If you want to build stronger shoulders that will turn heads this summer, think beyond sculpting and focus on function. Healthy, strong shoulders will draw attention when you throw the winning pitch at your company softball game or beat your best bud at a freestyle sprint at the pool. The key is to understand how to work the multiple muscles that make up your shoulders including posterior, medial and anterior deltoids, rotator cuff muscles and more.

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These strength exercises target your shoulders and will not only increase muscle tone and improve shape but will increase mobility and function as well. After you finish, you can easily reach around and pat yourself on the back for grabbing a set of weights and going for it!

Build Stronger Shoulders with These 4 Exercises:

1. Deltoid Raise and Rolls with Weights

This exercise combines three basic movements to target multiple deltoid muscles in one fluid exercise in order to help you build stronger shoulders. You’ll do a lateral raise, front raise and a shoulder roll.

Stand with feet shoulder width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Let your arms hang down by your sides. Raise your arms straight in front of you. When you hit shoulder height, keep your arms long and extend them straight out to your sides. Then, slowly lower the weights down to your thighs again. Do one big shoulder roll. Then, reverse directions by raising your arms to the sides. When you hit shoulder height, bring your arms in front of you. Then, lower the weights to your thighs and do a shoulder roll. That’s one rep. Do 14 more!

build stronger shoulders

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2. Reverse Fly with Weights

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your knees and hinge at your hips. Bring the weights in front of your body with your arms lengthened. Slowly raise the weights out to your sides until your arms are shoulder height. Contract your upper back and shoulder muscles. Bring your hands back down in front of you to complete one reverse fly.

3. Overhead Press

While seated or standing, bend your elbows and take your dumbbells up to your shoulders to start. Keep your core braced as you extend your arms to the ceiling to execute the overhead press.

4. Diagonal Raise with Dumbbell

Stand with hips shoulder width apart. Grab a weight with your right hand. Place the weight in front of your left hip. A diagonal raise is like a sword draw. Your palm should be facing your body. Slowly bring your arm across your body to the right, so your arm is extended shoulder height to the right. Return the weight slowly to your left hip while keeping your arm mostly straight. Complete one set on the right. Then, switch hands.