Skip to content

The best shoulder exercises with dumbbells or own weight for an effective shoulder workout!

We now know that strength training is just as important as endurance sports. To stay healthy and fit, more and more women work out every day in the gym or at home. However, most of us focus mainly on legs, buttocks and abdomen and the upper body is neglected or even completely omitted. This is actually one of the biggest fitness mistakes and over time it manifests itself in an unaesthetic body image. So if you’re trying to improve your aesthetics, well-toned arms and developed shoulders are simply essential. Our shoulders are involved in just about every arm movement and broad shoulders actually make our waist appear slimmer. And have we piqued your interest yet? Then you should definitely read on! Whether you use your own weight or dumbbells, in today’s article we’ve compiled the best shoulder exercises for an effective workout!

What are the benefits of shoulder training?

Shoulder exercises with dumbbells shoulder workout for home

Whether we’re lifting the grocery bags or twirling the kids through the air, having strong shoulders makes a lot of things much easier in our everyday lives. Even when you want to get something out of the top cupboard, the shoulders are in action. They also help us with any upper body workout, because the stronger our shoulders are, the more weight we can lift. The term “shoulder” is usually used to refer to the shoulder girdle and surrounding muscles. This connects the arms to the torso, allowing for a lot of range of motion. A strengthened shoulder musculature also relieves the back and chest, which prevents back pain in the long term. Trained shoulders are characterized by the resulting V-shape, which makes our waist appear slimmer. We think these are enough reasons to include the following shoulder exercises in your workout routine, don’t you? So let’s get started!

The best shoulder exercises with dumbbells

Reverse Fly with dumbbells shoulder exercises benefits

And here’s the good news! You don’t need overpriced equipment or a gym membership to get an effective shoulder workout. You can easily perform the following shoulder exercises with dumbbells at home and you will notice noticeable results after just a few weeks of regular workouts. However, the shoulder girdle is very susceptible to injury and therefore you should always start the workout with a short warm-up. Also, pay attention to the correct technique and prefer to start with less weight than you feel confident with.

Arnold Press Exercise

Arnold Press execution shoulder exercises with dumbbells shoulder workout women

The Arnold Press was named after Austrian bodybuilder and former US governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and is actually one of the most effective shoulder exercises with dumbbells. We mean – you know what it looks like, right? You can perform the exercise both sitting and standing. If you’re a beginner, we recommend doing the Arnold Press seated with dumbbells.

  • Sit on a weight bench with a 90-degree angle or a chair – it is important that you sit upright.
  • Take the dumbbells in a neutral grip and hold them directly in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing your body.
  • Then rotate your wrists 180 degrees and keep your elbows in front. Make sure they are level with your shoulders during the movement.
  • Exhale and extend your arms almost all the way up.
  • Inhale deeply and slowly return to the starting position in a controlled manner.
  • Since this is a complex exercise, you should not perform the movements too quickly and rather focus on the correct technique.

Pre-bent rowing with dumbbells

Shoulder exercises for women how often to train shoulder


Pre-bent rowing is one of the best shoulder exercises that work the posterior deltoid (shoulder) and back at the same time. Here’s how to do it correctly:

  • Stand in a hip-width stance with your knees slightly bent.
  • Lower your torso forward, making sure to keep your back straight. To avoid injury, the lower back should be in a slight hollow position.
  • Hold the dumbbells in an overhand grip.
  • As you exhale, pull your arms up and bring your elbows in right next to your torso.
  • Inhale and bring the dumbbells back down until your arms are almost completely sagging.

Shoulder exercises: Front raise with dumbbells

Shoulder workout for women front lift with dumbbells execution

Front raises with dumbbells are an excellent shoulder exercise to define the front shoulder muscles. If you don’t have dumbbells, you can alternatively use a fitness band with handles.

  • Stand hip-width upright and take a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Face forward and lift the weights either alternately or simultaneously with arms extended forward until the dumbbells are at chest level.
  • Exhale and lower the arms back down until they are at the side of the body.

Lateral lift with dumbbells

Standing lateral raises with dumbbells shoulder exercises for beginners


Lateral lifting with dumbbells is one of the most popular and effective shoulder exercises and with the huge selection of variations, shoulder workouts are guaranteed to never get boring. Thus, you can perform the side lift sitting, standing, on the machine or on the cable pulley in the gym and the exercise enjoys great popularity among both beginners and professionals.

  • To perform standing lateral raises, stand up straight with your hips wide.
  • Hold the dumbbells in a neutral grip with the arms hanging by the sides of the body.
  • Gaze forward and bring the arms upward without momentum until they are at shoulder height and parallel to the floor.
  • Then exhale and slowly return to the starting position.

Shoulder exercises with your own weight

Plank exercise benefits the best shoulder exercises with dead weight

Don’t have any equipment and time to visit the gym is also scarce? No problem! There are plenty of shoulder exercises with your own weight that are just as effective and perfect for a quick home workout.

Planks with tapping shoulders

Plank with shoulder tapping shoulder exercises with dead weight

We all know that the plank is one of the best full-body exercises. This Plank variation works the shoulder muscles in addition to the abs and butt, making it the perfect choice for a shoulder workout at home.

  • Start in the High Plank position and tighten your abs and butt.
  • Then alternate tapping shoulders with hands, making sure body doesn’t wobble and remains stable.

Plank-Up-Downs

why should women shoulder workout plank variations slimming

Plank-up-downs are also an excellent plank variation and great shoulder exercise with dead weight that you can do anywhere, anytime.

  • Get into the high-plank position and tighten your butt and abdominals.
  • With your arms alternating, go down into low plank by supporting yourself first on your left forearm and then on your right.
  • Return high to starting position – this counts as one repetition.

Side lift with dumbbells execution simple shoulder exercises beginners