When you want to improve the strength and look of your shoulders then barbell shoulder exercises should be at the top of your list.
The barbell is one of the best gym equipment options to build muscle, and its versatility means you can use it either at the gym or in your home gym. This is especially the case if your focus is a barbell shoulder workout.
To help you get that much-wanted definition for your shoulders we’ve outlined some exercises for you to try. And while it’s true there are other alternative exercises for the shoulders, we consider these the best.
The Top 4 Barbell Shoulder Exercises You Should Use
1. Standing Barbell Shoulder Press
This is probably the most common of the barbell shoulder exercises. It’s the one we see the most images of with the bar and heavy weights either side. But just because it’s common, don’t underestimate its effectiveness. But if you’re a beginner it is good to get to know correct technique first.
There are many different names and variations of this exercise. Among these are the strict press, barbell military press and overhead press. You can also do the seated military press if you are having difficulties standing.
The shoulder press muscles worked are usually the shoulders, upper and lower back, core and chest. All of these muscles are involved in either the movement or the stability of the exercise.
2. Barbell Front Raise
Another great exercise for the shoulders is the barbell front raise. As the name suggests, the exercise involves lifting the barbell in front of you in a repeated motion
While the barbell shoulder raise is a familiar exercise to most people, you need to know how to do it right. Ensure that you lift the bar so that it is level with your shoulders. Try not to take your hands above this level so you can avoid injury.
Another useful tip is to try to reach far out to the wall in front of you when you lift. This will engage the shoulder muscles more for better results. Try to prevent using the swinging momentum to lift which won’t yield the same results.
3. Half-Kneeling Landmine Press
This is a fantastic exercise when you want to have some variety with single arm movements. While you can do the standard landmine press, this variation will provide a better balance for your barbell shoulder workout.
Usually most gyms will have the attachment for the landmine press on the floor of the lifting area. However, if your gym does not have this you can push the barbell against a wall for a similar effect (there will be more control required).
The amazing benefit of this particular workout is that the singular load focus of the shoulder provides an intense workout. It is also great for your core as it requires great stability to maintain control
4. Barbell High Pull
This exercise is a bit more of an advanced exercise targeted towards experienced gym users. For an alternative to this that is less focused on weightlifting, try the barbell upright row.
The reason why this is recommended is the enormous benefits it can provide. The level of power used in the motion will work many muscles throughout the shoulders, arms and legs.
Because of the force used in this particular exercise you need to ensure you have the proper technique. Start without weight to slowly get the basics down, before progressing upwards in small increments. Once you have learned the proper method, the results you will see throughout your whole body will be outstanding.
What are the Benefits of Barbell Shoulder Exercises?
These are just a few great barbell shoulder exercises that you can start using in the gym. There are many other options and variations you can try once you are comfortable.
Remember that you should always focus on form over weight first. So make sure that you are easing into these exercises slowly to avoid injuries.
And what other benefits can you gain from focusing on these exercises? Well, you are activating not just the big shoulder muscles, but all the underlying muscles as well. As you try variations and start to load the barbell you’ll develop bigger shoulders.
Plus, your core stability is going to get activated which can also improve your hip mobility and the underlying muscle ability to reduce imbalances in strength.
Once you have a grasp on how to effectively do these exercises, you will see incredible results. Add these into your gym program and start making bigger gains today!