Name Of Shoulder Exercises Using Dumbbell, Barbell, Cable, And Bodyweight

Working on your deltoid muscles is important if you want bigger and stronger shoulders.

When starting with shoulder training, terms like “Landmine Press” and “Dumbbell Clean and Press” can get a little overwhelming.

As a beginner, you might not be familiar with the many shoulder exercises available. It can be hard to try new workouts or understand the different routines if you don’t know the names of the exercises.

But there’s no need to worry! This blog post will provide a comprehensive overview of 75 standard shoulder exercises, using straightforward names and descriptions.

This shoulder exercise list will provide clear images and simple explanations to help you grasp shoulder anatomy and each exercise’s mechanics.

Be sure to bookmark this guide as your go-to resource for building strong, resilient shoulders.

Table of Contents

Barbell Shoulder Exercises Names

The barbell is a good tool for doing heavy lifting. It helps you work hard and makes your shoulders stronger.

This section will introduce more than 15 renowned barbell shoulder exercises, with detailed descriptions and illustrative images.

The exercises will cover variations like barbell overhead shoulder press, barbell front raises, barbell upright rows, and more.

1. Military Press

If you’re looking for straightforward barbell shoulder exercises to add to your home routine, Overhead Press are a great staple exercise to get you started.

The military press is used primarily to build the deltoid muscle. It also indirectly targets the other muscles of the shoulder, your triceps, and your core.

Since the military press is completed standing up, it involves a lot of core strength to help stabilize the spine while pressing weight overhead.

Military Press AKA Overhead Press

2. Seated Barbell Overhead Press

This is one of the best shoulder exercises that you can do at home or in the gym during your upper body workout. The shoulder Press remains the granddaddy of all shoulder exercises to build big, round shoulder muscles.

The seated barbell overhead press is a compound exercise that works the deltoids, triceps and trapezius.

This exercise is similar to the overhead press but is performed while sitting on a bench to help stabilize the body.

Barbell Shoulder Press

3. Barbell Front Raise

The barbell front raise is a shoulder exercise used to target the front deltoids

It involves lifting a barbell in front of the body while keeping the arms straight, making it an effective way to isolate and strengthen the shoulders.

It is possible to overload the muscles with the barbell to a greater degree than one may be capable of doing with dumbbells.

Barbell front raise

4. Barbell Upright Row

The barbell upright row is an excellent exercise that you can do at home to build huge Trapezius muscles.

Research shows that the upright row is one of the best exercises for building shoulder strength and stability.

The exercise targets the smaller, stabilizing muscles of the shoulder joint. The enhanced strength and stability gained from this exercise may enhance performance in sports and other physical activities.

Barbell Upright Row

5. Barbell Shrug

The Barbell Shrug is one of the best shoulder exercises to build bigger and stronger trap muscles at home. It is one of the simplest and easiest trap exercises to perform.

It is a popular choice of exercise for strengthening your Trapezius, upper back, shoulder muscles, neck, and upper arms too. 

A study has shown that shrugging helps relieve shoulder and neck pain. It also helps to improve posture.

Barbell Shrug

6. Behind-The-Neck Press

A behind-the-neck press is an exercise that targets your shoulders. The standard military press and the overhead dumbbell press hit more of the anterior head of the deltoid, which is often stimulated a lot, even during the bench press.

On the other hand, it stimulates all three heads of the shoulder. It also recruits the triceps, traps, and rhomboids.

If you do not have a fair amount of shoulder mobility, performing these barbell shoulder exercises is not recommended.

Behind-the-Neck Press

7. Barbell Lying Rear Delt Row

The barbell lying rear delt row is an exercise primarily targeting the rear deltoids, upper back, and rhomboids. When done correctly, it can effectively target your shoulders and upper body.

Including the barbell lying rear delt row in your workout will help you work on all three parts of your shoulder: the front, back, and sides.

Barbell Chest Supported Rear Delt Row

8. Landmine Press

The Landmine Press is not a popular exercise, yet it provides many benefits with progressing your inner and upper chest but also in the muscles that work alongside – the triceps and the deltoids.

It can be performed in a kneeling position, which increases core involvement and can improve core stability and strength of the abdominal muscles.

Landmine Chest Press

9. Standing Barbell Rear Delt Row

Unlike bent-over barbell rows, the standing barbell row provides more rear delt emphasis by allowing you to pull the barbell back towards your upper chest rather than your lower ribs.

It is an effective back exercise targeting your rear deltoid muscles. Also, hitting the lats, traps, rhomboids, and biceps, this move builds impressive “3D” back thickness while improving posture.

Standing Barbell Rear Delt Row

10. Clean And Jerk

The hang clean and jerk is a complex exercise that involves multiple movements performed in quick succession.

