The shoulders play a key role in nearly every upper body exercise. That means that we engage them when doing any other upper body exercise. Because of their critical function, the extreme range of motion, and potential to bulge under your shirt like two stolen cannonballs, strong shoulders are essential for maximum performance and a well-rounded, fit physique.

Another great thing is that the shoulders look gorgeous when they are toned. They symbolize a strong confident woman, so because of that today I’m giving you full shoulder workout with free weights. You can do this in the comfort of your home, with few resistance bands or some free weights, but you can preform these exercises better if you are in the gym.

The key to getting toned shoulders is having a proper workout routine. So here is the perfect, free weights full shoulder workout routine. Let’s get started!

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Dumbbell Press or Military Press

These two are actually the same exercises, targeting the same shoulder muscle, but with different devices. The dumbbell press is performed with dumbbells and the military press is performed with a bar.

This exercise will tone your shoulders, and will make a great beginning exercise. you should do the dumbbell press or the military press as a first exercise, but never both. We already know that it is better to make changes in the exercises, so this is why you should do one time with barrel and the next time with dumbbells. Also, there is a machine for this exercise in the gym, so to change it a little bit you can try it on the machine too, but I prefer free weights however.

Also make sure your weights are not too light. Start hard, with heavy weights, and 4 sets with about 8-12 reps is the perfect range. Just make sure the weight range is challenging enough so that you are not able to perform another rep after the final.

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Front Shoulder Exercises

The second exercise should always be one targeting your front shoulder. There are few varieties of exercises that you can preform for your front shoulder, so pick your favorite one. Don’t forget to make changes every training, that’s why I give you few varieties of one exercise.

Front Raise

This is one exercise that is great for shaping your front shoulder. This exercise is one of my favorite when it comes to shoulder workout, because it gives a nice tone to your front shoulder. You can perform it with two dumbbells, with a bar, or with a weight plate too. Just make sure your arms are not too wide when holding the dumbbells or the bar, but not too close too.

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Arnold Dumbbell Press

This exercise is another front shoulder workout, so it should be the second, right after the starting exercises. this is really effective one, and here’s how to do it right:

  • Your arms should be next to your torso. The starting position should look like the contracted portion of a dumbbell curl.
  • Start performing the movement, raise the dumbbells as you rotate the palms of your hands until they are facing forward.
  • Continue lifting the dumbbells until your arms are extended above you in straight arm position. Breathe out as you perform this portion of the movement.


Lateral Raises

This should always be your third exercise. The lateral raises is an exercises that works perfect for your middle exercise. You just have to do it right, with the elbows up, and the arms open wide, just like flying. This exercise is also known as shoulder fly raises, and as an exercise that you should not skip. Just you have to think of the form.

Also load up your weights, and do 4 sets with 8-12 reps.


Reverse Fly

The fourth exercise is the reverse fly. This is one great exercise for defining the back shoulder muscles. For this shoulder exercise, you’ll need dumbbells. You can do it with a stability ball, or standing. Also, there are machines for back shoulder exercises, so if your back hurts while doing this exercise standing, try doing it on machine – it works even better if you’re a beginner.

Ps: If your lower back hurts, do it in a sitting position, on a stability ball or on a chair. If you have a weight lifting belt, it would be for the best!

Full Shoulder Workout

Trapezius Exercises

In the end of my shoulder training, I always want to do one trapezius exercise. The traps exercises are preformed even on your back day, but I prefer doing it on shoulder day. Ether way, you will not make a mistake.

The best trap exercise is the trap rises. Some girls like to do it with barrel, some with dumbbells, but ether way, it works. This is not a must do exercise, but there’s no harm in doing it as finishing exercise on your shoulder day.