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How to get 3D Powerful Shoulder – Dumbbells Only

Shoulder workout

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Looking for a shoulder workout with dumbbells only?

There are various shoulder exercises to do but this article will show you dumbbell only shoulder exercises for maximum shoulder growth.

You can incorporate these exercises in your current training routine or choose to the workout here that I’ve listed below. It’s up to you.

First, I will list the exercises that I chose and give a brief explanation as to why I chose them.

If you’re looking for a full body dumbbell workout, check out this article


Exercise 1: DB Shoulder Press

The Dumbbell Shoulder Press is the alternative to the Barbell Overhead Press and is one of the best exercises to target the anterior head of the shoulder. It also hits the lateral head of the shoulder and triceps, but more emphasis is on the anterior head.

How to perform exercise:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells
  • Hold dumbbells by shoulder at about a 70 degree angle (not 90 as this will flare out your elbows and increase chance of injury)
  • Press dumbbells up and overhead and eccentrically control the weight down

NOTE: If you have shoulder problems when performing exercise, try using a neutral grip.

Exercise 2: DB Push Press

The dumbbell push press is similar to the DB shoulder press, but you use a heavier weight than usual and use your legs as momentum to push the weight up over your head. This targets the same muscles as the DB shoulder press as well but will be more tiring.  

Exercise 3: DB Front Raises

Front raises also target the anterior head primarily and can be done in an alternating way. You can get a really good contraction by isolating the front delt with this exercise.

How to perform exercise:

  • Hold dumbbells by your side
  • Raise dumbbell one at a time to shoulder level and control the weight as you lower dumbbell

NOTE: Ensure not to go raise too far as this will get your trapezius involved

Exercise 4: Side Lateral Raise

The side lateral raise is the most commonly performed and best exercise for the lateral head.

How to perform exercise:

  • Grab a pair of dumbbells
  • Lean forward slightly, raise the dumbbells to the side, keeping a slight bend in the elbow
  • Raise dumbbell until arms parallel to ground and control the weight down

Exercise 5: One and Half Lateral Raise

Sometimes, you have to forget about your ego and use lighter weights and this exercise is the perfect exercise for that!

The one and half lateral raise is a great exercise for the middle delt and has the same concept as the side lateral raise.

How to perform exercise:

  • Grab a pair of light dumbbells
  • Hold dumbbells by your side and raise them to side slowly until arms are parallel to ground.
  • Lower weight slowly till halfway and raise them back up again until arms are parallel to ground.
  • Lower weight fully down slowly. This whole movement counts as one rep.

NOTE: This exercise needs to be down with lighter weights and a slower tempo to make sure you can really feel the contraction in your middle delt.

This will definitely light up your middle delt like never before.

Exercise 5: DB Reverse Fly

The Dumbbell Reverse Fly is a common exercise to target the rear delts

How to perform exercise:

  • Grab a pair of fairly light dumbbells
  • Bend forward at hips until chest is almost parallel to the floor, while keeping your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Hold dumbbells with your palms facing each other
  • Raise dumbbell to the side holding the end position for 1-2 seconds to get a good contraction of the rear delts.

NOTE: When performing this exercise, make sure you’re not swinging the weights. Control the weight throughout each rep

Exercise 6: Hip Huggers

Hip huggers target the rear delt more effectively by extending the elbows behind the body and get a good contraction of the rear delts.

How to perform exercise:

  • Grab a pair of relatively heavy pair of dumbbells
  • Hold dumbbells by your side
  • Raise dumbbells towards your hip while ensuring the elbows are extending behind the body
  • Imagine your lifting your pants up when they are sagging when performing this exercise

For this exercise, it is best to use a heavier weight.

Exercise 7: Pike Push ups

Pike push ups are a great bodyweight exercise that can be done at the end of your workout as a burnout. It targets the anterior head mainly but involves other muscles such as chest, upper traps and your serratus anterior which plays an important role in shoulder blade protraction.

How to perform exercise:

  • Start in a standard push up position
  • Raise your hips and back until you form an upside down V shape
  • Bend your elbows, slowly lowering yourself down till your head is close to floor
  • Push yourself back using shoulders back to the upside V shape

Below are two workouts, Workout A and Workout B which you can do interchangeably.

Shoulder Workout

Workout A:

  • DB Shoulder Press – 3 sets 8-10
  • Side Lateral Raise – 3 set 8-12
  • Front Raise – 3 sets 10-12
  • One and Half Raise – 2-3 sets 12-15
  • Hip Huggers – 3 sets 10-12

Workout B:

  • DB Push Press – 3 sets 8-10
  • DB Reverse Fly – 3 sets 10-12
  • Side Lateral raise – 3 sets 1012
  • Pike Push ups – 3 sets to failure

Build Powerful Chest With Dumbbells Only – No Bench Needed

Dumbbell Only Back Workout for a thicker and wider back

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