How to Build Perfect Shoulders With Dumbbells

Warm-up, techniques and exercises included.

Strong shoulders usually mean you have outstanding upper body athleticism and mobility. Find out how to build perfect shoulders with dumbbells only. The workout and exercises are presented by Jeff Cavaliere.

Jeff Cavaliere was the head physical therapist of the New York Mets for 3 years and is now a YouTube sensation. He delivers clear information without noise on his ATHLEAN-X YouTube channel.

In his video, he goes through what he believes to be the answer to how to build perfect shoulders with dumbbells. Check it out.

How to Build Perfect Shoulders With Dumbbells

Warm-Up – Halo

It is important to warm the shoulders up before you begin working them out because it is the most vulnerable joint in the body given that it has some of the mobility of any joint in the body. For that, use lightweight and do dumbbell halos both ways.

Warm-Up – Sword Raise

This works on that external rotation and transitioning to get your arm across your body which leads to the next exercise.

Warm-Up – Cauldron

Make sure you are doing big circles.

Front Delt Work (Any)

If you want to know how to build perfect shoulders with dumbbells you will have to incorporate front delt exercises. You may think you don’t need to work on your front delts if you are bench pressing regularly, but if you want perfect well-rounded shoulders, you have to focus on this muscle group.

You can try press-outs or front raises to get more hypertrophy.

Get More Stretch and Range of Motion

Achieve that by doing leaning side lateral raises or the incline front delt raises.

Heavy Raises (Front, Side, and Rear)

“What’s actually interesting here is it’s not necessarily what you are doing on the way up, but what you’re doing on the way down that sparks the muscle growth,” Cavaliere explains. “We know that a forced, heavy eccentric is going to be one of the three main drivers of muscle growth and it’s one that you don’t want to ignore when you’re trying to build perfect shoulders.”

Scarecrow Row

By sitting on a bench you can bring your elbows up on the side of your body with a short range of motion.

Rear Delt Row

Do this with a little bit of a twist on the external rotation, which will blow up your delts.

Use Lighter Weights For Slow Reps (Front, Side and Rear)

“On a front raise, sometimes you want to grab those light dumbbells, really light dumbbells, and go really slow. Eliminate all momentum,” Cavaliere explains.

With lateral raises, you can do them sitting on the floor for a different effect by performing only 75% of the range of motion which keeps the focus and attention directly on the middle delt.

The W Raise with light dumbbells can be used to hit your rear delts.


This is the face pull equivalent when you can only use dumbbells.

Click here to see how to do them properly.

Use Only One Dumbbell to Press

Overhead press can be done with dumbbells, but you might make more gains utilising just one at a time. “This will allow you to press with 10-20 per cent more weight because your core doesn’t have to stabilize the combined load from both arms being pressed overhead.”

Run the Rack Down

Utilising dumbbells is easy when you want to do drop sets or run the rack down. Simply put them down and seamlessly change to a new pair of dumbbells until your muscles are fatigued. No rest in between will light up your shoulders like you never thought it was possible.

If you are unsure about any of the exercises mentioned above on how to build perfect shoulders with dumbbells, check out Cavaliere’s video below.

VIDEO-  How to Build Perfect Shoulders With Dumbbells

Read More: How to Do The Perfect Shoulder Workout

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