People may underestimate the importance of training shoulders but the reality is that it is involved in almost all of your arm movements in the day. Think of how often your shoulders are used in the effort of lifting. Not having strong shoulders can lead to all sorts of problems. If you have decided to start getting serious about strengthening your shoulders, then you should know some of the best shoulder exercise equipment you can use in the gym.

Shoulder exercise equipment

Especially for beginners, shoulder training can usually turn out to be the most complex. Shoulders have such a wide range of motion, so it is important to build strength in the rotator cuffs and the deltoid muscles (anterior, middle and posterior). All of these things play a role when you lift something heavy or throw something like a ball.

The training of shoulders should be done in conjunction with the training of the surrounding muscles that support it. One of the major examples of this would be the back with the deltoids. The back also needs to be trained and strengthened as it works with and supports the shoulder in almost all of its movements. Machines that train the back and shoulders at the same time can be greatly beneficial to use.

The equipment mentioned here will mostly focus on machines available in the gym, free weights like dumbbells are also great options with the right exercise. The best gym machines for shoulders focus on specific exercises to get increased power and volume, as well as definition. Using them will allow you to progressively increase your effort, safely controlling at all times the resistance your shoulders have to face in order for them to develop properly.

What shoulder exercise equipment works best?

While there are many options for shoulder development, a shoulder workout gym machine is the best when it comes to controlled and focused movements. When your muscles fatigue with dumbbells the form of the action can get sloppy which can cause strain. This is where machines have value, because they will generally keep the exercise in the position that gets the most from the muscles. To achieve your goal of improving the strength of your shoulders, try some of the these below:

Shoulder press machine

There are several ways to do the shoulder press, but if you’re just starting out, doing it on the shoulder press gym machine is an excellent option. The press is a complete exercise, which affects all three areas of the deltoid and also helps to strengthen the trapezius. It is a straight forward exercise that can be paired with an exercise like rowing for the ultimate workout.

Shoulder exercise equipment - shoulder press

On the machine you must sit with your back well supported on the backrest. You must also hold the upper bar by both handles to raise it above your head, in a smooth movement and without blocking the elbows. It may take a while to get used to the weight and movement of the machine, so start with a lower weight and build up from there.

Cable weight machine

Beginners to the gym can often underestimate this machine when they first see it compared to the others. However, the cable workout machine is among the best devices with which to work shoulders in the gym. It focuses on pulling the cable which establishes a certain resistance that will demand strength from the muscles of your shoulders. The greatest benefit of the machine is the amount of different exercises that can be performed with it.

Shoulder exercise equipment - cable weight machine

Among the most effective exercises that you can do with them, we must highlight: the single arm lateral raises, rear deltoid crossovers and the indispensable face pull (placing the cable at the height of the abdomen and pulling towards the chin). These are only a handful of exercise that can be done on the machine, which allows you to combine and change the areas of focus in the shoulder.

The shoulder workouts cable machine is highly recommended if you are looking to utilise a variety of exercise to build strength.

Pec deck machine

This machine can be found in every gym and is used mainly to perform chest-flys which work the pectorals using very simple exercises. This machine works the majority of upper body muscles. With it, you not only work your pectorals but also the muscles involved in that movement.

Shoulder exercise equipment - pec deck machine

The best exercise that can be done on this machine to work the shoulders is the rear deltoid-flys. To intensify the shoulder workout, the machine allows you to do it in reverse. This means that instead of trying to close your arms together (chest fly), you put your arms on the inside of the bars (or hold the handles) and push outward to open your chest up.

From the starting position, place your arms on the inside of the padded bars (or grab the handles) and pull back so that your delts, especially the rear ones, are forced to fully extend and contract. This is among the best back and shoulder workout machines because of the way it activates the muscles.

Rowing machine

Among the shoulder exercise equipment available in a gym, the rowing machine is one of the most effective. This machine does exercises in a simple way to strengthen the upper body as a whole and achieve more development of the deltoids.

Rowing workouts are great at working the rear delts, but also utilise the shoulder in the full motion to strengthen all the muscles. This exercise can be done either from the stand alone machine or from the attachments of the cable machine. The recommendation would be to practice the form of the movement on the stand alone first, before proceeding to add weight resistance with the cable machine variation.

Rest your feet on the footrests of the machine and hold the handle bar with both hands. Make sure you control the motion of the pull and hold it for a few seconds when the handles reach your torso. This will get the best activation of all the muscles involved. The movement involved in pulling the cable is great for your shoulders to grow, round out and gain strength in just a few weeks of consistent exercise.

Smith machine

Like most of the machines mentioned, a shoulder workout on a smith machine is great for doing a variation of exercises that target different areas of the shoulders. It utilises a barbell similar to the ones used for free weight exercises, however the machine helps control and support your movements more.

Doing these exercises on a smith machine helps to reduce the risk of injury that can occur to your shoulder when it bends back in an unnatural position. A lot of people have torn their rotator cuff by going to far back into the movements with weight, which causes the muscle to give out. By at least starting these exercises of a smith machine, you give yourself a chance to master the exercise while being supported by the machine.

The recommended shoulder exercises to try on the smith machine are the seated shoulder press, shoulder shrugs and bent over high rows. This is another great option for shoulder workout equipment that you can try.

Try the best shoulder exercise equipment recommendations

Give these a go and find the ones that work best for you. Find these in the gym and start strengthening your shoulders!

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