Shoulder Exercises

Bust Out Some Bigger, Stronger Delts

The key to building and strengthening your delts is to treat your shoulders better.


To get started on that foundation, you have to perform some exercises that initially will seem rather foreign. Unless you’re an advanced lifter, you’ve likely never done any direct shoulder-stability work, so be prepared for things to be a tad awkward at first.

When your results start to improve with these movements, however, so will your ability to execute every other shoulder exercise — along with your chest and back moves. Your size and strength will increase rapidly as a direct result of your improved coordination and newfound capacity for staying pain- and injury-free.

“When I have clients who’ve never trained their stabilizer muscles, I always see them cheat on their shoulder exercises by using nonworking muscles such as their legs and traps,” Brown says. “If you can improve the structure and integrity of your shoulder joints, you’ll be able to push harder and go heavier without having to cheat.”


Scapular Wall Slide 3 15
Scapular Push-Up 3 15
Standing Dumbbell Alternating Arnold Press 3 12
Staggered-Stance Lateral Raise 3 12
Dumbbell Squat/Clean Press 3 12


Perform the full workout above twice a week, on shoulder day in your training split. The stabilization exercises, however, can be performed more frequently. For example, work them in at the beginning of your chest and back workouts to enhance your range of motion, increase joint stability and strengthen weak areas in your shoulders’ stabilizing muscles. To increase the degree of difficulty, superset the stabilization exercises, then tri-set the three conventional dumbbell moves.