It requires to be coordinated flexion and extension of various joints and muscles throughout the body, combining pulling and pushing motions into a single exercise.

It is an effective and efficient way to achieve a full-body workout in a short period of time.

Not only that, but it is one of the lifts that athletes do at events like the Olympics and other weightlifting competitions.

Clean And Jerk

11. Barbell High Pull

The Barbell High Pull is an explosive and multijoint workout focusing on the upper body, including the arms, upper back, and traps. It’s a good way to make yourself more athletically strong.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell.
  2. From this position, explosively extend hips, knees, and ankles, pulling the barbell towards your chin.
  3. Raise the bar to chest or shoulder height, no higher.
  4. Carefully lower the bar back to the starting stance.
Barbell High Pull

12. Barbell Chest Supported Rear Delt Row

The chest-supported row exercise is an effective variation of the bent-over barbell row. As the name suggests, it’s a row where your chest is supported. It is a highly effective exercise with the added benefit of minimizing lower back strain.

In other words, this variation requires less effort to stabilize body position during the row because the chest is supported on the bench.

This row is much more effective for targeting the back muscles because it doesn’t require other muscles to stay stable throughout the movement.

Barbell Chest Supported Rear Delt Row

13. Bradford Press

The Bradford Press involves alternating barbell presses to the front and back of the head without fully locking out the arms.

It targets multiple parts of the deltoids – anterior (front), medial (side), and posterior (rear) deltoids.

  • The exercise starts with a shoulder-high barbell in front of the neck.
  • Press the barbell, then move it just over and behind the head.
  • You then reverse the movement to bring the barbell back to the front.
Bradford Press

14. Standing Wide Grip Shoulder Press

This exercise is done standing and using a barbell with a wider grip than your shoulder width.

Some Benefits:

  • The wider grip can increase the recruitment of the lateral (side) deltoids.
  • It may also involve the upper chest and trapezius muscles to a greater extent.
  • Some people find that a wider grip can reduce discomfort in the shoulder joint.
Standing Wide Grip Shoulder Press

15. Close Grip Military Press

The close-grip military press is a great way to work your triceps and shoulders more than the usual overhead press.

This exercise uses a narrower hand placement than the traditional shoulder-width grip.

Close Grip Military Press

16. Single Arm Landmine Shoulder Press

The landmine shoulder press is a shoulder exercise that significantly strengthens your upper body.

The landmine press is the best alternative to the overhead press which is a little easier on the joints without compromising the benefits for strength and muscle size.

The exercise primarily targets the shoulders, chest, and triceps muscles. It also engages the core, back, and legs to provide stability.

Landmine Shoulder Press

17. Barbell Z Press

The Barbell Z Press is a challenging and effective shoulder exercise that strongman Zydrunas Savickas popularized, hence the name “Z Press.

A barbell is used to perform the Z Press while sitting on the floor with legs extended forward.

This seated position eliminates leg drive and lower-body assistance, making it a pure upper-body workout.

Barbell Z Press

18. Barbell Split Jerk

The Barbell Split Jerk is a powerful and dynamic exercise that is primarily performed in Olympic weightlifting.

It is also popular among athletes and strength trainers for its ability to develop explosive power, coordination, and strength. It develops explosive strength in the legs, hips, and shoulders.

Furthermore, it is a compound exercise that involves lifting a barbell overhead and splitting the legs into a lunge position.

Split Jerk

19. Incline Barbell Front Raise

It is a variation of the traditional front raise exercise, focusing on the anterior (front) deltoid muscles.

This exercise is done with an incline bench to change the angle of resistance and uniquely challenge the shoulder muscles.

  • Set an incline bench to about 30–45 degrees. Lie face down on the bench.
  • Grip a barbell with both hands, palms facing down.
  • Lift the barbell up in front of you to shoulder height.
  • Lower the barbell back down to the starting position.
Incline Barbell Front Raise

20. Wide Grip Barbell Upright Row

The wide-grip barbell upright row is preferable to the regular upright row because it prevents the elbows from going too high, preventing rotator cuff injuries.

The wide-grip upright row places heavy emphasis on the lateral and rear deltoid and little less on the upper and middle trap

Furthermore, the wider grip allows some cheating movement, thereby allowing you to lift more weight.

It may also be more shoulder-friendly for people who cannot handle the close-grip version.

Wide Grip Barbell Upright Row

Dumbbell Shoulder Exercises Names

Dumbbells are an effective and dynamic way to target your shoulder muscles. They focus on strength, endurance, and symmetry.

The good thing about using dumbbells for shoulder exercises is that they can work on each side of the shoulders separately, which helps to fix muscle imbalances.

