How to Get Bigger Shoulders: Tips and Exercises

The desire to have a sculpted, broad, and muscular physique has been a trend for years. For men, in particular, having broad shoulders is seen as a sign of strength and masculinity. While some people are lucky enough to be born with broad shoulders, for most of us, it takes hard work and dedication to achieve this look. In this article, we will discuss some tips and exercises you can incorporate into your routine to get bigger shoulders. We will also highlight some common questions and their answers related to the topic.

Understanding Your Shoulder Anatomy

Before we dive into the exercises, it’s important to understand the anatomy of the shoulder. Our shoulders have three main muscle groups: the anterior deltoids, the medial deltoids, and the posterior deltoids. The anterior deltoids are located on the front of the shoulders, the medial deltoids are in the middle, and the posterior deltoids are at the back.

It’s important to know this because each of these muscle groups needs to be worked on equally to achieve a well-balanced and broad shoulder. Neglecting any of these areas can result in an unbalanced look, which may not be what you’re going for.

Exercises to Get Bigger Shoulders

1. Overhead Press

The overhead press is one of the most effective exercises for building bigger shoulders. This exercise targets all three deltoid muscle groups and can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, or a smith machine. Start with a weight that you can lift comfortably for 10 reps and increase the weight as you progress.

Exercise Reps Sets Rest Time
Overhead Press 10 3 60 seconds

2. Lateral Raises

Lateral raises are another effective exercise for building bigger shoulders. This exercise mainly targets the medial deltoids and can be done with dumbbells or a cable machine. It’s crucial not to lift too heavy weights while doing this exercise as it may compromise your form, which can lead to injury.

Exercise Reps Sets Rest Time
Lateral Raises 12 3 45 seconds

3. Rear Delt Flyes

The rear delt fly machine is an excellent exercise for working the posterior deltoids. This exercise targets the back of your shoulder, which is often neglected compared to other areas. It can do wonders to help achieve a well-balanced shoulder. Make sure to choose a weight you’re comfortable with, and keep your movements slow and controlled.

Exercise Reps Sets Rest Time
Rear Delt Flyes 15 3 60 seconds

4. Push-Ups

Push-ups are an excellent full-body workout that also targets your shoulders. A variation of the classic push-up, known as the pike push-up, is great for targeting the shoulder muscles. For this variation, start in a downward dog position and lower your head towards the floor. Push yourself back up and repeat. This exercise targets the anterior deltoids.

Exercise Reps Sets Rest Time
Push-ups 15 3 60 seconds

5. Upright Rows

Upright rows are another effective exercise for targeting the medial deltoids. This exercise can be done with a barbell, dumbbells, or a cable machine. It’s important to keep your movements slow and controlled, and avoid lifting too heavy weights, which can lead to injuries.

Exercise Reps Sets Rest Time
Upright Rows 12 3 45 seconds

Other Tips for Building Bigger Shoulders

Aside from exercises, there are a few other things you can do to help build bigger shoulders:

1. Consume Enough Protein

Protein is crucial to building muscle, so make sure you’re eating enough protein-rich foods like chicken, fish, eggs, and protein supplements. Aim for at least 1.6 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day.

2. Get Enough Rest

Rest and recovery are just as important as exercise when it comes to building muscle. Make sure you’re getting enough rest, at least 7-8 hours of sleep per day, and avoid overtraining.

3. Be Consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to building muscle. Make sure you’re working out regularly, at least three to four times a week. Track your progress and adjust your routine accordingly.

Most Common Questions and Answers

1. How long will it take to get bigger shoulders?

Building bigger shoulders takes time, consistency, and patience. Depending on your fitness level, and genetics, it may take several months or even years to achieve your desired look. The key is to be consistent with your workouts and diet.

2. How often should I work out my shoulders?

It’s recommended to work out each muscle group, including your shoulders, at least twice a week. However, avoid overtraining and give yourself enough time to rest and recover.

3. What’s the best exercise for building bigger shoulders?

There is no single best exercise for building bigger shoulders. However, exercises like the overhead press, lateral raises, and rear delt flyes are some of the most effective exercises for targeting different areas of your shoulders.


Getting bigger and more defined shoulders takes hard work, dedication and time. By incorporating the exercises mentioned in this article and following other crucial tips, such as getting enough protein, rest and being consistent, you can achieve a well-balanced and sculpted shoulder. Don’t forget to track your progress, and always consult experts before starting any new workout routine.


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