The Ultimate Workout for Rounded and Healthy Shoulders

Ein Mann macht Military Press ©foodspring

Your shoulders make everyday life a lot easier: They help you put on your T-shirt, reach to get your favorite cereal down from the top shelf, and play a game of volleyball with friends. And that’s not all! The stronger and more stable your shoulder muscles are, the more they can take the strain off your chest and back, and also support you during your workout. This means you can do your favorite sport and prevent potential issues. A study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness examined the effect of shoulder training on professional female handball players. The test subjects focused on strengthening their shoulders three times a week for six months, while the other group continued to exercise as usual. Subsequently, the first group reported a significant decrease in shoulder pain compared to the group that did not change their training.

So, how do you get strong shoulders? Your shoulder muscles consist of the front, middle and back shoulder areas. For all-around strong and healthy shoulders, you should train all three lower sections. Our workout shows you exactly how to do that!


Take 10 minutes to prepare your shoulders for your workout. The shoulder joint is the most mobile joint in your body. Grab a light resistance band and go through all the movement patterns of the joint once. You can circle your shoulders, pull the band apart with your arms extended while bringing your rear shoulders together, and incorporate internal and external rotation into your warm-up.

Military Press8-101.5 – 2 minutes3
Side Lateral Raise12-151 – 1.5 minutes3
Single Arm Front Raise12 – 15 (per side)1 – 1.5 minutes3
Butterfly Reverse12-151 – 1.5 minutes3


Military Press

Stand with your arms shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Position the barbell at shoulder height in the rack. Grasp the barbell with your hands shoulder-width apart. Your forearms should point vertically upwards, and your elbows should point to the floor. Step forward under the bar, lift the barbell out of the rack, and place the bar on your chest and shoulder girdle. Push the weight straight up without pushing through your legs. Once the weight has passed your face, push your chest and head forward slightly while actively lifting your shoulder blades upward. Then reverse the sequence to lower the barbell back to the starting position.

Muscles: front, middle shoulder muscles, trapezius muscle, serratus muscle, triceps, and core muscles.

Remember: In order to push the bar up in a straight line, you should slightly tilt your upper body back. This will allow you to bring the barbell up in a straight line without getting caught on your chin or face.

Side Lateral Raise

Start in a standing position with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing your body. Lift the weights sideways until your arms are about shoulder level. Pause briefly and lower the dumbbells back down in a controlled manner.

Muscles: middle part of the shoulder muscle.

Remember: Deliberately pull the shoulder blades back and down.

Single Arm Front Raise

Start in a standing position with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in your left hand in front of your pelvis. Lift the weight forward to about chest height, pause briefly, and return to the starting point. Complete all the repetitions with your left arm first, then switch sides.

Muscles: front shoulder, core.

Remember: Keep your wrist straight and tense your core muscles.

Butterfly Reverse

Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees slightly and tilt your upright torso forward from the hips until it is parallel to the floor. Start by letting the dumbbells hang below your chest with your palms facing each other. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, bring your shoulder blades together, lifting the dumbbells up on either side of your body until your arms are parallel to the floor. Then lower your arms again.

Muscles: Rear shoulder, trapezius muscle, rhomboid muscle.

Remember: Keep your back flat and don’t swing as you move.

Done? Good job! Time for a cool down. Learn how to cool down properly here.

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Workout Overview