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10 Vigorous Compound Exercises For Shoulders To Beef Them Up

Do you want to strengthen your shoulders and make them look more toned?

Compound exercises are a great way to tone your shoulder muscles while also giving you an all-around body workout.

Not sure which compound exercise is best for building your shoulder strength? Don't worry; in this blog post, we will discuss the top compound shoulder exercises that can be used to target and build your shoulder muscles effectively.

With these detailed descriptions of each exercise plus their benefits, you will soon have strong and well-defined shoulders.

Let’s get going:

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Best Shoulder Compound Exercises

Here is a list of compound shoulder exercises that every fitness freak must perform to build heavy and bulky shoulders:

1. Front Raises

Front Raise

The front raise is a great shoulder compound exercise for the upper body that mainly works the anterior deltoids.

The lateral deltoid, biceps, trapezius, and pectoralis major muscles are among the supporting muscles that are worked on during this exercise.

How To Perform Front Raises?

  • Standing with feet hip-width apart, grasp a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
  • The body should be held in a neutral position, with the spine in a straight line from the head to the heels.
  • The biceps and triceps shouldn't bear the brunt of the work, but rather the shoulders and other supporting muscles, so keep your elbows straight during the entire action.
  • With this exercise, bend your shoulders to bring your upper arm up in front of your body until the weights are at or above your chin.
  • In order to avoid straining either arm, it's recommended to perform this exercise in alternating arm motions.
  • You must repeat the movement with your other arm to complete one rep.

2. Arnold Press

Arnold Press

This combination compound shoulder workout, which bears the man's name, targets all three delt regions equally and also engages your back and core stabilizing muscles.

How To Perform Arnold Press?

  • Start by sitting down.
  • Keep the dumbbells at shoulder height in an underhand grip. Bend your elbows and bring your palms in nearer your chest.
  • Center yourself and slowly raise the dumbbells above your head. When you're done, turn the dumbbells around, so the palms are facing forward.
  • Reverse the motion by bringing your arms down and returning to your starting posture.
  • Repeat.

3. Bench Press

Bench Press

The bench press is an excellent upper-body compound exercise for building the shoulder because it simultaneously works the triceps and pectoral muscles.

The back, shoulders, and trap muscles worked during this movement.

How To Perform Bench Press?

  • Lie on a bench and bring the barbell beneath your head from the rack above.
  • Hold the barbell in a neutral grip, with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your hips square, and your back arched just a bit.
  • Extend your arms and move the barbell forward until it is just above your upper chest.
  • With your arms outstretched, drop the barbell by bending your elbows until it almost touches your chest.
  • Then, lock your shoulders in place and push your shoulder blades together.
  • Push the bar up one more to return to the starting position.

4. Barbell Behind The Neck Press

Barbell Behind The Neck Press

Like any overhead press variation, the Behind the Neck Press will surely result in notable improvements to shoulder strength.

Essentially, this is a Barbell Strict Press variant in which the bar is pressed behind the head rather than in front.

How To Perform Barbell Behind The Neck Press?

  • Position the squat barbell so that it is slightly below shoulder level.
  • Position yourself under the bar with your hands outside of shoulder width and the bar across your traps.
  • From here, squeeze your abs and press the bar above until your elbows lock, all while maintaining a tight core.
  • Reverse the previous step by lowering the bar to the starting position.
  • Perform 3-8 reps for a total of 3-4 sets.

5. Barbell Upright Row

Barbell Upright Row

This exercise specifically targets the deltoid muscles, promoting both strength and definition in the shoulders.

As a compound shoulder movement, the barbell upright row engages multiple shoulder muscles simultaneously, resulting in a comprehensive and balanced approach to shoulder training.

Incorporating this exercise into your routine can contribute to overall shoulder stability and aesthetic development.

How To Do Barbell Upright Row?

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip, hands slightly closer than shoulder-width apart.
  • Let the barbell hang in front of you at arm's length, with your arms fully extended.
  • Engage your core and keep your back straight throughout the movement.
  • Lift the barbell straight up towards your chin, keeping it close to your body. Elbows should drive the motion, and your hands should remain lower than your elbows.
  • Pause at the top of the movement, ensuring your elbows are higher than your forearms.
  • Lower the barbell back to the starting position in a controlled manner.

6. Regular Dips

Regular Dips

Regular dips are an excellent compound exercise that engages the triceps, chest, and shoulders.

While primarily targeting the triceps, the shoulder muscles play a crucial role in stabilizing and supporting the movement.