This list has over 20 exercises that are specifically designed to build shoulder muscles. You will find brief descriptions and illustrations for each exercise.

1. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Dumbbell Shoulder Press exercises are an excellent variation of barbell shoulder Press. The fact is that the dumbbells allow a full range of motion.

It is one of the best exercises for building shoulder mass and strength, especially the front and side deltoid muscles.

They are performing the exercise while the seated shoulder press is a stricter version than standing and prevents cheating the weight upward using momentum generated by the legs.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

2. Arnold Shoulder Press

The Arnold dumbbell shoulder press is a great exercise for building shoulder muscles. Arnold’s press stands out from the crowd regarding the best dumbbell exercise for shoulder muscles with the best range of motion.

It gives a wide range of motion as you lower the dumbbells well down in front, giving that maximum stretch other shoulder exercises lack.

3. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

The side lateral raise with dumbbells works the side of the shoulders, also called the lateral head. It’s an isolation exercise that primarily targets the lateral head of the shoulder. 

As a lighter weight is used, more reps can be used — anything from 10 to 20 reps.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

4. Dumbbell Front Raise

A dumbbell front raise is an excellent exercise to isolate the anterior deltoid Muscle. This exercise helps to build muscle mass in the front head of the deltoids.

This exercise can work well with a medium to lightweight for higher reps.

Front Dumbbell Raise

5. Dumbbell Upright Row

Research shows that the upright row is one of the best exercises for building shoulder strength and stability. It activates all major shoulder areas, excelling for upper body stability and conditioning.

The dumbbell upright row can be used to target your shoulders or traps, depending on how wide or narrow you keep your elbows during the movement.

Dumbbell Upright Row

6. Dumbbell Bent Over Raise

If you want to build a bigger and stronger rear delt, you should add bent-over lateral raises to your shoulder workout routine. 

This exercise specifically hits the rear deltoid head and isolates it better than any other shoulder exercise.

Bent Over Dumbbell Lateral Raise

7. Dumbbell Shrug

The dumbbell shrug is a great exercise for building shoulder strength, improving posture, and relieving neck and shoulder pain.

This isolation exercise builds bigger, stronger trapezius muscles, specifically the upper trapezius muscles

They are suitable for both beginners and pros because they can be performed with various weights.

Dumbbell Shrug

8. Seated Neutral-Grip Overhead Dumbbell Press

The seated neutral-grip overhead dumbbell press is a fantastic exercise for building strength and definition in your shoulders, particularly your anterior deltoids and lateral deltoids.

It’s a variation of the traditional overhead press but with a neutral grip instead of a pronated (overhand) or supinated (underhand) grip.

Seated Neutral-Grip Overhead Dumbbell Press

9. Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Dumbbell lateral raise is a simple yet effective exercise that can help you target the shoulders, particularly the lateral or middle deltoid muscles.

Many variations of the dumbbell lateral raise challenge your muscles even more and help build strength and definition.

Some examples of variations include single-arm raises, chest-supported side raises, and dumbbell lateral to-front raises.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise

10. Incline Bench Rear Lateral Raise

The incline bench rear lateral raise is an upper-body exercise that targets the posterior or rear deltoids and the postural muscles of the upper back.

Because it targets such small muscles, this exercise is usually performed with lightweight for high reps, such as 10-15 reps per set or more.

Incline Bench Rear Lateral Raise

11. Dumbbell Chest Supported Lateral Raises

This exercise involves lying face down on an incline bench to support the chest.

This helps to isolate the lateral deltoid muscles and reduce the involvement of other muscle groups.

Dumbbell Chest Supported Lateral Raises

12. Standing Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

The bent-over dumbbell reverse fly, also known as the bent-over rear delt fly, is a great exercise to assist you in building a complete set of shoulders.

Many lifters utilize the bent-over dumbbell reverse fly to target the rear delts, an often lagging muscle for many lifters alike.

Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

13. Dumbbell Lateral To Front Raise

The dumbbell front raise to lateral raise is an exercise that combines two exercises that build and strengthen the middle deltoids and the anterior deltoids of the shoulders.

Dumbbell Front To Lateral Raise

14. Seated Dumbbell Front Raise

The seated dumbbell front raise is a variation of the traditional front raise exercise, with the added benefit of increased stability and isolation of the shoulder muscles.

It is ideal for people who want to build shoulder strength without putting too much strain on other parts of the body.

Seated Dumbbell Front Raise

15. Dumbbell One-Arm Shoulder Press

If you’re looking for straightforward single-arm shoulder exercises to add to your routine, dumbbell one-arm shoulder press is a great staple exercise to get you started.

It is a unilateral exercise that increases shoulder strength, stability, and symmetry.

