10 best shoulder exercises for your home workout
The shoulder is made of two joints. One joint is between the shoulder blade (scapula) and collar bone (clavicle) called the acromioclavicular joint. The other joint is a type of ball and socket joint between the upper end of the bone of the arm (humerus) and shoulder blade. This joint is called the glenohumeral joint. It is one of the largest and most mobile joints in the body. Several movements occur at the shoulder joint. The ability for a varied range of motion at the shoulder comes at the cost of stability of the shoulder joints. Various structures including the muscles and their tendons, nerves and blood vessels are present at the shoulder. The shoulders enable us to perform various tasks such as lifting objects, pushing, throwing and maintaining a good posture. Thus, one must keep their shoulders healthy by regular exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Various shoulder exercises exist, but you must consult your doctor or physiotherapist before trying them to avoid any injury to the shoulder. If you are recovering from a shoulder injury, you must do the exercises under your physiotherapist’s guidance.
The 10 shoulder exercises that you can easily include as a part of your home workout are as follows
- Chest press: Lie down on the floor, an exercise bench or a mat with your knees bent. Take dumbbells of suitable weights in your hands. Position the dumbbells to the sides of the chest so that the bent arm is under each dumbbell. Press the dumbbells up with the elbows to the sides until the arms are extended. Lower the dumbbells slowly to the sides of the chest. Repeat from step one. You can do this exercise using a barbell instead of dumbbells. Make sure you start small.
- Bent-over rows: Stand with your feet slightly less than shoulder-width apart. Bend the knees slightly and hold dumbbells in each hand with a neutral grip. Hinge forward from the hips so that your torso is roughly parallel to (or slightly above) the floor. This is the starting position. Drive the elbows behind the trunk while retracting the shoulder blades. Now pull the dumbbells toward the trunk until the elbows are at or just past the midline. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position and repeat.
- Push-ups: Lie on the floor with your face downward. Place your palms slightly wider than and in line with your shoulders. Extend your legs back so that you are balanced on your hands and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from the head to toe without arching your back. You can keep your feet together or slightly apart depending on what is the most comfortable for you. Keep your core tight, inhale slowly, bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. Breathe out and push yourself back up through your hands to the starting position. Keep your elbows slightly bent during this workout. Do not lock the elbows. Repeat this exercise.
- Contralateral limb raises: Lie on your stomach with your legs extended and toes pointing away from your shin. Extend the arms overhead so that the palms are facing each other. Keep your core tight as you breathe out while raising the opposite arm and leg (left arm and right shoulder) a few inches above the ground. Hold this position for a few seconds and do the same for the other limbs. Repeat this exercise.
- Dumbbell shoulder press: Stand upright with the back straight. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip at the level of your shoulders. Your thumbs should be on the inside and the knuckles facing upward. Raise the weights above the head slowly while exhaling. Hold at the top of the motion and then return to the starting position while inhaling. Repeat.
- Dumbbell lateral raises: Hold dumbbells in front of the thighs with the elbows slightly bent. Bend slightly at the hips and knees. Raise the arms on the sides until the elbows are at the shoulder level. Lower the arms and repeat.
- Standing dumbbell or barbell shrugs: Hold dumbbells in front of the thighs with the elbows slightly bent. Bend slightly at the hips and knees. Stand up tall keeping the spine in a neutral position. Contract the traps to elevate the shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat.
- Inchworms: Stand with your feet together or slightly apart. Keep your abs tight. Gently breathe out and bend downward keeping your legs straight. Touch the ground and crawl forward until you attain a push-up position and your back is parallel to the ground. Crawl back in the same way until you reach the standing position. Inhale and repeat from the first step.
- Front raises: Hold dumbbells in both hands with a neutral grip. Starting with the dumbbells in front of you, slowly bring them up to just below the eye level. Pause at the top and then lower slowly in a controlled motion. Repeat.
- Chest flys: Lie on your back with the knees bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand so that the hands are raised above with the palms facing inward. Lower the arms laterally while opening the chest as you lower the dumbbells. Repeat.
American Council on Exercise
Top 10 Best Shoulder Exercises for Your Home Workout Related Articles
10 Exercises You Can Do in BedExercising in bed is an efficient way to get in your recommended dose of physical activity if you've got an especially demanding schedule or are tight on time.
7-Minute WorkoutThe 7-minute workout provides a free, convenient way to get and stay fit. Discover these short, quick exercises that use your own body weight to help you get back into shape.
Most Effective ExercisesThese seven exercises deliver fitness results at home or in the gym. Start your training to better physical health with the most effective exercises chosen by our experts.
Are Workout Machines Bad?Workout machines are effective ways to exercise and gain muscle. Workout machines are not necessarily bad, but there are risks associated with using these machines.
Exercise QuizTake our Exercise and Fitness Quiz and learn to maximize your fitness level with simple exercises that do not require major changes to your lifestyle.
How Long Does a Deltoid Tear Take to Heal?Depending on the severity of your deltoid muscle tear, and if surgery is required, it can take weeks to months to heal.
How Many Days a Week Should You Not Workout?Working out is key to staying fit and healthy, but people sometimes overdo it. Research shows that most adults should take one or two full rest days every week. The exact number of recommended rest days depends on a range of factors like your age and activity levels.
OA & Your JointsDealing with joint pain and arthritis? Learn why weight matters--and why NOT to stretch before exercise. See these solutions for joint pain and tips to protect your joints from damage.
What Are Shoulder Muscles Called?Shoulder muscles are required for movements of the upper limb. They also give the shoulders their characteristic shape. The shoulder has multiple muscles. Shoulder muscles include the intrinsic muscles or scapulohumeral group, including the deltoid, teres major and four rotator cuff muscles. The extrinsic shoulder muscles are the trapezius, latissimus dorsi, levator scapula and rhomboids (rhomboid major and rhomboid minor).
What Are the Benefits of Jumping?Jumping is regarded as a type of anaerobic exercise because it involves quick bursts of energy for which your body does not rely on oxygen delivery alone. The benefits of jumping exercises include that they build strength, stamina and bone density. They also help relieve stress, heart health and metabolism.
What Do Lateral Raises Do?The lateral raise or side lateral raises are effective shoulder-strengthening exercises that help tone your shoulder muscles and a part of the upper back muscles. Lateral raise exercise targets the deltoid muscles and some trapezius fibers as well.
What Does a Goblet Squat Work?The goblet squat is one of the most effective exercises to build lower body strength. It also works on the upper body and the core. It engages and helps tone the muscles of the core, back, forearms, and to an extent, the shoulders and upper back.
What Is a Good Gym Routine for Beginners?As a beginner, it's wise to engage a fitness professional or certified gym instructor during your first few workouts. To sustain the benefits of working out, you will need to keep exercising regularly and create a schedule, or set goals to guide you.
What Is the Best Time of Day to Exercise?Exercise is one of the best things you can do to boost the health of your body and mind. The best time of day to exercise is whenever is best for you.