This engagement stimulates shoulder strength and endurance.

How To Do Regular Dips?

  • Start by gripping the parallel bars with your palms facing inward and arms fully extended.
  • Lift yourself up, straightening your arms. This is your starting position.
  • Lower your body by bending your elbows until your upper arms are parallel to the ground.
  • Keep your back straight, and lean slightly forward to engage the chest muscles.
  • Push through your palms to raise your body back to the starting position.
  • Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

7. Kettlebell Windmill

Kettlebell Windmill

The Kettlebell Windmill is a dynamic compound shoulder workout that offers unique benefits for shoulder strength and flexibility.

By holding the kettlebell overhead, this movement places a significant demand on the shoulder muscles.

Additionally, the rotational aspect engages the shoulders in a functional way, promoting stability and range of motion.

How To Do Kettlebell Windmill?

  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointing to the side where you'll be holding the kettlebell.
  • Hold the kettlebell in one hand, arm fully extended overhead, and lock out your elbow.
  • Keep your eyes on the kettlebell and pivot at your hips, lowering the opposite hand down towards the floor.
  • Maintain a straight arm with the kettlebell overhead and try to touch the ground with your opposite hand.
  • Keep your core engaged and your chest open.
  • Return to the starting position by reversing the movement.

No Equipment Compound Shoulder Exercises

These no-equipment shoulder compound exercises are best for beginners who don’t want to start with heavy weights:

8. Shoulder Tap Push Up

Shoulder Tap Push Up

The shoulder tap push-up is an alternative to the traditional forearm push-up that emphasizes the abs and spine more.

A full-body compound strength exercise known as the shoulder tap push-up targets your arms, shoulders, and chest while also bolstering your core.

How To Perform Shoulder Tap Push Up?

  • Starting in a high plank posture with your palms flat on the floor, shoulders packed over your wrists, hands shoulder-width apart, and legs extended behind you.
  • Make sure your head and knees are in a straight line as you bend your elbows and lower yourself until your chest is within a few inches of the floor.
  • Push up with your arms to return to the starting position. Keep your hips as still as you can by contracting your abs and glutes and tapping your left hand on your right shoulder.
  • Put it back where it came from and use the other hand to do the next set of push-ups and shoulder taps.

9. Pike Push Up

Pike Push Up

The Pike Push-up, or shoulder push-up, is a modification of the standard push-up that focuses on developing shoulder and triceps muscles.

The pike push-up, which resembles a cross between the Downward-Facing Dog and the Dolphin Position, is an effective strength-training compound shoulder exercise that needs no equipment.

How To Perform Pike Push Up?

To perform a push-up, start in a typical position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your elbows locked out.

Raise your hips up and back to create a V-shape with your body. Maintain the straightest possible posture.

Reduce your height gradually by bringing your head down. Wait a split second before letting your head hit the floor.

The next step is to gradually push back until your arms are straight and you're in an inverted V position.

10. Bear Crawls

Bear Crawls

Bear Crawls, although a full-body exercise, particularly engage and strengthen the shoulders.

The weight-bearing nature of the crawl forces the shoulders to stabilize the body, promoting muscle endurance. The rhythmic movement of the bear crawl also enhances shoulder mobility and flexibility.

Incorporating bear crawls into your no-equipment compound shoulder workout can contribute to insane shoulder development while improving overall upper body coordination and stability.

How To Do Bear Crawls?

  • Start on your hands and knees with your wrists directly under your shoulders and knees under your hips.
  • Lift your knees a few inches off the ground, keeping a straight line from head to heels.
  • Crawl forward by moving your opposite hand and foot simultaneously.
  • Maintain a stable core, and avoid excessive rocking side to side.
  • Continue crawling forward for a set distance or time.
  • Reverse the movement to crawl backward.

Over To You

Exercise routines, such as choosing the best compound exercises for the shoulders, are an excellent way to improve and maintain your physical fitness.

The benefits are countless and can help individuals become stronger, feel better, and lead healthier lives.

Furthermore, compound exercises are effective in achieving desired results quickly and safely.

When performed correctly, these exercises allow full engagement of multiple large muscle groups of the shoulder, improving one's flexibility, strength, coordination, and balance.

Compound exercises for the shoulder should be incorporated into any fitness routine for optimal results.

Choose from any of the above-listed exercises that complement your current fitness level and maximize your training benefit.

Remember: no matter how much or how little you choose to exercise daily, it is important to stay focused on your health goals and remain consistent with your efforts for lasting results – so don't forget to get moving!