.


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