Disclosure: When you buy through links on our website we may earn a commission.

The Best Shoulder Workout for Beginners

Building delicate and good-looking shoulder muscles is easier said than done, especially for beginners. If you do a shoulder workout with heavyweight and lousy form, you will have injuries.  Targeting shoulders in the right way needs proper knowledge, consistency, and a perfect blend of workouts to stimulate muscle growth. Here is the best shoulder workout for beginners, that will help you build an impressive pair of shoulders with the efficiency and safety you want.

Shoulder Workout for Beginners - a woman performing shoulder presses on a machine

Consideration to Take before Indulging in any Workout Plan

Choosing a well-suited workout plan by considering all the pros and cons seems difficult for a beginner. When it comes to shoulder workouts, one should plan meticulously about factors that will work well for him according to body weight, physical hygiene, and desired target. Shoulders are very complex parts of the body and are extraordinarily unstable designed to perform various movements. 

Some of the considerations are:

  • Before starting a workout plan, never forget to get warm-up as it prepares shoulders to undergo movements later. 
  • Start the movements that you’re going to perform during a workout. Choose light to no weight for this purpose.
  • Always use the best lifting techniques to avoid injury.
  • Avoid lifting heavy weights because sudden strain might kick you out of the gym for weeks or months.
  • Give your muscle time for recovery and growth, so choose a moderate working routine, maybe twice weekly.
  • Engage your middle and posterior muscles as well to have symmetry in the growth pattern.
  • Take care of your diet to maintain energy ad stamina.

If you are searching for an effective and convenient diet/nutrition plan check our my NutriWise – Doctors Weight Loss Review.

Here’s is a brief routine of workouts for beginners.

1-Barbell Overhead Press

The barbell is one of the main exercises for building solid muscle mass. If you are looking to build your muscles then there is no alternative to this exercise due to the free and wide movement and intensity it offers to stimulate muscle growth. In addition, it is a perfect tool to load and press a variety of weights.

  • Stand tall in front of a rack with a barbell placed at your chest height. 
  • Unrack the barbell and step back a little while tightening your core as you hold a barbell with your palms facing forward.
  • It is better to bend your knees a little to push the barbell towards the ceiling with extra force.
  • Now keep your body intact, taking deep breaths in your stomach slowly moving the barbell downwards.
  • Repeat the movements while maintaining time duration to complete reps.
  • Never look backward or don’t move your back.

One can use dumbbells instead of barbells to perform this exercise with many variations.

Get Paid To Get Healthy With Sherri Shepherd!

2-Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Seated dumbbell press is a major exercise without which it becomes difficult to get satisfying results. It targets your core by engaging anterior, lateral, and posterior muscles, emphasizing middle muscles. Meanwhile, using separate dumbbells ensures proper balance and distribution of workload on both sides compared to one-sided engagement using the machine.

To perform this exercise.

  • Sit on an upright bench holding dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level.
  • Make sure your palms face are away from you and keep your head and spine perfectly straight.
  • Now squees your breath and press the dumbbells straight up.
  • Bend your arm at 90°and; don’t let your elbows drop below your head.
  • Hold the position for a while, and then repeat the process carefully.

For a beginner, backbench support is crucial to decrease the load on abs and back. Try to make full movements in line with your ears. Start this exercise with light weights and gradually increase as you progress.

3-Dumbbell Front Raise

Dumbbell front raise is effective for upper body strength and stability and growth of anterior muscles or the front hand muscle. It’s ok to start with lighter weights while effectively monitoring progress and how it targets your muscles. It primarily works for shoulder muscles but also strengthens the upper chest. In addition, it helps to lift objects in daily life.

To correctly perform this exercise.

  • Stand tall with dumbbells in both hands.
  • Hold the dumbbells in your hands in front of you and twist the hands in such a way that your hands are exactly parallel to the ground while your palms are facing it.
  • Keep your elbows and knees slightly apart to maintain a mild bend while raising your hands.
  • Raise hands to eye level and slowly go back to the original position.
  • As a beginner, keep an even pace between your up and down movements and gradually reduce this interval as you spend time doing it regularly.

4-Dumbbell Lateral Raises

If you’re looking to grow your posterior and upper back muscles, don’t go for other options except for dumbbell lateral raises. This exercise creates wonderful results when we execute it properly. In addition, these exercises prepare the body for more heavy and intense workouts like barbell presses.

