You can’t avoid a shoulder workout if you want to get that coveted V-shape. You need to broaden out up top or you may end up with a body that is not proportionate. If you want that perfect body, you should work out your shoulders.
The truth is that should exercise is not all about building mass. It is also about treating patients with shoulder pains. These patients that go through these exercises tend to see significant improvement in their shoulder function and a pain reduction. You don't need to do shoulder exercises only when you want to build mass or you have shoulder pain. Work on your shoulder for the benefit of your health.
In this article, we will discuss the different shoulder exercises that you can do at home, whether you have the equipment or not. These shoulder workouts will aid in building mass, reduction of pain, and overall improvement of health. However, before going into the shoulder exercises you can do, we will first know the different shoulder muscles you need to target.
The Muscles in the Shoulder
You cannot build up the muscles in your shoulder without knowing the muscles in the shoulder. Shoulder muscles are made up of intrinsic muscles, which start from the scapula and attach to the humerus, and extrinsic muscles, which begin from the torso and attach to the shoulder bones.
The shoulder's extrinsic muscles are Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi, Levator Scapulae, and Rhomboids. Trapezius runs down along your spine and across your shoulder blade. It is responsible for raising your arms. Latissimus Dorsi is partially covered by your trapezius.
This muscle helps in body weight management. Levator Scapulae is at the side and back of the neck and lifts the scapula. You will find Rhomoids at the back and middle of your shoulder blades. They pull your shoulder blades together when they contract.
The shoulder's intrinsic muscles are the deltoids, trees major, and the rotator cuff. Your deltoid is made up of anterior, lateral, and posterior muscle fibers. This muscle is responsible for arm rotation and helps stop injury to the humerus when carrying something heavy.
The anterior deltoid allows you to move your arm up and down, while the Lateral deltoid helps raise your shoulders to the sides of your body when you internally rotate your shoulder. The Posterior Deltoid aids in transverse abduction.
Teres major runs from under your shoulder joint toward the back of your armpit, and the Rotator Cuff surrounds your shoulder joint. Your rotator cuff is what prevents your upper arm bone from popping out of your shoulder socket regularly.
If you want to build a three-dimensional shoulder, you need to focus on your upper trapezius, rotator cuff muscles, your deltoids, levator scapulae, and serratus anterior.
How to Warm Up For Your At-Home Shoulder Workout
The next thing you need to know before jumping into an at-home shoulder workout program is how to warm up your shoulder. Warming up prepares your muscles for a workout and also reduces the risk of injury. You need to warm up your shoulder even if there are no weights involved in your exercise. These are the following warm-ups that you can do before you start your workout program:
1. Straight Arm Circles
- Stand with your legs apart, your hands extended out on both sides.
- Draw circles in the air, moving both arms in the same direction.
- Keep making the circle bigger until you are drawing large circles on both sides.
- When you finish with one side, repeat the circles on the other side.
2. Prone Y’S and T’S
- Lie on your stomach on a smooth area, keeping your head down and your arms overhead to form a Y-shape. Ensure your thumbs are up with your palms facing each other and your pinky closest to the floor.
- Raise your arms a little off the ground, engaging your shoulder muscles, then bring them down again without touching the floor.
- Get on a T shape with your arms extended out to the side. Endure your thumbs are up and pinkies down.
- Do the same thing you did after getting into a Y shape.
3. External Rotation
- You can do this warm-up if you have a light resistance band.
- Wrap the band around a vertical standing, then hold the end opposite the object. Tuck in your elbows and ensure your forearm is parallel to the ground.
- Slowly move your shoulder away from the vertical standing, bringing the hand holding the band to the other side as far as possible before pulling it back.
- Do the same on the other side.
4. Internal Rotation
- You also need a light resistance band for this warm-up.
- Wrap one end of the band around a vertical standing, then hold the end opposite the object.
- Keep your elbow tucked in, and your forearm parallels to the floor.
- Slowly move the band into your body as opposed to moving it outside your body. This warmup is internal rotation.
- Do the same on the other arm.
At-Home Shoulder Workout (No Equipment)
You can still do these should exercises without any equipment like dumbbells or plates, so don't worry if you don't have any.
Place yourself in a plank position with your hands-shoulder length width apart and elevated on a bench, chair, or any slightly elevated surface in your house. Lower your chest toward the surface, then use your triceps and chest to get back to your starting position.
This workout targets your deltoids along with your pectoral and triceps, so you are getting a three-to-one deal with it. Ensure your body is straight in the plank position and not too close to the elevated surface to avoid overextension of your spine. You should do three sets of 10–12 reps. A rep is when you come back to your starting position using your chest and triceps.
2. Crab Walk
Sit on a flat surface with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees folded. Carefully put your palms on the floor at your back, and ensure your fingers are pointed forward. Raise your hips off the ground, your body should be in a table shape.
