The 5 Hardest Dumbbell Workouts for Shoulders

dumbbell exercises for shoulders and back

This shoulders workout will be your favorite to complete your list of the hardest dumbbell workouts at home. So if you want to build strong, round shoulders, this dumbbell workout will target from various angles to activate all three deltoid muscle heads. In addition, the dumbbell is the perfect tool for working on the shoulders. During workouts, they require all your stabilizing muscles to work and force your core to stay active. So all you need now is a pair of dumbbells to do these five challenging exercises.

The key to this exercise is the quality of your workout, not the quantity. So, instead of doing a lot of exercises, it’s better to think about how well you’re doing.

1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press.

It’s an exercise that trains all aspects of the deltoid muscle and offers some unique benefits. In addition, the dumbbell shoulder press can produce significant muscle growth for the upper body, depending on the angle, grip, and variety of exercises. When compared to barbells, this exercise has more anterior deltoid activation even though the movements are similar. Also, they can identify if you have a power imbalance in your shoulder area.

dumbbell routine for shoulders

How to: Start by sitting on a bench with your back flat or standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbells in both hands, then lift the weights to your shoulders by bending your elbows. Next, brace your core, then press the dumbbells overhead while exhaling. Lower the dumbbells with control to the starting position, repeat the movement and complete the repetitions.

2. One-arm Lateral Dumbbell Raise.

This is one of the best dumbbell workouts to get shoulders like a boulder. Although this exercise looks very easy, just raise the weight on the side to shoulder height, then lower it again – it’s harder than you might think. Even with the lightest weight, this exercise is an absolute killer. So, choose a weight that allows you to complete all the reps in good form. Also, this exercise should not be more than one minute in one rep to avoid the risk of injury.

dumbbell exercises for shoulders and neck

How to: Stand shoulder-width apart while holding a dumbbell in your left hand at your side. With your knees slightly bent and your back flat, brace your core. Now, raise the dumbbells to the sides until they are parallel to your shoulders. Lastly, slowly lower the weights to the starting position to repeat.

Related: The 5 Hardest Dumbbell Workouts for Back

3. Dumbbell Scaption.

Although this exercise is a little easier than the dumbbell lateral raise, it’s still the hardest dumbbell exercise. The dumbbell scaption is a great exercise for effectively growing and strengthening your deltoid muscles. As these are isolation exercises, they allow you to add more training volume without the risk of overtraining. So, after you do a heavy overhead press, do a dumbbell scaption to stimulate muscle growth and strengthen weak shoulders without worrying about over-injury.

dumbbell exercises for shoulders and biceps

How to: Start by standing shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in each hand. Next, brace your core, then lift the dumbbell with straight arms at a 45-degree angle making a V-shape until your arms are in front of your chest. Raise your dumbbell until it reaches or is parallel to your shoulders or about 90 degrees. Now lower the weights to your sides with control, then complete the reps.

4. Eccentric Lateral Dumbbell Raise.

Just like one-arm lateral dumbbell raise, it’s also the hardest shoulder workout you’ll ever do. They target the least developed and weakest shoulder areas, the medial head of the deltoid. By slowing down the eccentric portion of the lift, you will increase tension and be able to handle more resistance.

dumbbell lateral raises

How to: Start by standing shoulder-width apart with a dumbbell in both hands at your side. To improve balance, bend your knees slightly with your back straight. Now tighten your core, then raise the dumbbell out to the sides to shoulder level. Lower the dumbbell slowly and control it to the starting position for a three-second count.

5. Dumbbell Front Raise.

To close your workout, you can use this dumbbell front raise exercise to build strength and definition of your shoulders. This is a great isolation exercise for shoulder flexion to strengthen your front and side shoulders.

best shoulder exercise with dumbbells

How to: You can start by standing or sitting on a bench while holding a dumbbell in both hands at your sides. Next prepare your core, then raise the dumbbell to shoulder level in front of your chest. Here, your palms face down. Lastly, lower your dumbbell with the controls to the starting position. Repeat the movement and complete the reps.

Related: The 5 Hardest Dumbbell Glute Exercises


When you do a lot of abs exercises but neglect shoulder exercises, you won’t be able to carve out that coveted V-shape. Therefore, to get it, you need shoulder exercises. In addition, to build strong and capped shoulders, you need to carve from various angles to activate all the major deltoid muscle groups. To do that, there’s nothing better than this hardest dumbbell workouts for shoulders. They are intense shoulder exercises to build muscle and strength by targeting different muscles.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.