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Best 6 Dumbbells Only Exercises for Big Shoulders

No matter how big your arms, chest, or back are…an upper body just isn’t complete without well-developed shoulders.

Now, if you’re reading this article, I don’t think I have to do much to convince you to build bigger, stronger shoulders. You’re sold. You just need to know how.

I bet you’ve tried too. You’ve poured who knows how many hours of time and gallons of sweat into your delts only to be disappointed. I know how that goes.

The reality is anyone who says building impressive shoulders is easy is lying. It takes a lot of work–the right work–and patience. 

Take your core training by adding these 6 dumbbell exercises .

1-Dumbbell Shoulder Press

It’s certainly the number one dumbbell exercise for the shoulders. This exercise works front, side and even rear deltoids to an extent, so it’s quite versatile in an overall shoulder training. You can pick up heavier dumbbells to press and introduce heavy weight lifting to the workout with the shoulder press.

2-Arnold Press

 named for their Mr Universe-winning, Predator-killing inventor, the rotating motion at the end of this exercise hits more of your shoulder than the standard press to fill out that v-shape. "It's nice way to do a conventional press while adjusting the shoulder position to target the anterior deltoids" says White. For the layman, that's the front bit of your shoulders. Which will feel like they've been Terminated tomorrow.

3-Side Lateral Raise

Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.

4-Raise Complex

Hold dumbbells at your sides with palms facing you. Raise the weights up in front of you to shoulder level with thumbs pointing up. Complete 12–15 reps and then raise the weights out to your sides 90 degrees (bend your elbows a bit as you lift). Complete your reps and then switch to a lighter pair of dumbbells. Raise them out to your sides and up to ear level with straight arms and thumbs pointing up. Hold this position 30 seconds. Squeeze your glutes to help support you.

5-Windmill Press

Even though this is a kettlebell exercise, it can be performed with a dumbbell just as well, so it’s as good as any exercise on the list. The windmill press adds to the range of motion and allows you to work on the muscle extension. The core involvement is also great so you get indirect core training while doing it as well. To perform, do a unilateral shoulder press and continue the movement by pushing your hips to the side and reaching down with your free arm as the weight reaches the top.

6-Upright row Dumbbells

"Another great mass builder," says White. "Get your elbows higher than your hands for a peak contraction of the deltoid. The upright row also targets the traps." Compound moves like this benefit from heavier fare than the raises, allowing for less reps and bigger weights to keep your shoulders in shock.