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4 powerful shoulder strengthening exercises


Strong and toned shoulders not only look good but also improve your posture and prevent you from suffering an injury, stiffness and tension. There’s no denying that your shoulders play an important role within your body, that’s why we’ve gathered the best 4 shoulder exercises for both beginners and advanced athletes, to keep this crucial joint happy, healthy and flexible.

For Beginners:

If pushups, pullups and dips all sound way too tough for you, then here’s the good news: Although these exercises are worth practicing they are not the only way to train your shoulders. The following exercises do the job just as well and are perfect for beginners:


Planks, Side Planks & Plank Switches

Wait, what… isn’t this a core exercise? Yes it is - but at the same time the plank also functionally trains your rotator cuffs. While planking, you put a constant static load on your shoulders which improves their stability and makes them more resistant to sudden movements. With planking variations such as the (high) side plank and plank switches, you can even increase this effect.

Planking workouts: Demeter is a short but intense workout that’s suitable for beginners and engages your shoulders with different exercises. If you really want a challenge, conquer Kerberos and let your abs and shoulders burn.

Side Dips

While straight bar dips require you to lift your entire bodyweight, side dips are performed lying down and require you to lift your upper body only. Although many are not familiar with side dips, they are a very effective shoulder-strengthening exercise and prepare your body for way more challenging upper body exercises.

For advanced athletes:

You’ve mastered push-ups and pull-ups and you’re ready to conquer the next challenge? Then these exercises will put your shoulder strength to the test:


Handstand pushups

Handstand pushups are a Free Athlete’s supreme discipline. Due to the level of balance and stability you need to perform a handstand, together with the strength required to push your entire body weight up off of the ground, handstand pushups are one of the most challenging exercises Freeletics has to offer. But the pain pays off: while the basic pushup works mainly the chest muscles, handstand pushups will help you reach a completely new level of shoulder strength.

Handstand pushup workout: As one of the Gods in the Freeletics app, Pegasos challenges your shoulders, arms and abs with a combination of handstand pushups, strict pullups and strict toes-to-bars. Can you beat him? There’s only one way to find out.

Straight bar dips

Time to set your triceps and shoulders on fire! The straight bar dip is one of the toughest, yet most effective, upper body exercises. The straight bar dip requires you to hold your bodyweight above the bar for the entire time, using your upper body only to lift and lower your chest to the bar.

Straight bar dip workout: Commando pullups, straight bar dips, pushups - Herakles is the boss when it comes to shoulder training. Combining a variety of challenging shoulder exercises, this workout is a test of mental and physical strength.

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