10 Shoulder Workouts With Dumbbells At Home: Tips And Tricks That You Must Know

Medically reviewed by Maria Sarino, MD FACT CHECKED

The human body is a piece of art. The beauty lies in each specialized organ having a specific function. 

Since the body is designed so special, it is important to take care of every single part in a certain way. It cannot be taken for granted. 

One method fits all is not such a good choice when it comes to taking care of such a precise piece of art by God. 

Hence, there is a special way to embrace every body part. Dumbbell back exercises and abs workout are also the part of this routine.

In this article, we will be covering the very essential part i.e. the shoulders. 

It is not just a matter of mere language with quotes stating something like  “ responsibility on the shoulders”, they matter a great deal allowing the widest range of motion. 

So, it is very important to keep them healthy. Today, we will cover some amazing exercises to increase their performance, enhance and bring out the best shape as well as keep them healthy. 

A combination of these exercises as per preference can be used for a workout routine. From a normal person to the one aspiring bodybuilding can follow them for great results. 

These exercises are only dumbbell-based as they are not likely to be very costly or difficult to install like other equipment. 

They are the easily available and widely used thing in the gym, the plus point is they can be used at home too. 

  1. Standing Overhead Press

    Start by grabbing a pair of dumbbells. Choose any suitable weight you wish to start up with.  Stand with your back straight.

    Look straight. Hold the dumbbells in your hands just like you hold a barbel whose rod is just in front of the shoulders.

    The elbows should be bent forming a 90° angle. The position should be in the same line as the shoulders.

    Grab your dumbbells with an overhand grip and they should be held horizontally.

    The palms should face away from the body. The initial position of the overhead press is the same for barbells and dumbbells. 

    Now exhale while you extend your arms over the head.

    Let them reach out fully overhead pushing the weight upwards. This works on the front part of the shoulders, anterior deltoid to be precise.

    Now lower your arms to the initial position while you inhale. Doing 15 reps with 3-4 sets is fine.

    Make sure to not overburden with weight and take a rest.

    Squeeze your glutes and keep the chest tight before pushing the weight upwards.

    Though it can also be performed while sitting, people generally use their leg strength and even push their head back to push the weight upwards.

    This sometimes also results in injuries and also makes the exercise less effective.

    Make sure to push straight up. Do not incline the arms. Do not flare your elbows and the grip should not be wide.

  2. Arnold Press

    This exercise works on all four; triceps brachii,  lateral deltoid, anterior deltoid, and serratus anterior.

    The initial position is sitting on the bench holding the dumbbells at shoulder level with elbows bent making an angle of 90°.

    The palms should be facing toward the body. Push the weights overhead, rotating your hands such that the palms face away from the body.

    Extend your arms fully. Now, bring the weight back down to the initial position.

    The breathing pattern remains the same as the previous exercise.  Do 12 reps for each set. Perform at least 3 sets.

    Note:  The feet should be stable on the ground while doing this exercise.

  3. Dumbbell Ski

    The dumbbells should be held in both hands with the arms extending down below the knees.

    Go into the hinge with back neutral, chest out, knees slightly bent and feet shoulder-width apart. While doing so just swing the dumbbells behind you to the hips.

    Come back to the initial position with your hands coming back in a straight line.

    The motion of the hands should be oscillatory, looking like a swing going back and forth. You can catch your breath in between and continue.

    Repeat 12 reps. Alternatively, you can also do it for 45 seconds for the momentum. This works great for the rear delts.

    Another variant to this is the skier swing which works more muscles than just the shoulders.

  4. Lateral Raise

    Since enough is talked about the front, let’s look at a lateral delt targeting exercise. As the name suggests, it works great for lateral deltoids.

    For performing this exercise, stand with your knees slightly bent and back straight, chest puffed, glutes squeezed.

    Hold the dumbbells on the sides with an overhand grip.

    The shoulder blades should be pinched i.e. push them back and down so that they sit in nice.

    From here push the weights up horizontally(to the sides) to the shoulder level while you exhale out loud.