To perform it as prescribes

  • Stand tall and still with shoulder-width apart ad your palms facing each other.
  • Hold your abs tight and chest up while maintaining a firm position.
  • Keep your elbows and knees slightly bent to raise the dumbbells perfectly.
  • Now raise dumbbells to the shoulder level and hold them there for a second.
  • Slowly bring them back to their original position and repeat the process.

As a beginner, perform this exercise at an even pace. Maintain a balanced position while moving your elbows and hands together in harmony. Lower the weight if you feel uneasy. Take the weight as per your fitness level; don’t rush for too heavy if you don’t want any problem.

Here is an awesome video of a Shoulder Workout for Beginners:

5-Cable Raises

Cable raises are similar to front and lateral raises but offer more control and intense training. You will undergo the same movements but by using cables instead of dumbbells. This exercise works best for lateral deltoids and upper trapezius and helps develop a solid mind-muscle connection.

To perform this exercise. 

  • Use single handle attachment of cable machine. 
  • Add weights similar to dumbbells you used previously. 
  • Now lift the cable and stand facing away from the machine.
  • Now bring the cable up to shoulder level by squeezing your shoulder and hold there for a second
  • Similarly, repeat the process at an even pace, especially if you’re a beginner.

You can perform both front and lateral raises using a cable machine. Cable raises primarily focus side deltoids. They are also good for middle and lower traps. However, it is not enough for complete shoulder development, but they help stabilize your shoulder. Focus on tension your shoulder gets doing cable raises.

6-Smith Machine Press

This exercise is popular among all exercises. Most people like it due to the ease and motion consistency it offers. All you need is a machine and a chair in the right position. Once in a set position, you can do the reps as much as you want.

To perform the exercise.

  • Select a proper spot and seat the smith machine.
  • Now sit on the chair with your shoulder right under the bar. Make adjustments if needed to achieve perfect alignment with the straightness of the bar.
  • Once everything is set, add weight according to your fitness level and start lifting the weight.
  • Go as high as possible and return to your arms’ original 90° angle.

The good thing about this exercise is that you don’t have to worry about stabilization as it follows the bar’s path. 

7-Barbell Shrugs

This exercise especially focuses on the neck and shoulder; that’s why you should incorporate it into your routine. Choosing the right movements for building muscle is the key factor in successful muscle growth. Movements like the barbell shrug are highly effective if you meet your goals ASAP.

To perform this exercise.

  • Keep your feet firm and lift the barbell.
  • Position it at waist level just outside your thighs
  • Now lift your shoulders (shrug them) and squeeze them there for two to three seconds.
  • Gently lower the barbell down and keep your movements restricted to your shoulders.

For a beginner or newbie lifter, it especially suits as it does not require complicated movements and stabilization of muscles. It is easy to grip and has a carryover effect on your deadlift. Never roll your shoulders while doing it. You can also do it with dumbbells, but a barbell is an easy choice.


How to get maximum out-of-shoulder workouts?

The key to successful muscle building lies with the right techniques followed by consistent work and meticulous planning. To get maximum out of the workouts mentioned above, one must be very consistent and have quality sleep. Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy protein diet to recover and grow muscle size.

How many exercises a week?

The answer is simple. Genuinely assess your health and make a schedule. As a beginner, start exercises with lightweight and intensity. Gradually increase intensity over time to avoid problems like injury or severe pain as you progress.

What are the basic elements of the best workout?

The answer to the best workout is not simple. Everyone from magazines to youtube, blogs, personnel trainers, and athletes and trainers has their own opinion. But a good workout has two basic elements.

  • Proper warming up and
  • A balance of all essential exercises.

Final Thoughts

Undoubtedly, shoulder exercise involves a lot of care and instructions to follow. Especially for beginners, proper understanding, implementation, and following precautions to avoid any problematic situation are necessary. Take time, focus and practice all the listed exercises to get in shape and strengthen your shoulders.

Join the 5 Day Get Moving Challenge to Unlock The Keys for a Healthy Lifestyle By Getting Up and Moving Today

Photo of author

Noble Woods III

My name is Noble, I have a passion for fitness and all things related to healthy living. My mission is to share my story and help those who wish to make a healthy change. Follow me on socials.

Leave a Comment