EstimatedEst. Read Time: 5 minutes
8 Best Shoulder Exercises for Mass (HOME EDITION)


In this video, we cover the best shoulder exercises for mass for those training at home. Many of us are being forced to do shoulder workouts at home at the moment, so we want to be sure that the shoulder exercises we are doing are capable of putting on muscle mass so we don’t lose our gains while away from the gym.

That said, the home shoulder exercises to be covered here will consist of those you can perform with either a couple sets of dumbbells or your own bodyweight. The key is that the movement can be overloaded in such a way so as to create hypertrophy.


First up is the bodyweight side lateral raise. Using the concept of relative abduction, we can hit the middle head of the delts and turn this home delt exercise into one of the best for increasing shoulder width at home. The key is to drive the elbow into the ground as you rotate your torso away. Though the arm is staying stationary, the body is creating abduction at the shoulder joint which creates a bodyweight shoulder exercise capable of building the middle delt.


If we have dumbbells, we can target the middle delts as well with this awesome shoulder lateral raise combination. Start with the heavier dumbbell and perform a cheat lateral. The key here is to swing the weight up a bit but control the eccentric lowering on the way down. This eccentric muscle contraction is a useful way to create muscle mass and overload. After reaching failure, immediately grab the lighter dumbbell and rep out with a strict lateral raise once again to failure.


Back to the bodyweight shoulder exercises for the prowler pushup. The best part about this exercise is that it hits the front delt hard both eccentrically and concentrically on the same movement with the added stretch to the delts at the bottom.


The DB Seated Z Press is a shoulder exercise that helps to eliminate momentum from the lift and in the process make the shoulders do more of the work with less help from the legs. Of course, you will not be able to use as much weight on this shoulder exercise as you may normally however remember your muscles cannot read, they can only feel. They don’t know what the number says on the side of the dumbbell. Instead, they know the tension that they feel, and if you do this right, you will feel exactly the tension needed in the shoulders to help them grow.


The frog pushup is another pushup variation for shoulders. The benefit of this as compared to the pike pushup is the angle at which you move your body is more conducive to adding shoulder mass. With the body moving straight up and down against the force of gravity rather than back and at an angle, you can effectively increase the overload on the delts and create more shoulder muscle growth.


With the dumbbells back in the picture, we want to revisit one of the best shoulder exercises for mass and that is the high pull. This is not an upright row. Though similar in motion, the mechanics of these exercises are very different. Take a look at the position of the hands and elbows on each of these shoulder exercises. On the upright row, the wrists are lower than the elbows which places the shoulder joint into a great amount of internal rotation. On the high pull, it is directly the opposite, with the hands higher than the elbows and the shoulders in external rotation.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that these two moves are the same. The untrained eye may overlook this subtle but all important difference in the movements.


When it comes to bodyweight shoulder exercises, the best of them all for creating muscle mass is the handstand pushup. This hits every head of the delts and does so with a large amount of weight.


Finally, the hang clean and press is an option for building bigger shoulders at home with dumbbells. This time, we take advantage of the momentum and power we create from the ground up. Rather than taking it away as we did with the Z press, here we want to get some help from the legs to lift heavier dumbbells into the press.


As you can see, it is possible to build bigger shoulders at home with the best shoulder exercises for mass. If you want to pack on muscle size and get bigger delts you just have to use the right selection of exercises. Using your own bodyweight or a couple of sets of dumbbells, you can put on shoulder mass at home without a gym.

If you’re looking for a complete home workout program that allows you to build not only big shoulders but a complete athletic body, be sure to head to and check out the XERO program. With no equipment at all you can build ripped athletic muscle in just weeks.

For more videos on the best dumbbell shoulder exercises and a complete shoulder workout for mass, be sure to subscribe to our channel via the link below and remember to turn on your notifications so you never miss a new video when it’s published.

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Jeff Cavaliere Headshot

Jeff Cavaliere M.S.P.T, CSCS

Jeff Cavaliere is a Physical Therapist, Strength Coach and creator of the ATHLEAN-X Training Programs and ATHLEAN-Rx Supplements. He has a Masters in Physical Therapy (MSPT) and has worked as Head Physical Therapist for the New York Mets, as well as training many elite professional athletes in Major League Baseball, NFL, MMA and professional wrestling. His programs produce “next level” achievements in muscle size, strength and performance for professional athletes and anyone looking to build a muscular athletic physique.

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