Dumbbell Shoulder Exercises - Program and Tips from Chris Heria

Dumbbell Shoulder Exercises - Program and Tips from Chris Heria

Dumbbell Shoulder Exercises - Program and Tips from Chris Heria
Dumbbell Shoulder Exercises - Program and Tips from Chris Heria

Strong shoulders are the key to a successful upper body workout. Strengthening the shoulder joint is crucial for doing chins and deadlifts, exercises that are essential to achieving a wide, powerful back.

However, shoulder training is complicated by the fact that, firstly, the shoulder joint is quite easy to damage if there are errors in technique, and, secondly, the shoulders must be treated at different angles. That is why dumbbell exercises are best suited for building the shoulders.

How to swing your shoulders with dumbbells?

How to train your shoulders with dumbbells?

The main shoulder exercise (with dumbbells and barbell) is the vertical press. When performed, the work mainly involves the middle head of the deltoid muscle, which is responsible for giving volume. In fact, the middle head is the largest part of the shoulders.

The front head of the shoulders, although it also participates in the pressing movements, is responsible for raising the arm - its training requires exercises that consist of lifting the weight in front of you. Plus, the front head of the delta is involved in push-ups (and bench press).

The back of the shoulders pulls the arm back. To pump it are suitable swings, as well as breeding dumbbells on a slope. Among other things, the rear beam is involved in trapeze training - that is, dumbbell shoulders can also be included in the list of exercises for pumping the rear deltoids.

Workout by Chris Heria

Chris Heria is a popular athlete who promotes rhythmic gymnastics (ie exercises with his own body weight or any materials at hand). On his Youtube channel  ,  signed by nearly 5 million people, and via  Instagram  , his life has been followed by 1.4 million followers.

To train the shoulders, Chris Heria suggests combining dumbbell exercises with elements of the workout. Each exercise is performed for 45 seconds. The number of repetitions does not play a significant role, the main thing is to observe the technique and the time under load.

Shoulder exercises with dumbbells

The presented shoulder training is performed in a circular mode - 45 seconds of each exercise, then 15 seconds of rest and transition to the next. At the end of the round - a break of 1-3 minutes, after which the round of exercises can be repeated. A total of 3 to 5 rounds are required:

1. Lifting dumbbells in front of you

Lifting dumbbells in front of you

We start by pumping the front beam of the shoulder. With your arms straight, lift the dumbbells in front of you to neck level. Hold the weight at the top for 1 second, then slowly lower it. Hold the dumbbells at the lowest point without touching your thighs - this will help maintain muscle tension.

2. Lifting dumbbells through the sides

Lifting dumbbells through the sides

In this exercise, the emphasis is on the middle beam of the shoulders. Lifting the dumbbells to the side, stretch upwards not with your hands but with your elbows. To get the most benefit, rotate your arms at the top so that your thumbs are pointing down - however, do not raise your arms above the horizontal.

3. Dumbbells at an angle

One of the best exercises to build the back of your shoulders. Starting position - legs shoulder-width apart, knees bent, back tilted forward parallel to the floor. Take the dumbbells behind your back, straining the back delta. Hold the weight at the top point, then gently return the dumbbells to their original position.

4. Press dumbbells in an upright position

Pressing dumbbells in an upright position

Basic shoulder exercises. Elbows to the sides and bent at 90 degrees. As you exhale, slowly and with full control, lift the dumbbells up - then pause and as you exhale, reduce the weight. Make sure that the elbows do not face forward, but to the sides - the movement is in the same plane.

5. Dumbbells at an angle to the sides

Lean your body forward, then lift the dumbbells to the side, pointing your elbows at the ceiling. At the top point, hold the weight, gather the shoulder blades and tighten the rear beam on the shoulders. Do not collect the dumbbells from below, but leave 40 cm between them to maintain muscle tension.

6. Pike push-ups

Push-ups with pike

Take an accent lying on your feet on a hill. Bring your arms close to your legs, lifting your pelvis up. The body must be perpendicular to the floor. Bend your arms until your head touches the floor. When performing such push-ups, the load falls vertically on the shoulders, as in a standing press with dumbbells.

7. Stand on hands

Stand on hands

On a handstand, keep your whole body tense, control the balance with your fingers. If you have not yet learned how to stand freely, start with a stand by the wall. Finish the kit before 45 seconds if you feel uncomfortable with the rush of blood to your head.

8. Rises in the sidebar - 20 seconds on each side

Rises in the sidebar - 20 seconds on each side

The starting position is a sidebar with an emphasis on the right hand. Lower your thigh until it touches the floor and return to the board. Do not move your pelvis - only the core and shoulders work. Exercise requires balance and therefore allows you to load the stabilizing muscles of the shoulder joint.

Program comment

The shoulders can be trained alone or in combination with other muscle groups. For example, it is effective to swing them with your feet for a day. First, leg workouts have an anabolic effect that extends to the shoulders. Secondly, when you train your legs, your shoulders do not get tired.

However, it is not recommended to train the shoulders together with the chest muscles. When doing presses, you load the front deltoid bundle - there is no point in overtixing it with separate exercises. To have time for the shoulders to recover, we recommend training them separately only once a week.

How to choose the weight of the dumbbells?

The weight of the dumbbells should be such that you can control the range of motion - that is, slowly lift and lower the weight in the exercise with the conscious participation of the shoulder muscles in the work. At the end of each exercise you should have a slight burning sensation in the delta.


Shoulder training involves pumping each of the three bundles of the deltoid muscle - for which various dumbbell exercises that can be performed at home are best. However, the shoulders receive a load when pumping the chest - this is important to keep in mind when compiling a program.