Top 5 Best Shoulder Exercises For Mass With Dumbbells

Deltoids are the muscles on the top of your arm. They make your upper body wider and help create a “V-taper” shape, making you look stronger and more muscular. But they also make your waist smaller.

The shoulder joint is very movable, and it can move in all directions. But this also means that the shoulder joint is more likely to get hurt. So you need to train the muscles in your body to do these movements so you won’t get hurt.

Deltoid Training

The deltoids are muscles on the outside of the body. They help move your arms. The rotator cuff group lives inside your shoulder joint and supports it to do many things.

To get the V-taper, you need to make sure that all three heads of your deltoid muscles are developed. You do this by doing exercises that require:

  1. Using a cable machine to work out the anterior head of your deltoid muscle.
  2. Use dumbbells for exercises that work out the lateral head, and
  3. Use dumbbells for exercises that work out the posterior head.

1. Dumbbell Shoulder Press

Doing the shoulder presses will help you develop strong deltoids. You can do this exercise with dumbbells, and it will target both the front of your shoulders and your triceps. Having strong anterior deltoids also helps with stability when you are doing a bench press.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press

When it comes to choosing between standing or sitting, you need to pick one. First, pick which technique you want to do. Then you can keep doing it and get better at it.


  1. Pick up your preferred dumbbell weight. Hold one in each hand, with an overhand grip. Keep your torso tight if you are sitting down and put the weights on your thighs.
  2. Exhale as you start to raise the weights towards the ceiling with palms facing forward. Hold the contraction at the top of that move.
  3. Inhale as you lower the weights back down to shoulder height.
  4. Repeat for sets and reps that you prefer/have time for.

2. Dumbbell Front Raise

In this exercise, we are isolating the front of your shoulder. So you should only do this exercise if you think that your front of the shoulder is not as strong as it is on the other side. But it probably won’t be because it’s essential for bench presses and incline bench presses.

Dumbbell Front Raise


Do this exercise with one arm at a time. Keep your form strict and use minimum momentum.


  1. Choose a weight of dumbbells. Stand up straight and tighten your torso. Put the weights in front of your thighs, palms facing inwards.
  2. Keep your torso strong and without swinging; raise one side to the front of your body, keeping an elbow bend (palms towards the floor).
  3. Lift it until it is parallel to the ground. Exhale throughout the movement.
  4. Hold that position for a moment and then inhale before slowly lowering it back to your thigh.
  5. Alternate with each arm doing this exercise for 1 set on each arm.

3) Dumbbell Bent-Over Lateral Raise

This exercise targets the back part of your shoulder. It is often the weakest and underdeveloped in most people, so you need to do many sets to get strong.

Dumbbell Bent-Over Lateral Raise


  1. Pick up a weight and then stand in the almost-squatting position.
  2. Bend your hips to stretch your hamstrings, keeping your back straight. Your body is now nearly parallel to the ground.
  3. Raise the weights in a reverse fly motion, squeezing them together at the end of the movement. When you raise them, make sure that you exhale. Then lower them slowly and repeat as many times as you need to go until you reach your goal number of repetitions.
  4. Inhale and lower the weights slowly in a controlled manner when lowering them from this exercise.

4) Dumbbell Lateral Raise

This exercise is for the muscles that are on the outside part of your shoulders. It will help you get a ‘capped’ look on your shoulders.

Dumbbell Lateral Raise


  1. Pick up the preferred weight, put your body in a standing position, tighten your core, and head up.
  2. Raise the weight to the side with as little momentum as possible. The shoulder should be at a neutral rotation or slightly rotated inward.
  3. This can be done by leading with the elbow. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds, squeezing the muscle at the top of the movement.
  4. Slowly lower down while inhaling.

5) Dumbbell Upright Row

The dumbbell upright row is a great exercise. It targets all 3 heads of the deltoids and can be considered a ‘finisher’ exercise in a shoulder workout.

Dumbbell Upright Row

The advantage that dumbbells have over barbells is that they allow for more motion, making it easier to prevent injuries to the shoulder joint.

Also Read: 20 Best Work Outs To Get Your Biceps & Triceps In Shape


Don’t put too much weight into your exercises. It can be dangerous and cause injury. This is not what you want to happen! Lateral-orientated exercises are easier for your shoulder and will help you hurt less.

  1. Pick up the weights with an overhand grip. They should be at shoulder width, and you should stand upright. Your palms should face your body, and your arms should be straight but not locked out.
  2. Concentrate on the muscles on one of your shoulders while you lift the weight up. This is called using it as the main muscle to help lift, like when someone does a bicep curl (having their biceps as their main muscle to move). Then, when you exhale, use that same shoulder as its main muscle to lift to make sure it’s getting stronger.
  3. Hold at the top for a moment if this is too hard or if you are using lighter weights than usual.
  4. Please take a deep breath and hold it while slowly bringing the dumbells back to the starting position. Keep the dumbbells close to your body.

About Mikael Gomez

Mikael is a health nutrition expert and loves mountain biking. Mikael started his health product research journey in 2016 and still loves doing it. Apart from spending time on his study, research & literature, he plays basketball regularly and is a fitness freak. Follow Mikael on Linkedin