You can develop and build your shoulder muscles in only 10 minutes using this dumbbell shoulder workout. It could be music to the ears of any fitness fan who has limited time and equipment and still wants to sculpt strong shoulders.
I recently did 50 Arnold presses every day for a week to develop my shoulder strength, so I was relieved to keep it under 10 minutes this time. You’ll need one set of light or medium dumbbells to do the workout — I recommend some of the best adjustable dumbbells for more variety — but you could sub in any weights that you can grip securely.
The shoulder routine is the creation of Juice and Toya, YouTube sensations whose spicy circuits continue to clock up mass views. The duo says this is a no-repeat format designed to tone your shoulder muscles and build strength, but you can also do it for several rounds. Either way, you’ll be working for 40 seconds and resting for 20, for max reps, so get ready to feel the fire.
If you haven’t got weights to hand, this calisthenics workout only uses four exercises to build full-body strength instead.
Watch the 10-minute dumbbell shoulder workout
40 seconds on and 20 seconds off follows a traditional circuit-style format. At this time, your goal is to achieve max reps, but I recommend aiming for 8-10 reps minimum on each exercise. You’ll complete 10 exercises total (one every minute), with the option to repeat the torture from the top afterward.
Fancy names like the Goal Post Press, Steering Wheel, and Snow Angel all sound like shoulder-scorching exercises, but each one follows basic resistance training principles to work your shoulders through every plane of motion possible — side-to-side, forward and back, and rotational movement — for a well-rounded shoulder-torching workout.
There are three parts to your shoulder muscles — the anterior deltoid is located at the front of your shoulder, rotating it and lifting your arm forwards. The posterior deltoid is located at the back of your shoulder and allows you to raise your arm behind you; it also assists with sideways movement. The lateral deltoid sits between the two and is responsible for lifting your arm sideways.
In just 10 minutes, every muscle in your shoulder will be put to work, making it a super efficient option for anyone short on time, and equally ideal if you want to sculpt and define your shoulders. Your shoulder joint is the most unstable in your body, so this workout could also build strength all over and target the weaker and underused shoulder muscles you might unintentionally neglect.
To increase efficiency even further, the duo has combined several exercises. For example, the frontal and lateral raises should be done together as one exercise, targeting the fronts and sides of your shoulders in one go.
If you’re looking for other ways to build functional, full-body strength, I tried Chris Hemsworth’s 200-rep bodyweight workout, and it’s not for the fainthearted. Find out how to do lateral raises with perfect form, and these are the 3 best dumbbell workouts for your triceps
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Sam Hopes is a level III fitness trainer, level II reiki practitioner, and senior fitness writer at Future PLC, the publisher of Tom's Guide. She is also about to undertake her Yoga For Athletes training course. Having trained to work with mind and body, Sam is a big advocate of using mindfulness techniques in sport and fitness, and their impact on performance. She’s also passionate about the fundamentals of training and building sustainable training methods. When she's not writing up her experiences with the latest fitness tech and workouts, you’ll find her writing about nutrition, sleep, recovery, and wellness.