Doing the right shoulder workouts for men, and knowing how to complete them properly, is the best way to build mass and definition in your shoulders to perfect your physique.
Knowing which shoulder workouts to choose is vital to having the muscular upper body and shredded shoulders you desire.
Everyone has different needs and preferences when it comes to shoulder workouts. You may need to avoid certain shoulder exercises or ease up on the amount of weight you use if you have signs of a shoulder injury. Ask your doctor which workouts are best if you have weak or painful joints.
As long as you complete shoulder exercises using proper form and avoid lifting too much weight, you can reduce your chance of shoulder injuries. However, some people are more prone to injuries than others.
Change up your shoulder workouts often for the best shoulder-sculpting results and to reduce boredom and burnout. Combine them with additional muscle-strengthening exercises and cardio workouts to get shredded and have the physique you desire!
Here are some great shoulder workouts to get you started!
The Top 15 Shoulder Workouts For Men Over 40
1. Standing Shoulder Press
- Grab dumbbells or a barbell to complete standing shoulder presses.
- Stand up straight while holding your weights just above your shoulders.
- Lift the weights above your head until your arms are fully extended and back down to the starting position.
- Repeat standing shoulder presses at least 8-10 times, rest, and complete at least three sets of this exercise.
2. One-Arm Kettlebell Shoulder Press
- You'll need just one kettlebell to complete one-arm kettlebell presses.
- Stand up straight and hold one kettlebell in your right hand near your shoulder.
- Lift the weight above your head until your arm is fully extended.
- Lower the right back down to the starting position and repeat this motion 8-10 times.
- Place the weight on your left arm and do the same exercise.
- Complete a total of at least three sets of one-arm kettlebell shoulder presses.
3. Renegade Rows
- You'll need two dumbbells to complete renegade rows.
- Begin in a plank position with your hands grasping the two dumbbells on the ground.
- Do a row by raising one of your arms (holding the dumbbell) until your hand is near your armpit.
- While holding the plank position, lower the weight back to the ground and repeat the rowing motion with your other arm.
- Complete at least three sets of 8-10 reps on each side.
Learn the proper form of renegade rows with both dumbbells and kettlebells!
4. Bent-Over Lateral Raises
- You can use two dumbbell weights to complete bent-over lateral raises or use resistance bands.
- While in a standing position, bend over until your back is about parallel with the floor and your arms are straight and hanging down.
- Staying in this bent-over position, raise your arms upward away from each other until they are parallel with the floor and form a T-shape with your upper torso.
- Lower your arms back down and toward each other until they nearly touch, and repeat the motion at least 8-10 times.
- Complete at least three sets of this exercise.
5. Resistance-Band Face Pulls
- You'll need one longer resistance band and a sturdy surface to wrap it around to complete resistance-band face pull shoulder workouts.
- Grasp the ends of the band, one in each hand, before you begin.
- With enough resistance on the band to make this exercise challenging, stand up and tie the band around something sturdy at about the height of your chest.
- Pull the ends of the band toward your face, then away from your body, and back toward your face.
- Repeat this motion 8-10 times and do at least three sets of the exercise.
- You can also use a cable and rope to complete face pulls.
6. Lateral Raises
- You'll need two dumbbells to complete lateral raises.
- You can also use resistance bands if you'd like to switch things up.
- Stand up straight with a dumbbell in each of your hands.
- Your arms should rest down at your sides.
- Keep your arms as straight as you can; lift them outward from each other on each side of your body until your arms parallel the floor and form a T-shape with your body.
- Lower the weights and your arms back down to your sides and repeat the motion 8-10 times.
- Do at least three sets of this exercise.
Learn how to do side lateral raises for shoulder strengthening!
7. Incline Press
- To complete the incline bench press, you'll need a weight bench positioned in an incline (horizontal) position.
- You can use dumbbells or a barbell to do this exercise.
- Hold the weights near your chest and slowly lift them up toward the ceiling and back down to your chest.
- Complete at least three sets of 8-10 repetitions of incline bench press.
8. Handstand Pushups
- Handstand pushups are difficult, but they're one of the best shoulder exercises you can do without using weights.
- To complete this exercise, do a handstand against a wall and hold an upside-down position with your arms fully extended.
- Keeping your body straight, use your arms to lower your body to the ground until your head nearly touches the floor.
- Push your body back up until your arms are fully extended, and repeat this motion as many times as possible.
- Do at least three sets of handstand pushups.
9. Upright Rows
- Use two dumbbells, one larger dumbbell, a barbell, or resistance bands to complete upright rows.
- Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your arms in front of your body.
- Holding the weights and keeping your arms in front of your body, bend your elbows and lift your hands (along with the weights) upward toward your chest until the weights are just below your chin.
- Lower the weights back down until your arms are extended, and repeat this motion at least 8-10 times.
- Complete at least three sets of upright rows.
Here's how to do upright rows properly!
10. Standing Dumbbell Shrugs
- Hold two dumbbells in each of your hands to complete dumbbell shrugs.
- With your arms at your sides, stand up straight with your feet close together.
- Lift your shoulders upward, hold the position for a second or two, and lower your shoulders back down again.
- Repeat at least three sets of 8-10 reps of this shoulder workout to strengthen and sculpt your shoulders!
11. Power Clean and Press
- The power clean and press is a full-body exercise that works your shoulders in addition to many other muscle groups.
- Use a barbell to complete the exercise.
- Stand up straight with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
- Holding the barbell, do a power clean and push and press before lowering the barbell back down to the ground.
- Repeat this clean and press motion for at least 8-10 reps and do three sets of the exercise.
12. Front Raises
- You'll need two dumbbells (or resistance bands) to complete front raises like lateral raises.
- Stand up straight with your arms at your sides, holding the weights.
- Keep your arms straight as possible, and slowly raise them up in front of your body until they're parallel with the floor.
- Lower your arms back down to your sides and repeat the motion 8-10 times.
- Aim to do a total of at least three sets of this exercise.
Learn how to do front raises with dumbbells, kettlebells, or a resistance band!
13. Lateral Plank Walks
- To complete lateral plank walks, which are shoulder workouts that also exercise your arms and abs, get into a plank position with your arms fully extended.
- Move your right arm and right leg to the right, then move your left and left leg in the same direction to slowly move your body laterally for about 10-15 seconds.
- Pause for a second or two before moving your arms and legs in the opposite direction back to the starting position.
- Rest and repeat lateral plank walks for at least three sets.
- There are numerous other plank exercises for men to choose from, many of which work your shoulder muscles in addition to your arms, legs, and abs.
14. Decline Pushups
- Decline pushups exercise your shoulders and lower pec muscles.
- You'll need to raise and lower your body off the ground using a weight bench, plyometrics box, or something else you may have around your home to complete decline pushups.
- Once your lower body is elevated up off of the ground, get into a plank position with your arms fully extended and touching the floor.
- Do as many decline pushups as possible using proper form, rest, and repeat for at least three sets.
15. Pike Press
- You can complete a pike press on the ground or by elevating your feet on a step platform, weight bench, or plyometric box.
- Form a pike shape with your upper and lower body (upside down V shape), your feet on the floor or elevated, and your arms fully extended.
- Using your arms, lower your upper body toward the ground until your head nearly touches the floor.
- Push back into the starting pike position until your arms are extended again.
- Do as many pike presses as you can to exercise your shoulders.
- Rest, and repeat pike presses for at least three sets.
BONUS: Do this ONE shoulder exercise to improve posture, reduce pain, and maintain shoulder health!
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*Please know that weight loss results and health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on the best shoulder workouts for men over 40.