The 7 Best Exercises To Build Broad Shoulders

Many men don’t look forward to shoulder day, but you’ll pay a heavy price for neglecting them.

Knowing what the best exercises to build broad shoulders are has a number of benefits.

By building broad shoulders you help create that v-shaped torso which automatically makes your waist look slimmer, you feel bigger and more confident!

According to MensHealth,  women instinctively find men with broader shoulders and a slimmer waist more attractive.

So maybe give the bicep curls a rest and pay more attention to building broader shoulders!

If you’re somebody who has neglected your shoulders in the gym, the good news is by working them hard now you’ll shock your muscles which will help to build muscle fast!

Thursday night is shoulder night for me and my gym buddy, and with it being January the gym is still packed which can play havoc with our routine.

We therefore often improvise and mix up our shoulder exercises, the benefit of this is that our workouts rarely stagnate, and it keeps our body guessing which is good for gains!

So how do you build broad shoulders?


Our 7 Best Exercises To Build Broad Shoulders

We always start our workout with a warm up.

Shoulder muscles can be prone to injury because of the possible range of movement and different muscles it contains, so never dive straight into a heavy shoulder press.

I made this mistake a few years ago, injuring my deltoid which put me out of the gym for over 2 weeks!

So we usually warm up by doing pull ups as they help work the shoulders and many of the supporting muscles in the upper body, after a couple of sets we’re good to go!


Seated Shoulder Press

Seated dumbbell shoulder press, a great exercise that isolates the shoulder muscles.

We aim for 4 sets starting with medium weights of 20kg and 8-10 reps going up to 34/36kg.

We aim for good form with the elbows being horizontal with the floor, and a good controlled motion to prevent injury and properly target your shoulder muscles.

Obviously adjust the weight to your preference and having a gym buddy as a spotter always helps with the heavier weights!

This is one of the best exercises to build broad shoulders and is probably the most popular among men.


Single Arm Barbell Shoulder Press

One of our favourites at the moment.  This exercise really isolates the shoulder muscles as it’s a single arm press.

Take an Olympic bar and add a suitable weight to the end.  We usually start with 15kg and go up to 30kg which doesn’t sound that much but once you add the weight of the Olympic bar it is quite a challenge especially as it’s single arm!

3 sets of 8-10 reps will really work your shoulders!

Arnie Press

Named after the legend Arnold Schwarzenegger, few shoulder exercises will give you that burn like the Arnie Press!

Sit on a bench with some medium weight dumbbells, we use 20kg, your starting position should be elbows by your side with weights at chest height.  Rotate your arms outwards and then perform the shoulder press.

This rotating motion will work your anterior deltoids (front shoulder muscles) and help create that important V-shape!

We aim for good form with a medium weight to really get that burn, you will definitely feel this is you do it right!


Dumbbell Lateral Raises

Always guaranteed to hurt, dumbbell lateral raises when performed correctly are a very effective shoulder exercise for building the medial part of the deltoids.

You’re better off using a light weight and focusing on slow, controlled form for maximum effect!


Dumbbell Front Raises

Dumbbell front raises are designed to build your anterior deltoids (front shoulder muscles), and like lateral raises it’s best to perform using a light weight and slow controlled form for maximum effect.

At this point in the workout you’re really starting to feel the effects, especially after your heavier lifts early on so you should really be feeling the burn at this point!


Reverse Flies

You can perform this lying front down on an incline bench or using a fly machine, in reverse.

Reverse flies target the posterior deltoids (rear of your shoulders) as well as parts of the upper back which is why it’s one of the best exercises to build broad shoulders.

Again it’s always best to use a weight you can comfortably lift in a controlled motion to target the desired muscles the most and of course prevent injury!

This is one of our favourite exercises to build broad shoulders.  Many people often neglect the posterior deltoids and this is one of the few exercises that works this area.



The final part of this shoulder workout is shrugs, designed to finish off your shoulders for this session!  Shrugs mainly target the trapezius muscles, but also work your deltoids and upper back.

You can use whatever weights are available, be it the smith machine, dumbbells or plates.  We like to use the smith machine because we can pile more weight on if we feel comfortable!

So these were our 7 best exercises to build broad shoulders!

Like we mentioned earlier, if your gym is busy you can’t always get on the machine or area you want which can really disrupt your workout.

So it’s always useful to have a number of different shoulder exercises to perform to help vary your workout and adapt to whatever is available!

Building your shoulder muscles should be a regular workout you should do to help build an a balances muscular physique and shouldn’t be neglected!

On the other hand, don’t be one of these people that purely focuses on building big shoulders to look big.

It means you’re out of balance and probably neglecting other important areas that support your shoulders like your back.


These are our best exercises to build broad shoulders! Click here for more articles on workouts and supplements!