Performing the exercise with one arm at a time will actively engage the core throughout the range of motion.

One Arm Shoulder Press

16. Side-Lying Rear Fly

The side-lying rear delt fly is an upper-back exercise that targets the rear delts and rhomboids.

It is a great unilateral exercise used to target a smaller and often lagging muscle group. Instead of lying on the floor, you can lie on a bench.

Side-Lying Rear Fly

17. Leaning Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Leaning away lateral raise is more effective than the dumbbell side raise because it puts your lateral deltoid under tension through a greater portion of the range of motion.

The leaning position maximizes the isolation of the shoulders throughout the movement.

It also places greater overload at the top of the movement.

Leaning Dumbbell Lateral Raise

18. One-Arm Dumbbell Upright Row

This unilateral variation of the classic dumbbell upright row targets the same muscles while adding an extra element of stability and core engagement.

Muscle Worked During Single Arm Upright Row

19. Incline Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

If you’re looking for a way to get more creative with your dumbbell lateral raise, why not try an incline lateral raise?

Many of the movements that work the same muscle group may look alike, but they focus on different parts of the muscles because they are at different angles.

If you want to develop better muscle specifically, remember that including exercises focusing on different aspects of your training program is more beneficial.

Incline Dumbbell Side Lateral Raise

20. Chest Supported Front Raise

This exercise involves lying face down on an incline bench to support the chest.

This helps to isolate the anterior deltoid muscles and reduce the involvement of other muscle groups.

Dumbbell Chest Supported Front Raise

21. Head-Supported Rear Dumbbell Fly

The head-supported reverse dumbbell fly is also known as the head-supported bent-over dumbbell lateral raise.

During the head-supported reverse dumbbell fly, keep your torso horizontal to target your posterior deltoids.

The more upright your torso is, the more emphasis you will place on your lateral deltoids instead of on your posterior deltoids.

Head-Supported Rear Dumbbell Fly

22. Incline Dumbbell Front Raise

The incline dumbbell front raise is performed face-down on an incline bench.

This changes the angle of the movement and puts more emphasis on the front deltoids and upper chest.

It also allows you to use heavier weights due to the support of the bench, while the standing dumbbell front raise requires more stability.

Incline Dumbbell Front Raise

23. Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Front Raise

The dumbbell front raises with a neutral grip is a great exercise that targets the front of the shoulders.

A neutral grip will be easier on the shoulder joint using a palms facing in.

Neutral-Grip Dumbbell Front Raise

24. Dumbbell I, Y, T, W Raise

These exercises focus on the shoulder and back muscles, mainly the middle and lower part of the trapezius.

They also hit all the rotator cuff muscles, including the infraspinatus, subscapularis, teres minor, and supraspinatus muscles.

I, Y, T, W Raise

Incline Y dumbbell raises are a great and easy-to-do shoulder stability exercise that targets both the rotator cuff muscles and your mid and lower traps.

Although the Y Raise is commonly performed on an incline bench, it can be modified to suit your needs and performed in various ways: standing, on the floor, flat, or even a Swiss ball.

25. Dumbbell Cuban Press

The Dumbbell Cuban Press is a compound exercise combining an external shoulder rotation with a dumbbell press, targeting the shoulders, rotator cuff, and upper back muscles.

It is not a mass-building exercise but is beneficial for shoulder stability, rotator cuff strength, and improved mobility.

Dumbbell Cuban Press

26. Dumbbell Scaption

The dumbbell scaption is a shoulder exercise that targets the middle deltoids and rotator cuff muscles.

Additionally, it helps improve shoulder mobility and can aid in posture correction by strengthening shoulder and upper back muscles.

To perform it:

  • Hold a dumbbell in each hand down by your sides with palms facing inward.
  • Lift the dumbbells out to the sides and upwards in a diagonal plane until shoulder height.
  • Slowly lower back to the starting position.
Dumbbell Scaption

27. Dumbbell Z Press

The Dumbbell Z Press performed while sitting on the floor with legs extended straight ahead. This exercise primarily targets the shoulder muscles (deltoids), triceps, and upper back.

The unique seated position of the Z Press eliminates leg drive and lower body involvement.

You can perform it with different leg positions (seated, kneeling, standing) and grip variations (neutral, pronated) to add challenge and target different muscle groups.

Dumbbell Z Press

28. Dumbbell High Pull

This exercise requires coordination between different muscle groups and helps develop explosive power, which is beneficial for athletic performance.

It targets muscles such as the rhomboids, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, biceps, triceps, lower back, abdominals, glutes, and hips.

