5 Great Exercises for Building Massive Shoulders

The shoulders are valuable muscles that support the arm, and increasing their mass will help you look larger and increase your strength. You could perform different exercises to help your shoulders grow twice their size and help you look and feel stronger. Read on to learn some helpful exercises to help your shoulders grow massive with your efforts.

Lateral Arm Raises

Solely focusing on your shoulders is the best method of ensuring they grow, and lateral raises are a great way to work out the shoulders while keeping everything else stationary. The lateral raise will work out the shoulder muscles as you keep your arm straight and raise the dumbbells. You most likely won’t reach the height of your shoulders if you use heavier weights, so try to reach the height of the rib cage instead as a minimum requirement.

Keep your body relaxed and straight as you perform each rep. Inhale on the lift; take a moment before you lower your arms on the exhale. You may feel the urge to tense up as you go further into the set, using unnecessary muscles. Keep your body relaxed and avoid swinging your arm for the best chance at maximizing gains.

Add a Static Hold at the End

Static holds are helpful exercises to improve muscular endurance by holding a position for a long time. Hold your arms up once on the last rep to improve your shoulders’ ability to prevent muscle fatigue. Your shoulders will have more strength once you’ve held the most stressful position of the workout after completing the set.

Holding the position will also help you practice good posture and help your muscles grow used to the strain of the exercise. Your mental fortitude will grow with a static hold since you must concentrate on holding the position.

Shoulder Raises

This simple exercise will also focus on moving the shoulders and keeping the rest of the body still. Hold the dumbbells tight and let your arms hang at your side. Lift your shoulders, pause for a moment, and let them drop. While this exercise is straightforward, it will feel tiring after a while, especially when you hold larger weights.

Make sure you only move your shoulders vertically; if you move them back or forward slightly with each rep, you’ll decrease the stress that helps them grow. You’ll feel the lower part of your traps and the top part of the shoulder improve after each set, and the area will become tighter and bulky. Set your arms down in a controlled manner instead of letting them drop to avoid a sudden popping feeling in the socket.

Have a Good Grip

As you work with dumbbells, it’s important to maintain safety and avoid dropping them onto your foot. Ensure you have a good grip on each dumbbell before you start each set since you may begin to relax your fingers as you focus solely on moving your arms.

For safer exercise, buy dumbells with a rubber or silicone grip on the handle. You’ll have an easier time performing shoulder raises when the dumbbell has a harder time falling out of your hand.

Overhead Press

Start with the dumbbells at the level of your head and your palms facing out. Lift them with most of your strength coming from your shoulders. Maintain that strength as you extend your arms, bring the dumbbells close together, and bring them down in reverse order.

Keep a firm grip to avoid dropping them and causing injury. The weight of moving the dumbbells up and the effort to resist the pull of gravity will create a great exercise for building massive shoulders. The tops of your shoulder will begin to feel tired with more reps, and you may feel some strain on your back because of the outward position of your arms.

Keep your spine as straight as possible when performing an overhead press. The weight of the dumbells combined with bad posture will lead to soreness in the back and may damage the spine over time. Perform a posture check after every few reps to ensure you perform the exercise properly and put stress only on your muscles.

Experiment With a Barbell and Dumbbells

An overhead press doesn’t always require dumbbells; a barbell may feel more effective and comfortable for some. A barbell is good workout equipment for this exercise if you maintain proper form and keep your arms at an even length with your elbows at a 90-degree angle. Experiment with a barbell and dumbbell to learn which has better benefits and helps you reach your goal of larger shoulder muscles.

Incline Y Raise

As a challenging shoulder exercise emphasizing focus, the incline Y raise will help you beef up your muscles. You’ll need a workout bench with the back at a 45-degree incline. Sit with your body facing the back and rest your torso on it.

With your arms outstretched and straight in a “Y” formation, raise two dumbbells with only your shoulder performing the motion. When you stand up to perform a straight arm raise, you’ll use less effort since your center of gravity is balanced. But when you lay on your stomach at an angle, you’ll need to focus more on using your shoulders to move the dumbbells up. You’ll feel significant strain during your first few sets, but as you perform this exercise regularly, you’ll feel used to the effort, and your joints will feel more flexible, helping you lift higher.

Start Small

Since this exercise takes considerable effort, it’s best to start small and work your way up in weight. You don’t want to overstrain yourself and make future workouts more challenging, and adjusting to the heft of a larger weight will take longer. Start with a weight that takes only about half your strength to lift—that allows you to get used to the movement. Gradually increase the size of the dumbbell, and you’ll see better results in time.


You’ll use most of your arm and upper back muscles to pull your body upward, performing normal pull-ups, but there is an alternative way to increase the gains for your shoulders. Hold yourself up with your arm straight, core relaxed, and legs together.

Depress your shoulder blades from your neck and lock your shoulders for a few seconds and raise your shoulder blades back up. Perform these reps multiple times to feel your shoulders move you up and down. Like the other workouts, keep the rest of your body stationary and focus on your shoulders alone.

Go Slow To Maintain Form

Proper form is essential for this variation of pull-ups to make your muscles look massive. Rushing through this exercise won’t have the same effect of increasing muscle mass since your muscle won’t feel the strain of moving the body up and down. When you go too fast, it makes it difficult to hold your form.

Move slowly to maintain good form and put more strain on your muscles. When your muscles have more stress during a workout, they’ll increase from the larger tears in muscle fibers, making your exercise help you build larger muscles.

You’ll need to put your shoulders through challenging exercises to help them grow stronger. Use these exercises to build massive shoulders and give your arms a strong foundation.

5 Great Exercises for Building Massive Shoulders