Up the ante on your home shoulder workout with some dumbbell moves.

By Lauren Mazzo
Updated July 22, 2020
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Sure, you can get a solid shoulder workout at home with no equipment—but if you have some weights, you can increase the muscle-building power of your moves.

This at-home dumbbell shoulder workout from Rebecca Kennedy, One Peloton master instructor, strategically hits your anterior, lateral, and rear deltoids (aka the front, side, and back of your shoulder muscles) to ensure you're working the whole muscle group. With just four dumbbell shoulder workout exercises, you'll be feeling the burn in your entire upper body (triceps, biceps, and back included).

Before you start this dumbbell shoulder workout, do a full-body warm-up to make sure your muscles are turned on and ready to work. (Even though this dumbbell workout is focused on your shoulders, you should still warm up your legs and core to make sure you have a solid base for these upper-body moves.) Then go ahead and tackle the workout below—it's a simple four-move circuit that you'll repeat three times. Once you're done with the dumbbell shoulder workout, don't forget to stretch it out. These yoga moves can help you open up your shoulders, whether you use it as a cool-down after this shoulder workout or in a few days when your shoulders are sore.

Or, if you want to make it a total-body strength session, cycle through this dumbbell shoulder workout, then tack on this leg strength workout and killer abs workout, also from Kennedy. (If you need more help fitting these shoulder exercises into your routine, read up on how to build your own muscle-building workout plan.)

Either way, you're just a few sets away from super strong shoulders.

At-Home Dumbbell Shoulder Workout

How it works: Transition from one move to the next with no rest in between. Repeat the circuit 3 times total, resting in between rounds as necessary.

You'll need: A set of 5 to 8-lb. dumbbells (or 10s to 12s if you're feeling strong).

Bent-Over Reverse Fly

Start by bending at the waist, holding dumbbells with palms facing in. Shift weight slightly into heels, engage lat muscles, and keep back straight. Raise arms to the sides and pull elbows back, keeping arms mostly straight, but careful not to lock elbows. Don't round your back or drop your shoulders.

Do 8 reps.

Lateral to Front Raise

Start standing with feet together. Raise straight arms out to the sides with palms facing down. Lower, then raise straight arms directly in front, palms still facing down. That's one rep. Be careful not to swing arms.

Do 8 reps.

Upright Row

Stand with arms relaxed in front, palms facing body. Leading with elbows, raise dumbbells along the front side of body up to shoulder height.

Do 8 reps.

Overhead Press with Triceps Extension

Start with dumbbells in racked position with palms facing in. Press overhead until arms are extended, wrists directly over shoulders. Then, keeping hands apart and elbows up, lower hands behind head. Squeeze triceps to straighten arms, then lower back to racked position. That's one rep.

Do 8 reps.

Rest, then repeat the circuit of dumbbell shoulder exercises twice more.

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