How to do it:

  • Stand holding two dumbbells with an overhand grip.
  • Keep knees slightly bent.
  • Initiate the movement by extending through the hips and knees to shrug the weights up explosively.
  • Continue the momentum by pulling the dumbbells up to shoulder height.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells back down by hinging at the hips.
Dumbbell High Pull

29. Dumbbell Push Press

The dumbbell push press is fantastic for building explosive power and sculpting your shoulders. It combines elements of the overhead press and the leg drive.

Its explosive nature helps burn more calories and improve cardiovascular fitness.

Dumbbell Push Press

30. Dumbbell Clean and Press

The Dumbbell Clean and Press is a full-body exercise that involves lifting the dumbbells from the floor to the shoulders and then pressing them overhead.

It is a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups. It is an efficient exercise for strength and power development.

Dumbbell Clean and Press

Cable Shoulder Exercise Names For Gym Workout

Cables provide constant tension through a full range of motion, allowing for focused development of the shoulders.

This section will provide over 20 cable shoulder exercises with illustrations and descriptions to build, strengthen, and shape the delts.

1. Cable Shoulder Press

It is a variation of the shoulder or overhead press, and it’s one of the best exercises for building size and strength.

Even though you might not see many people using the cable machine for shoulder presses, mixing in your shoulder workout is a fantastic exercise for extra variety.

The angle of the cable overhead press can help recruit new muscle fiber that’s not engaged much with other types of shoulder presses because the force is pulling down behind you.


2. Cable Front Raise

The cable front raise is a cable or machine-assisted shoulder exercise focusing on the anterior deltoid.

It is an isolation exercise that athletes and regular gym goers primarily perform for improved size and strength in the anterior deltoid muscle group.

You can also perform the cable front raise using a rope attachment or a single stirrup, one arm at a time.

Cable front raise

3. Single Arm Cable Front Raise

You can add plenty of single-arm exercises to correct potential imbalances when doing a shoulder workout with a cable machine.

It is one of the most effective front raise variations that works the front deltoid muscles.

It’s a unilateral exercise, so you only work one shoulder at a time.

Single Arm Cable Front-Raise

4. Cable Upright Row

Upright row activates all major shoulder muscles, making it excellent for upper body stability and conditioning. It is important to do this regularly to improve your posture and protect yourself from injury.

Cable upright row keep tension on the muscles throughout the entire range of motion, ultimately increasing muscle activation and hypertrophy.

Cable Upright Row

5. One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

The one-arm cable lateral raise is an isolated shoulder exercise that targets the deltoids while increasing stability in both the wrists and the core.

It works the lateral head of the deltoid muscle, which is the rounded muscle at the very top of each shoulder.

One Arm Cable Lateral Raise

6. Cable Lateral Raise

The cable lateral raise is one of the best two-arm cable shoulder exercises you can do while you work out your side deltoid.

There are multiple variations of the lateral raise, but they all have the same common goal: to build the lateral delts.

You should begin with a lighter weight to achieve optimal performance.

Cable Lateral Raise

7. Cable Machine Y Raise

Cable Y-raise is a fantastic exercise for the whole shoulder (deltoid) that activates all deltoid fibers: anterior, lateral, and posterior, but it mainly targets the lateral shoulder.

This exercise combines horizontal shoulder abduction with external shoulder rotation.

It is strengthening the external shoulder rotators and the internal shoulder rotators.

Cable Machine Y Raise

8. Bent Over Cable Lateral Raise

bent over cable raise is an excellent exercise to train and isolate the rear deltoid muscle. 

It provides constant stress on the muscles. Unlike dumbbell raises, where the resistance varies during the lift, the cable pulley affords a uniform resistance throughout the motion.

Bent over Cable Lateral Raise

9. One-Arm Bent Over Cable Raise

You can do this exercise using one arm at a time, allowing you to alter the range of motion by adjusting the start or finish position.

This unilateral version makes it possible to raise your hand higher and get a longer stretch at the bottom, thereby generating more work for the posterior deltoid.

One-Arm Bent Over Cable Raise

10. Reverse Cable Crossover

The Reverse Cable Crossover helps you to strengthen and tone the rear deltoid muscles.

It is a very effective and functional exercise for building muscle and strength in the posterior deltoids. Additionally, it helps to improve shoulder stability and posture.

Reverse Cable Crossover

11. Lying Reverse Fly (Supine Cable Reverse Fly)

The lying reverse fly is the perfect exercise to hit the rear delts and upper back muscles.

Completing this exercise in a supine position on your back allows you to focus purely on contracting your rear delts to pull the cables down to the sides

Lying Reverse Fly

12. Cable Twisting Overhead Press

The cable twisting overhead press is another effective single-arm cable shoulder exercise. It is a very effective shoulder press variation that works the anterior delt.

Now, it’s a pretty simple exercise, and anyone can do it effectively, making it ideal for size and strength gains.

