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Shoulder Exercises

This is an excerpt from Strong & Sculpted by Brad Schoenfeld.

Exercises for the shoulders are divided into the following three categories (see table 3.1):

  • Category 1 comprises multijoint overhead pressing exercises and upright rowing.
  • Category 2 comprises single-joint frontal plane exercises for the shoulder musculature that target the middle head of the deltoid.
  • Category 3 comprises single-joint transverse plane exercises for the shoulder musculature that target the posterior head of the deltoid.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

This move targets the deltoids, with an emphasis on the front delts. Secondary emphasis is on the upper trapezius and triceps.

Shoulder Category 1


Sit at the edge of a flat bench or chair. Grasp two dumbbells and bring the weights to shoulder level with your palms facing away from your body.


Press the dumbbells upward and in, allowing them to touch together directly over your head. Contract your deltoids and then return the dumbbells along the same arc to the start position.

Expert Tip

Don’t arc the weights outward as you press; this increases stress to the connective tissue in the shoulder joint.



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