    Do not take the weights too high. The thumb should be above the pink.

    Some people advise having the pinky finger over the thumb like pouring down a glass of water but this may cause damage to the tendons.

    Inhale on the way back down. Repeat at least 20 reps. Make sure to not flap your arms like a bird. Do not move your body back and forth, keep it tight and stable.

  5. Rear Delt Fly

    This has both standing and sitting variations. For the bent-over rear delt fly, start with hinging motion.

    The back should stay neutral with the hips pushed back and the knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells in both hands vertically in front of your body with arms extended.

    Push the weight up horizontally to the shoulder level with elbows slightly bent and bring it back down.

    For performing it while sitting, sit on the bench with your chest parallel to the ground close to the thighs.

    Pick both the dumbbells in hand touching the ground. Push the weights up horizontally without moving your chest up and down.

    It works great for rear delts if performed correctly.

  6. Frontal Raises

    They can be the base for the shoulder workout and then other exercises for rear and lateral delts can be followed. This is just an easy exercise with no complicated posture.

    Start by grabbing your dumbbells in front with arms extended down and dumbbells horizontal. Now from here, raise your arms to the shoulder level.

    This can be done together for both arms. When done separately for each arm, it is called alternate frontal raise.

    Do not start swinging along with the motion of the arms. Just keep the body in position.

  7. Upright Rows

    This is a great exercise but comes with a risk of shoulder impingement. If done correctly, it brings only gains and no injury.

    Follow the basic steps to get it right without any risk. Hold the dumbbells close to the body in front of your thighs.

    Grab them with an overhand grip. The grip should be wider to avoid injuries and allow movement.

    Keep your chest out and core tight.  Use lightweight in case you just started.

    Now, lift your weights with your elbows bent. Limit the height of lifting the elbows to shoulder level. Release it back down.

    It works wonders for medial delts.

  8. Dumbbell Shrugs

    This can be the perfect treat you are looking for as a starter or finisher. It is easy to perform exercise but you better be monitoring your posture for this.

    To pick the dumbbells from the floor. Grab them and stand up straight without pushing your hips behind. After standing straight, remember to keep your feet close.

    Pinch the shoulders( push them back and down) and place the dumbbells on the side of the body with the arms relaxed.

    Now tighten your core and push your shoulders up while exhaling.

    You will feel it in your traps. Release it back down slowly. Do not move your arms or body. Just use the shoulders.

    The movement should not give jerks to the body. It should be controlled. Do this 15-20 times. Do not keep your shoulders rounded.

    Keep the shoulder blades pinched throughout.

  9. Dumbbell Face Pulls

    They work for both the back and shoulders. For shoulders, bend your knees a little bit going into a hip hinge. The spine stays neutral and inclined but straight.

    It should not be rounded. Hold the dumbbells down in your hands in front of your legs close to each other. From there pull towards the face with elbows bent.

    Do not go beyond the eye level as it may work for the back more than the shoulders.

    The other variations to this are with a cable or with dumbbells lying on an inclined bench.

  10. Single-Arm Dumbbell Press

    This is a variation of a regular dumbbell shoulder press. You might be wondering why a variant with a slight difference has made up to the list.

    The reason is the advantage it provides over the regular ones. Single hand dumbbell press provides stability and more movement to the shoulder so it does the work better.

    It is easy to do with heavier weights progressively. It allows more natural hand movement.

    For performing this one, grab a dumbbell in one hand with the elbow bent and a dumbbell on the side of the face above the shoulder.

    Grab something for support from the other hand. Push the dumbbell straight up and come back to the original position.

    Do 15 reps and repeat for the other hand.


To conclude, we can say that building shoulders is one of the most important, easy, and fun tasks to do while gyming.

It is now even possible to use the dumbbells which are most effective for shoulder building at home which also makes it pocket friendly. 

We have discussed all the best dumbbell exercises for shoulders which can give effective results in a matter of months. 

All you need to be cautious about is the frequency of the exercises which has to push your limits while staying in the humanly possible zone so that it may not backfire.