Shoulder exercises with weights

Shoulder exercises with weights must be done carefully.

Before we start, a quick word about the anatomy of your shoulder:

Your shoulder is the most complicated joint in your body.
In fact, it isnt one joint, its four, controlled by 30 muscles.

Thats right 30.

It provides the greatest range of movement in the body, allowing us to place and operate our hands in any plane.

Because it is so complicated, it is easily damaged, and damage to shoulders takes a long time to heal.

Especially im mid-life men.,

For those who are interested, the main muscle groups that operate the shoulder are...

  • The Deltoid
  • This is the large muscle that lifts the arm away from the body
  • Pectoralis Major
  • this is the muscle which lays across your chest it supports the shoulder, and moves your arm from straight out to the side to across the chest.
  • Trapezius,
  • Lifts your shoulder up.
  • Rhomboib
  • Levitator Scapulae
  • Serratus anterior
  • All act to stabilise and rotate the shoulder.
    To see an interactive diagram of the muscles of the shoulder
    (This opens a new window Close when you have finished)

    Underneath these main muscles, lie a group called the Rotator Cuff muscles. These are a group of small muscles that perform a very important function.
    They help in raising the arm from the side and rotating it.(hence the name I guess)

    They also hold the top of the arm in the shoulder socket. Be careful doing your shoulder exercises, they are very easily damaged.

    Before undertaking shoulder exercises, it would be a wise thing to spend a few weeks doing Rotator Cuff Exercises, to 'tighten up' this very important muscle group.

    Ok lets have a look at a few shoulder exercises with weights

    Shoulder press

    This works the front of your shoulders;

    Stand with your back straight, pull your belly in.

    Bring the dumbells up level with your ears with your palms facing out

    Slowly, (count to three) push the dumbells up, until your arms are almost straight.

    Slowly, (count to three)lower them, until level with your ears.

    Repeat ten to twelve times

    Do three sets

    Lateral Raise

    This will work the top part of your shoulders;
    Watch the weight! this exercise needs less weight than you think, because of the leverage of your arms.

    Stand with your back straight, pull your belly in

    Hold the dumbells at your sides with your arms slightly bent palms facing in

    Turn your palms very slightly toward the back

    Slowly, (count of three) raise out from the side, until your hands are level with your shoulder, like a crucifix.

    Slowly, (count of three)lower back to the sides

    Repeat ten to twelve times

    Do three sets

    Remember WATCH THE WEIGHT with this one:


    Here's one that willl do all of the shoulders. Its called...

    The Arnold Press

    Guess who its named after...
    Thats right, good old governor Shwarzeneggar.
    You can do it sitting or standing.
    Use VERY light weight at first, until you have perfected the technique

    Start with the dumbells at shoulder level in front of you, palms facing you.

    Move your arms out to the side so your palm are facing forward.

    Raise the weight.

    At the top of the motion turn your palms to face backward and lower the weight in one motion back to the start position.

    Repeat ten to twelve times

    Do three sets


    At all times when doing shoulder exercises with weights. Correct technique is paramount.
    Weight must be under control at all times, ESPECIALLY on the lowering phase, or injury will result.
    And I promise you, any shoulder injury, is painful and slow to heal.


    "The objective is to try and improve our muscle tone and strength. To do this we need to work our muscles, but not strain or tear them.You will need to experiment, carefully at first, to find suitable weight for each exercise.
    You should be able to do between ten and twelve repetitions (reps)of each exercise, six reps without strain but then it should become progressively harder, so by the last rep its an effort.
    If it is'nt, then your too light, if it gets hard before six or seven then your too heavy.

    You should aim to do three sets of 10 or 12 reps for each exercise with a two minute 'rest' between each set."

    We hope this page has been useful to you.
    Take the time and have a look at these other pages

    Exercise for Middle Aged Men...

    Your Core Muscles
    Best Core Workout

    Bodyweight Exercises

    How to Walk

    Exercising with weights
    Arm Workout Back Workout Chest Workout
    Leg Workout

    Weight Training Injuries

    To leave Shoulder Exercises and return to Exercise

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