How To Workout Shoulders At Home? (Limited or No Equipment Needed)

When it comes to working out your shoulders you honestly only need a few sets of dumbbells or a set of adjustable dumbbells to get the job done. There are multiple programs out there that are free and paid that will give you the complete rundown.

A quick search on YouTube will also show you lots of workouts. You do have to be careful when lifting your shoulders so make sure you get your form down. I myself have had numerous issues with my shoulders over the years including AC separations, dislocated shoulder, separated shoulder, and rotator cuff tears.

These aren't all due to working out but mostly playing sports. So use proper form more then anything your shoulders are connected to everything.

So how to workout shoulders at home? All you need is a one piece of a equipment to workout your shoulders at home and that is a set of adjustable dumbbells. You can do most all workouts like military press, Arnold press, lateral raise, upright row, and front raises standing up which is all the workouts you need to get a full shoulder workout. 

Home Shoulder Workout With Dumbbells

Surprisingly there are a lot of shoulder muscles to work and you aren't going to be able to work them all with any one exercise. Below you can simply go through these in successive order doing a few sets of each our you can take a look at our ultimate should workout that is super super simple below. These can all be done with dumbbells but feel free to substitute barbell where you want.

Standing Military Press: This is one of those old staple workouts and the thing with this one is you actually get a total body workout from it concentrating on the core as well.

Arnold Press: Yes this is named for the “I'll Be Back” guy himself. This is great way to workout different muscle groups based on different angles. Simple press with an added muscle group including the anterior deltoids being hit up.

Lateral Raise: Probably won't need to heavy of weight with these with your arms being extended. That doesn't mean you won't be struggling with the end reps.

Bent Over Reverse Fly: This is more of a combo back and shoulder workout also known as Rear Delt Raise. This does a great job of hitting up the posterior deltoid. You can as an alternative if you have an incline/decline bench lie face first on the incline bench to really focus on your movements.

Upright Row: This is probably my favorite should workout beside shoulder shrugs. Build great mass all you have to do is keep your elbows above your hands. This workout also targets your traps.

Front Raises: This is one of those workouts that is easy to transition into from like the lateral raise or do during a burnout session rotating from Lateral to Front every rep. This will hit up the front of the shoulder more then any other workout on here.

You can do 2-3 sets of each of these or do them as a circuit. Do not workout your shoulder in consecutive days or unless you hear differently from a professional like a physical therapist. I know when I went to Physical Therapy for AC Separations I ended up with Rotator Cuff problems most likely from rehabbing my shoulders with same workouts in consecutive days.

Shoulder Workout At Home Without Weights

If you are looking to workout at home or anywhere honestly if you don't have weights anything you have will be portable then it is very easy.

List Of Equipment:

  • Resistance Bands – these bands can actually be tense and work just as good as weights. There are quite a few different versions both rubber and polygon shown below. These range from 20-40lbs but you can do a loop and increase the weight quite a bit. The rubber ones you can also stack to equal up to 110lbs in weight.

Resistance bands 20-40lb

You can do all the above workouts with these resistance bands: Standing military press, Arnold press, lateral raise, bent over reverse fly, upright row and front raises. These bands range anywhere from $15 to $40. You can purchase heavier single resistance bands one we have is 60 and 80 lbs. You can also buy an anchor that can go in a door so you can simulate pull-up bar.

Shoulder Workouts With No Equipment Whatsoever

If you have absolutely no equipment at all and you would like to do a shoulder workout today then this is what you can do right now with just your bodyweight as your equipment.

  1. Incline Pushups – when your body is in a incline and you do pushups you have the ability to hit more of your anterior deltoid.
  2. Plank To Downward Dog – this is actually more of a great warm up for your shoulders and even a cool down after your workout is over. It will help loosen and warm them up you will feel a burn the slower you do these so take your time.
  3. Pike Pushups – this is a great workout for your anterior and medial deltoids. Get into downward dog and increase your angle and put those shoulders to work. This is an introduction into the next workout so make sure you master this before moving on.
  4. Handstand Push-ups – Once you master the Pike give this a shot and you will get the ultimate workout even better then the military press. Make sure you use a wall or something very sturdy to put your legs against.

Ultimate Shoulder Workout

The best workout is going to be the one that challenges you and pushes your boundaries but also one you can keep your balance with. I like to follow along with videos most of the time.

There are two main workouts I do for shoulders and those are Body Beast Shoulders and a workout on YouTube my wife likes to do so I do it with her which is around 20 minutes long. The Body Beast Shoulder workout is 38 minutes.

Will go over the Body Beast One First Then you can see the video below that for the YouTube one if you just want slide down there.