It is brilliant for developing unilateral upper-body strength and improving your balance and the strength and stability of your core.

Cable Twisting Overhead Press

13. Face Pull

Face pull is a cable machine exercise that primarily targets the rear deltoid and, to a lesser degree, also targets the trapbiceps, and triceps.

Use a cable pulley machine to pull the weight straight toward your forehead. This exercise prevents muscular imbalance and builds overall shoulder strength.

Face Pull

14. Cable Shrug

The cable shrug is a variation of the shoulder shrug and one of the best upper trap cable exercises to build the upper back’s trapezius muscle.

Cable machine shrug, one of the best exercises for isolating the traps, offers versatility to improve development further.

Cable Shrug

15. Cable High Row

Half kneeling high cable row rope is a tremendous exercise that effectively works many muscles, including the shoulder, back, wing, and trapezius muscles.

Using this exercise gives people with shoulder issues an exercise to get the benefits of rows.


16. Cable Rear Delt Row

When you do the cable rear delt row, ensure that your elbows are not dropping.

If your elbows drop, it can cause your latissimus dorsi muscles to engage more, which can turn the exercise into more of a standard wide-grip cable row.

Since you’re working your rear deltoid with the cable delt row and not your larger latissimus dorsi, use a lighter weight than you would with the wide-grip cable row.

Cable Rear Delt Row

17. Alternating Cable Shoulder Press

The alternating cable overhead press can be performed in numerous ways, you could do on arm at a time if you only have one cable tower available.

Alternatively, you could do two cables, pressing up with a neutral grip to target the front delts and triceps more. 

Alternating Cable Shoulder Press

18. Standing Cable Rear Delt Row With Rope

The standing cable rear delt row with rope is a very effective and functional exercise for building muscle and strength in the posterior deltoids. This movement also hits the traps, rhomboids, and biceps.

It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, at least 8-12 reps per set, as part of an upper-body or shoulder-focused workout.

Standing Cable Rear Delt Row With Rope

19. Cable External Rotation

The cable external rotation primarily targets the rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder, specifically the infraspinatus and teres minor. This exercise is crucial for shoulder stability and health.

Regularly performing external rotations can help prevent shoulder injuries, especially in sports or activities that involve repetitive overhead motions.

Cable External Rotation

20. Cable Internal Rotation

The Cable Internal Rotation is a strength exercise that targets the rotator cuff muscles and helps to improve shoulder stability, mobility, and strength.

Strengthening the rotator cuff contributes to better overall shoulder mechanics and function.

Cable Internal Rotation

GYM Machine Shoulder Exercises With Names

Machines provide stabilized forms of resistance to isolate the shoulder muscles through fixed planes of motion. This allows for heavier lifting with less risk of injury.

This list will explain over 10 popular machine shoulder exercises paired with names, descriptions, and illustrations.

You’ll learn how to perform the machine shoulder press, lateral raise machine, front raise machine, and more with proper form to maximize size and definition gains.

1. Shoulder Press Machine

This machine is specifically designed to target the shoulder muscles, as it provides a controlled environment for overhead pressing movements. The shoulder machine press is excellent for building the front and side deltoid muscles.

Machine presses have advantages over free-weight presses, providing better stability and safety.

They also offer a choice of handgrips. A neutral grip (palms facing together) focuses more on the anterior deltoid better than a pronated grip (palms forward)

Shoulder Press Machine

2. Smith Machine Seated Shoulder Press

Smith machine seated shoulder press has been the favorite shoulder exercise with bodybuilders as it builds muscle fast and is a power move.

The shoulder muscles are strengthened by upright pressing movement. Specifically, the front part of the shoulder (anterior deltoid), but you will also use some lateral delt and traps.

With the Smith machine shoulder press, you can isolate the front delt more because you don’t have to balance the bar.

Smith Machine Seated Shoulder Press

3. Reverse Machine Fly

The Pec Deck Machine is traditionally used for chest exercises but can be adapted for a Reverse Fly to target your upper back and shoulder muscles.

This simple yet effective exercise increases deltoid muscle definition and strength. 

The pec deck rear delt machine fly targets your upper back muscles and shoulder muscles, particularly the rear deltoids (backside of your shoulders), Traps, and rhomboids.

Machine Rear Delt Fly

4. Smith Machine Upright Row

The Smith machine upright row is a variation of the upright row that works the shoulder and upper back muscles, including building stronger and bigger traps, rhomboids and deltoids.

Research shows that the upright row is one of the best exercises for building shoulder strength and stability.

Smith Machine Upright Row

5. Machine Lateral Raise

The Lateral Raise Machine is a special piece of gym equipment that helps isolate the deltoid muscles, especially the side delt. The range of motion is controlled, so you can target these muscles without having to work other muscle groups.

