Shoulder Exercises That Will Sculpt Your Arms Like Crazy

A lot of people have weak shoulders after spending so much time hunched over a computers and smartphones—in fact, this position actually turns the shoulders inward...which brings me to the second benefit: Shoulder exercises can help pull shoulders back in place, nixing neck pain and helping you stand up tall too.

Time: 15 minutes

Equipment: Dumbbells, kettlebell (optional), resistance band

Good for: Shoulders

Instructions: Choose five moves below. For each move, do three sets of the indicated number of reps, resting as needed between sets. Then continue to the next move.

1. Around the World (Swimmers)

How to: Start lying on stomach, arms extended forward, legs straight behind body, feet pointed, all four limbs, plus head and chest lifted to hover off floor. Then, circle arms out wide and back by sides, squeezing shoulder blades together. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 15 reps per set.

2. Upright Row

How to: Start with feet shoulder-width apart, legs straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing toward body and weights touching quads. Pull elbows up and out wide to lift the dumbbells to chest. Reverse movement to return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

3. Arnold Press

How to: Start standing with feet under shoulders, soft bend in knees, holding a pair of dumbbells at chin height, arms narrow in front of body and bent, palms facing body. Open elbows out wide to sides until inner arms face forward and then press the weights overhead, rotating palms away from body. Return to start. That's one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

4. Lateral Raise

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body, arms by sides. Raise arms outward until they're parallel to the floor. Return slowly to start. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

5. Front Raise

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body, weights resting on quads. Keeping elbows straight, lift arms until they reach shoulder height. Then slowly lower back down. That's one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

6. Neutral Grip Shoulder Press

How to: Start standing with feet under shoulders, soft bend in knees, holding a pair of dumbbells at chin height, arms narrow in front of body and bent, palms facing inward. Press weights up overhead until biceps frame face. Hold for one second, then take three seconds to lower the dumbbells back to start. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

7. Kneeling One-Arm Shoulder Press

How to: Start kneeling on right knee (right knee, hip, and shoulder stacked on top of one another), right shin pushed into floor, left leg bent at 90 degrees, foot flat, left arm by side, and right arm holding dumbbell just above right shoulder, elbow bent, palm facing body. Press the weight upward until arm is straight. Return to the starting position. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps on each side per set.

8. Bent-Over Fly

How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees bent, hinged forward at the hips until back is flat and torso is parallel to mat, holding a pair of dumbbells with arms extended straight down toward floor, elbows softly bent and palms facing each other. Raise both arms up and out to the sides while squeezing shoulder blades together. Return to start. That's one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

9. Banded Pull-Aparts

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, arms extended straight in front of body and raised to shoulder height, holding a resistance band with both hands, palms facing floor. Engage core and pull fists past shoulders. Slowly return to start. That's one rep. Complete 15 reps per set.

10. Shoulder Press

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms bent at 90-degree angles, elbows wide and in line with shoulders, palms facing forward. Press the weights up until arms are straight overhead. Hold for one second, then take three seconds to lower the dumbbells back to start. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

11. One-Arm External Rotation

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, right hand on hip, left harm holding a dumbbell, bent at 90 degrees, elbow pinned at waist, palm facing up, forearm in front of body and parallel to floor. Keeping elbow in place, rotate weight toward left side 45 degrees. Slowly return to start. That’s one rep. Complete 15 reps on each side per set.

12. Dumbbell Arm Circles

How to: Start standing with legs shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, arms extended out to sides at shoulder height, palms facing floor. Make small, clockwise circles with arms, coming upper arm/shoulder joint. One rotation is one rep. Complete 15 reps in each direction per set.

13. Car Drivers

How to: Start standing with legs shoulder-width apart holding either end of one dumbbell with hands, arms extended straight forward. Turn the weight to the left as much as possible and then to the right (like driving a car). Continue for 30 seconds for one set.

14. Single-Arm Kettlebell Press

How to: Starting standing with feet under shoulders holding a kettlebell (or dumbbell) in right hand at shoulder height, elbow bent and close to body. Keeping abs engaged, press the weight overhead until arm is straight. Pause, then slowly lower back to start. That's one rep. Complete 12 reps per set.

15. Dumbbell Raise To Pull-Apart

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing body, weights resting on quads. Keeping elbows straight, lift arms until they reach shoulder height. Slowly open arms 90 degrees to sides. Then reverse the movement with control to return to start. That's one rep. Complete 15 reps per set.

16. Single-Arm Lateral Raise

How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in left hand, palms facing body, arms by sides. Raise left arm up and outward until it's parallel to the floor. Return slowly to start. That’s one rep. Complete 15 reps on each side per set.

17. Shoulder Taps

How to: Start in a high plank position with feet wider than shoulders. Keeping hips square to the floor, lift right hand and tap left shoulder. Return to start and repeat with the other arm. That’s one rep. Continue for 30 seconds for one set.