Walk front with your right foot and left hand, then with your left foot and right hand. Walk forward for ten to fifteen steps, then crab walks back to the starting position after reversing the movement. This workout targets the Latissimus Dorsi, hamstrings, triceps, abdominals, quads, and glutes. This exercise is a full-body exercise that you can slow down or speed up if you want.
3. Push-Back Push-Up
Get in a push-up position, keeping your feet a little wider than shoulder-width. Tighten your core and lower your body toward the ground, starting with your chest. Push your upper body back toward your heels.
This move is different from what you would do in a regular push-up. Bend your legs as your upper body goes back, and lift your hips as your upper body comes back to meet them. Keep your spine long and push forward to return to the starting position.
The muscles targeted are the deltoids, triceps, abdominals, and pectorals. This exercise builds pushing strength and challenges core control. It is ideal for shoulder mobility and stability. Do three sets of 12–15 reps.
4. Plank to Down Dog
Get in a plank position with your arms straight, your hips, neck, ankles, and shoulders in line, and your core tightened/braced. Raise your hips, transferring your weight back to form a straight line from your wrists to your hips. Then lower back into the starting position, making sure to exhale before doing this exercise. The muscles targeted are the shoulders, triceps, hamstrings, and biceps. Do five sets of 20 reps.
5. Pike Push-Up
Get in the Downward Dog position, then walk your feet toward your hands, keeping your shoulders above your hands. Your elbows should be close to your sides as you lower your forehead toward the ground. Try to graze the floor lightly with the front of your head just before pushing yorself back up.
The muscles used are the lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid, core, back, and triceps. The shoulders and chest are targeted. This may add another level of difficulty to the workout, but you will have increased strength in the long run. Also, keep your core tight throughout the entire training for maximum effect.
You need a chair for this exercise. Sit on the edge of a chair with your hands holding the edge of the chair, shoulder-width apart. Liftoff the chair so only your hands are supporting you. You can use two chairs if you need more space. Place both chairs side by side and do the dips with one hand on each chair.
Tuck your elbows into your body while lowering your body. Push back up to your starting position. If you want a challenge or a larger range of motion, put a chair or chairs where you will place your feet so you are supporting yourself on the chairs with your body in the air. This way, adequate space is available to move when you dip. Do three sets of 10 reps. The muscles used are the rhomboids, triceps, levator scapulae, delts, latissimus dorsi, and pecs.
7. Dolphin Dive
Start this workout on your forearms and toes. Keep your feet a few inches from the regular plank position so that you are making a triangle shape with the ground and your hips are suspended in the air. Move forward with your body until you are in a forearm plank position.
Your shoulders should hover over your wrists, and your elbows should be in line with your middle fingers. Keep your abdominal muscles contracted, and breathe in and out throughout the exercise. Tighten your abs and back. Then, repeat after returning to the start position. This exercise targets the anterior deltoids, core, and arms.
8. Face Pulls
You need a light resistance band for this exercise. You can use a robe tie or a bungee cord in place of a light resistance band if you don't have one. Tie your resistance band around a pole or any other object, then hold the ends in each hand with your palms facing in.
Pull the band towards your face, your knees slightly bent. Your hands should come to either side. Bring the band back to the beginning position and then repeat. The muscles used are the trapezius, external rotator, rhomboids, and posterior deltoids.
9. Wall Walk-Up
Get in a push-up position, placing your feet on a wall. Keep plopping your feet higher and higher on the wall as you slowly back up. Move your arms back toward your body until you get in a handstand position with your stomach facing the wall.
Crawl back down into a push-up standpoint. This completes one rep. The muscles targeted are shoulders, back, abs, and chest. Do this exercise slowly to work your muscles harder and to avoid unnecessary injury.
At Home Shoulder Workout (With Equipment)
You will require a dumbbell for this exercise. Luckily there are household objects that you can use in place of a dumbbell. You can use milk jugs, canned goods, packets of rice and beans, books, paint cans, and more.
Hold two dumbbells behind your shoulders with your palms pulled forward. Lean your body to the left while extending your right arm directly above you, lower the dumbbell and then repeat on the other side. It creates a see-saw motion.
Holding two dumbbells on both hands, stand with your legs wide and your knees slightly bent. Swing the dumbbells to one side, lifting them like you are drawing a circle from your hip level to above shoulder height. Swinging weights to the other side, dip down to your hip and then raise them again. You can repeat these steps as many times as you want as long as you don't overdo them.
3. Reverse Ring Fly
Hold two rings on each hand and lean back with your hands straight. Then, open your arms to 90 degrees while pulling your shoulder blades back. The position of the rings against your torso determines the level of difficulty of this exercise. The exercise becomes harder the further below the rings your torso is.
4. Hang Clean and Push Press
Place a barbell on the floor and deadlift it up. Place the barbell onto your chest, then push it above your shoulders. Lower the bar onto your chest before going back to the original position.
You can do a shoulder workout program at home without the need for equipment. You can use things at home as an alternative if an exercise requires equipment. These exercises are sure to aid in building stronger muscles and keeping you fit and safe from muscle pains.