It allows for a safer and more stable workout experience. The exercise helps build shoulder strength and mass, improve mobility and flexibility, and upper back strength.

Lateral Raise Machine

6. Smith Machine Shrug

The Smith machine shrug is perhaps the go-to movement when looking to tone or add mass to the trapezius muscle, specifically the upper traps.

The Smith machine offers the advantage of providing stability and control during the exercise.

It allows you to focus on strengthening the trap muscles without worrying about balance or keeping the weight stable.

Smith Machine Shrug

7. Smith Machine Behind The Neck Shoulder Press

A smith behind-the-neck press is an exercise that targets your shoulders. The standard military press and the overhead dumbbell presses hit more of the anterior head of the deltoid, which is often stimulated a lot, even during the bench press.

Behind the neck press, on the other hand, stimulates all three heads of the shoulder. It also recruits the triceps, traps, and rhomboids.

If you do not have a fair amount of shoulder mobility, it is not recommended to perform it.

Standing Smith Machine Behind The Neck Shoulder Press

8. Shrug Machine

The Shrug Machine, also called the Trap Machine, is a special piece of gym equipment that makes doing shrugs easier and more effective.

Unlike dumbbells or barbells, the Shrug Machine targets the upper trapezius muscles and minimizes the involvement of other muscle groups.

It has an ergonomic design that lets you focus on targeting the trapezius muscles.

Shrug Machine

9. Rowing

The Rowing Machine, often just referred to as a “rower,” is a gym equipment piece designed to simulate the action of rowing a boat. 

It is an excellent tool for cardiovascular conditioning while also providing substantial muscular engagement across various body parts.

Rowing machines are an all-in-one solution for burning calories, improving cardiovascular health, or gaining strength.

Rowing Machine

10. Behind The Back Smith Machine Shrug

Behind the back, the Smith Machine Shrug is a variation of the Smith Machine shrug.

It is usually performed for moderate to high reps, such as 8-12 reps per set or more, as part of shoulder or trap-focused training.

Behind The Back Smith Machine Shrug

Name Of Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises

Bodyweight training helps build strong, muscular shoulders through challenging exercises that use your weight as resistance. With calisthenics, good form is important for building the mind-muscle connection that is important for muscle growth.

This glossary will overview popular bodyweight shoulder moves like handstand push-ups, pike push-ups, shoulder taps, and arm circles.

Let’s build stronger shoulders with no equipment required!

1. Pike Push Up

Pike Push-ups, aka shoulder push-ups, are variations of the push-up that increase strength and stability in the shoulders and triceps.

Performing the exercise more uprightly will target the shoulders more than the chest.

Pike Push Up

2. Incline Push-Ups

Incline push-ups are a variation of the traditional push-up exercise that targets the shoulders, chest, and triceps.

They are a great option for individuals looking to progress from knee or wall push-ups.

Incline Push-Up On Box

3. Side Plank

The side plank is one of the best bodyweight exercises for strengthening the core and shoulder muscles.

It is a great exercise for building stability and strength in these areas.

To make the exercise more challenging, you can add a leg lift by raising the top leg towards the ceiling while holding the side plank position

Forearm Side Plank

4. Bird Dog Exercise

The bird dog is a bodyweight exercise that looks elegant and is also very effective for training the abs muscles, lower back, and shoulder muscles. 

Several other muscles are also addressed, including the glutes and hamstring

Bird Dog Exercise

5. Plank To Push-Up

The plank to push-up is great for building upper body strength and endurance. It also works the core and improves stability.

It combines the traditional plank exercise with the push-up exercise to create a more challenging shoulder workout.

Plank To Pushup

6. Tabletop Reverse Pike

Table-top reverses pike targets and trains your arms, shoulders, and core, improving your overall strength and stability.

This exercise also engages your glutes and legs.

Tabletop Reverse Pike

7. Crab Walk

The Crab walk is an excellent bodyweight exercise that particularly works the upper arms, shoulders, legs, and core.

It is excellent for toning, effectively targeting all your muscle groups, and working them hard to build strength.

Moves like the crab walk are great total-body exercises that don’t require additional equipment.

Crab Walk

8. Hindu Push Up

The Hindu push-up, also known as a “Dhand”, is a bodyweight exercise that targets the shoulders, chest, triceps, and core and back muscles.

It is a dynamic exercise combining yoga and traditional push-ups to create a more challenging shoulder workout.

Hindu pushup

9. Archer Push-Up

In Archer push-up, the arms are kept wider than the normal push-up position and as you lower your body, you transfer most of your weight to one of your hands and incline towards that hand while the other is kept straight.