Body Beast Build: Shoulders

Equipment Needed: Bench or Stability Ball, adjustable dumbbells, EZ Curl Bar (optional) with plates. You can substitute the EZ Curl Bar with dumbbells and the bench with the Stability Ball.

Also just to be up front you need to be a Member of Beachbody On Demand which has a free two week trial so you can go through as many workouts as you want and have access to everything from Yoga, Pilates, to weight training, and amazing cardio workouts. When I first got into Body Beast I actually purchased it on amazon so you have that option if you still like DVD's I just like portability for my workouts so I can do them anywhere at anytime.

I had never done drop sets before this workout programs used to usually do like 10 sets of 10 with a main workout like bench press then go through multiple different workout sets and finished up with a burnout so I like this change up.

Seated Shoulder Press:

Round 1: 15 reps

Round 2: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 3: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop set: decrease weight: 8 reps


Side Lateral Raise/Upright Rows

Round 1: side lateral raise: 15 reps

Round 1: upright rows: 15 reps

Round 2: side lateral raise: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 2: upright rows: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 3: side lateral raise: increase weight: 8 reps

Round 3: upright rows: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop set: upright rows: decrease weight: 8 reps


Underhand Press/1, 1, 2 Front Raise/Rear Delt Raise:

Round 1: underhand press: 15 reps

Round 1: front raise: 15 reps

Round 1: rear delt raise: 15 reps

Round 2: underhand press: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 2: front raise: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 2: rear delt raise: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 3: underhand press: increase weight: 8 reps

Round 3: front raise: increase weight: 8 reps

Round 3: rear delt raise: increase weight: 8 reps

*optional replace ez bar workouts with dumbbell


Dumbbell Shrug/Scap Trap:

Round 1: shrug: 15 reps

Round 1: scap trap: 15 reps

Round 2: shrug: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 2: scap trap: increase weight: 12 reps

Round 3: shrug: increase weight: 8 reps

Drop set: shrug: decrease weight: 8 reps

Round 3: scap trap: increase weight: 8 reps

Sagi Six Way/Tuck and Roll

Round 1: Sagi Six Way: Light weights: 12 reps. Starting with straight arms you raise them to the side, then to the middle, lift them up, back down, to the sides, and down. That’s a mouth full – try it – it’s exhausting. 🙂

Round 1: Tuck and Roll: 15 reps. You start laying on your back and roll your knees basically to your face and roll back out.

Round 2: Sagi Six Way: decrease weight: 8 reps.

Round 2: Tuck and Roll: 15 reps.

This is a great overall workout for just hitting up your shoulders. There definitely is a science behind his workout routines and I haven't really seen anything like them before or at least the way he puts everything together. His Total Body Workout is a really good workout too.

Shoulder Workout At Home For Guys and Ladies

This is a great routine to get in with the spouse and in a short amount of times. You will definitely feel the burn after this 20 minutes if you choose the right weights.

Related Questions

What's The Best Exercise For Shoulders?

The best workout for shoulders is the standing military press with dumbbells or barbell either or. If you don't have any weights the Pike Push-up or Handstand Push-up is the best overall workout for your shoulders. You are going to hit every muscle up with any single workout but these do the best overall job.

How Can I Reduce My Broad Shoulders?

You can't really spot reduce your shoulders with cardio so definitely get with the weights. You can tone your shoulders down with a lifting program and eating healthy. Weights have a bad reputation for always bulking people up and that just isn't so it really boils down to what you eat after lifting and working out. So cut your calories and get into a weight training program like Body Beast on Beachbody On Demand or search out a Youtube video.


As you can see with just a set of dumbbells you can get a full shoulder workout in. If you want to see more on other workouts like the Total Body Workout check out our other post.

A lot of people I have heard from don't think Sagi Kalev is a smart individual and it's probably due mostly to his accent and that is unfortunate that people think that. He has a degree in physical education with a minor in nutrition he has also been bodybuilding since he was 16. He also served in the Israeli army which is credits to his reason for reaching such success and discipline.

There re a lot of free programs out there if you need a video walk through just like shown above for shoulders and also many mobile apps at your disposal.

If you are lifting lightweights don't overlook resistance bands they get the job done. With us having kids and family staying with us I sometimes move my workouts around especially because we have our younger daughter who likes to workout with me a lot of the time.

Tab Winner

We are fun loving family that lives on a small farm and tries to be healthy. We are not fitness fanatics we are just trying to keep things simple especially with how busy our lives are. We have a few horses, a few dogs, and a young daughter along with a big extended family. Follow us on our journey. I hope you enjoy the website. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. Please check back for updates!

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