If a pair of dumbbells is all you’ve got, you can really kill your shoulder muscles with this home workout. You don’t even need to go heavy as this is a mid rep range workout and it’s intense enough to go for the burn.

Shoulders dumbbell workout-28467966_m

This workout routine consists of 5 exercises and as mentioned, we’re only using fairly light dumbbells to complete it. Let’s look at the exercises we’re going to use.

Dumbbell Clean Press

Not the usual exercise for shoulders but it involves your core and explosive training at the same time as we’re going for that extra intensity. You’re going to start with the dumbbells down at your sides in supinated grip (palms facing body), knees slightly bent and explosively pop the weights up to your shoulders by gaining some momentum with your hip extension.  Then press the dumbbells up with your shoulders to complete the exercise.

Dumbell clean press


Windmill Press

This unilateral exercise involves some core stability training as well. To preform, press the weight up starting at the shoulder level, then move the hips to the side and reach with your free hand down by balancing the weight up. Make sure you keep the control in your movement so you don’t lose balance and drop the weight. The windmill press can be done with a kettlebell but since this is a dumbbell only workout, we’re going to use a dumbbell.

Kettlebell windmill


Front to Lateral Raise

This is one of the best uncommon exercises for the shoulders as it involves all three delts at the same time. It combines the front and lateral raises at the same time. To perform, start with the front raise, then rotate your shoulders to the sides and finish with the lateral raise. Because of the shoulder rotation, it involves the posterior delts too.

Front lateral raise


Bent Over Lateral Raise

Finally, we will end the workout with the bent over lateral raises superset with shoulder extensions. These exercises focus on the posterior delts more and tie the workout together. To perform, bend forward at a 90 degree in your hips and perform the lateral raises. Keep your arms slightly bent at the elbows and really contract your shoulders back at the top.

Bent over lateral raise


Bent Over Shoulder Extensions

Supersetting the lateral raise with shoulder extensions we further hit those posterior delts. Again, keep those shoulders back and focus on contraction at the top of the exercise. This exercise is very similar to triceps extensions, the main difference is that the movement here is in the shoulder joint and your elbows should be fixed.

Bent over shoulder extension


The Workout

So here’s the complete dumbbells only shoulder workout:

  • Dumbbell clean press – 4×15 reps
  • Windmill press – 3×15 reps each side
  • Front to lateral raise – 3×10 reps
  • Bent over lateral raise superset with shoulder extensions – 3×12 reps

Try this workout if you have a pair of dumbbells at home and get those shoulders worked up. Use it together with heavy weight shoulder workouts and it will really improve your gains.


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