Muscle group:   The back muscles, the shoulder muscles

Trained muscle:   Trapezius, deltoid

Focused muscle:   Trapezius

Fitness level:   Advanced, experienced

Type of training:   Free weight exercises

Shoulder raises represent an effective exercise for the trapezius muscle, especially the upper part. In some variations the deltoid muscle will be activated as well.

Shoulder raises

Shoulder raises should not be practised by beginners. We can either workout with dumbbells, a barbell, or a curl bar in standing position. Some variations also allow the training on the cable machine.

Shoulder raises with dumbbells

For shoulder raises with dumbbells we either choose a shoulder wide stand with slightly bent knees or get in lunge position. Hold the dumbbells with tight grip and long arms on the sides of your hips. Tense the arm muscles to stabilize the elbow joints. Also tense the trunk muscles and keep your back upright. Pull up your shoulders maximally in a controlled movement. You could also perform circular motions (shoulder rotations). Here, the shoulders will be pulled upward and to the back maximally. The arms stay extended.

Shoulder raises with dumbbells

Shoulder raises with dumbbells

Shoulder raises with barbell

Shoulder raises with barbell work out the deltoid muscle as well. We take the same standing position. Hold the barbell or curl bar in narrow grip with both hands in front of your body. Keep your back upright and tense your trunk muscles. Pull up the bar toward the chin. The elbows pull upward to the outside. In the end position the elbows will be above our hands and the shoulders pull up maximally. The exercise can also be performed on the cable machine with the cable coming from below.

Shoulder raises with curl bar

Shoulder raises with curl bar

Antagonist: Chest muscles

Stretching: Upper back stretches

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