Barbell Shoulder Exercises

You'll find on this page a list of shoulder exercises that are carried out using a barbell and for a few a flat bench. You'll also find comments for each that hopefully will help you understand the differences between them.

  1. Upright Row
  2. Seated Military Press
  3. Standing Military Press
  4. Standing Military Press Behind Neck
  5. Front Deltoid Raise to Vertical
  6. Prone Rear Deltoid Raise
  7. Push Press

Upright Row

Upright Row
  • The Upright Row is a very popular exercise that primarily targets the shoulder muscles.

  • While the exercise does use your bicep and upper back muscles as well the bulk of the workload will be carried out by your rear deltoid muscles.

Seated Military Press

Seated Military Press
  • The Seated Military Press is another popular exercise used to target your shoulder muscles.

  • The seated variant is preferable when you want to stabilize yourself or when your ceiling isn't high enough to accommodate the standing version.

Standing Military Press

Standing Military Press
  • The Standing Military Press is similar to its seated version in that you'll target your front deltoid muscles primarily.

  • But again with the seated version you will need input from your tricep muscles as well.

Standing Military Press Behind Neck

Standing Military Press Behind Neck
  • The Military Press Behind the Neck is often thought to be best at targeting shoulder muscles.

  • However, the risk of injury is greater than its front variant so expect to put less weight for behind the neck than for the front version.

Front Deltoid Raise to Vertical

Front Deltoid Raise to Vertical
  • The Front Deltoid Raise to Vertical is an advanced shoulder exercise that will require substantial input from your back muscles as well as your deltoids.

  • It is only performed properly when your arms remain fully extended throughout.

Prone Rear Deltoid Raise

Prone Rear Deltoid Raise
  • The Prone Rear Deltoid Raise has you lying prone on a tall bench and is an excellent rear deltoid shoulder exercise.

  • Again, you'll want to make sure your arms are fully extended throughout the exercise and that you try to bring your arms as parallel to the floor as you can.

Push Press

Push Press
  • Finally, the Push Press is similar to the Military Press although this exercise will allow you to use momentum created by your legs to lift the weight straight up.

  • Because you get assistance from your legs and back you can expect to be able to add significantly more weight to this exercise compared to what you would for the military press.

Use this link to access more barbell exercises