Simultaneously, move your body to both sides. You must maintain a tight, steady, and controlled body for an Archer push-up. 

Archer Push-Up

10. Shoulder Tap Push Up

Shoulder Tap Push-Up is a full-body strength move that focuses on your arms, shoulder, and chest while also strengthening your core.

It can be challenging, especially if you’re new to them. You can do them on your knees instead of your toes to make them easier.

Shoulder Tap Push Ups

11. Stability Ball Push Up

Using an exercise ball gives you an uneven surface to increase the difficulty of the exercise, which helps to involve the shoulder and triceps more.

You’ll have to focus on maintaining your balance on the ball, which allows you to work more.

Stability Ball Push Up

12. High Reverse Plank

The reverse plank exercise is a great bodyweight exercise for strengthening your core and the key muscles of your posterior chain, namely, your erector spinae, gluteus maximus, and hamstrings.

High Reverse Plank

13. Inverted Row

The inverted row is another name for bodyweight rows.

The inverted row puts your body horizontally, making it easier to perform.

It also works the back and shoulder muscles from a different angle and improves scapular retraction.


14. Clapping Push-Up

Clapping Push-ups is an advanced bodyweight exercise that works your chest, triceps, abs, and shoulders.

This type of push-up adds a “jumping” element to the exercise to make it more challenging and explosive.

Clapping push up

15. Elevated Pike Push-Up

The elevated pike push-up is a great exercise for building upper body strength, especially in the shoulders and triceps.

The elevated position also increases the demand on the core muscles, making it a great exercise for targeting the core as well.

Elevated pike push-up

16. Handstand Push Up

The handstand push-up, also called the vertical push-up, is a type of push-up exercise where the body is positioned in a handstand.

It is an advanced bodyweight exercise that targets the shoulders, arms, and core.

They require high upper-body strength and skill and should be attempted only after proper training and conditioning.

Handstand Push Up

17. Bear Crawl

The Bear Crawl is a dynamic bodyweight exercise that engages multiple muscles, including the shoulders, arms, core, and legs.

It’s a functional movement that mimics the action of crawling on all fours.

This exercise builds strength and endurance in the shoulders by placing continuous tension on them.

Bear Crawl

18. Arm Circles

Arm Circles are a simple yet effective bodyweight exercise that primarily targets the muscles in the shoulders.

This exercise is often used for warming up the shoulder joints and muscles before engaging in more intense physical activity.

It improves the range of motion and mobility in the shoulder joints.

Arm Circles

19. Wall Walk

The Wall Walk, also called the Wall Climb, is a bodyweight workout that works all of your body parts. It helps you get stronger, more stable, and more coordinated in your upper and lower body.

To do this exercise, you start in a plank position facing away from a wall. Then, you walk your feet up the wall while moving your hands toward it.

Wall Walk (Wall Climb) Exercise

20. Scapular Wall Slides

Scapular wall slides—also known as wall slides or reverse wall slides—Are one of the basic exercises that people are taught to practice for improved shoulder rotation, upper back activation, and scapular mobility.

In the study, it was found that the group that did wall slide exercises had a significant decrease in pain in the rotator cuff muscles after four weeks.

Wall Slide

21. Alternating Superman Plank And Reach

The Superman Plank is an isometric training exercise. Before training with this plank variation, you should know how to do the more basic planks.

It increases the core-strengthening benefits of a regular plank by balancing on only two limbs. Stability demands increase when the opposite arm and leg are extended.

Alternating Superman Plank And Reach

22. Lateral Plank Walk

The Lateral Plank Walk is a full-body exercise mainly targeting your core and shoulders. Take a walk on the wild side as well, as wild as a plank can get.

This move intensely engages your core like a classic plank, but the side-to-side motion also works your arms and delts. Plus, it’ll challenge your balance and stability.

The faster you “walk,” the more challenging this will be cardiovascular. Slow down if you need to dial down the intensity a bit.

Lateral Plank Walk

23. Scapula Push Ups

Scapula Push-Ups, or Scap PushUps, are among the best exercises for strengthening the upper back muscles and improving shoulder strength and mobility.

The scapular pushup is considered to be more challenging than a conventional push up because you need to hold a good position on your plank while performing the movement of pushing yourself up.

Scapular Push Ups


With over 100 shoulder exercises covered, it is clear that there are plenty of ways to build, strengthen, and challenge the muscles of your shoulders.

The range is extensive, from classic overhead presses to unique variations like the Arnold press and cable rear delt fly.

With this diverse collection of shoulder exercises extending beyond the basic routines, your shoulders will experience unparalleled strength, size, and definition development.

Select your favorites from the list and prepare to witness significant improvements in your shoulders’ muscularity and overall posture.

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