Moves to Build Sexy Shoulders

Kickbacks Lateral Raise Pull Across

By: Julie Lohre, IFBB Fitness Professional
Magazine 16 #3

You’ve seen them before. Your standard muscle building shoulder moves from over-head presses to lateral raises. In fact, I would bet that you have been using them as your primary, muscle building fallbacks for years. And while they have served you well in your quest for sexy, toned shoulders, too much of a good thing can bring your gains to a screeching halt. Our goal? Add eye-catching shape to your delt caps through new moves guaranteed to confuse and stimulate.

To combat repetitive stimulation muscle fatigue, we are going beyond the basic moves. While the shoulder is often seen as one muscle, it actually consists of three parts or heads. The front or anterior head moves your arm up and allows for inward rotation. The side or lateral head draws the arm out and away from your body. Finally, the rear or posterior head moves your arm backward and rotates it outward. Naturally, these muscles work in unison to move your arm. In order to see significant growth and development, you have to hit all three heads. So, let’s shake things up and start including some new exercises to your traditional shoulder workouts.

The following five exercises can be performed at the gym or at home simply with a set or two of dumbbells. For most, 10-25 lb weights will be perfect. I would encourage you to lift as heavy as you safely can and when you start to lose form, you have reached ‘failure’. Like any muscle group, growth occurs during your rest periods so be sure not to over train your shoulders. I suggest adding this workout into your program once a week and not training your shoulders more than three times in any given week.

movement with dumbells
Start positon

Single Arm DB Clean and Press

Targeted Muscles: Anterior, Lateral and Posterior Deltoids (Quads/Glutes supporting)
From a squatting position in which the chest is lifted and straight, hold a dumbbell straight down between your legs with one hand. With an explosive movement, rise to a standing position and swing the weight up to your shoulder. Settle into a small squat as you stand. Then continue with controlled momentum and extend the weight overhead. As the weight achieves the top of your reach, bring your body to a full stand. Reverse the movement to bring the weight down and complete one rep.

Delt Skier Kickbacks

Target Muscles: Posterior & Anterior Deltoids
Begin standing, with your knees slightly bent. Bend forward at your hips, keeping your back straight. Hold dumbbells with each hand out in front of your shoulders keeping your arms straight – a soft bend in your elbows is fine. Using your rear delts, draw the weights back, arcing past your hips, keeping your hands close to your sides. Maintaining a controlled pace, bring the weights forward using your anterior delts in the same arc motion.

Julie’s Tip: Be sure not to let momentum take over! This movement is not a swing, but rather a controlled pull and push.

Julie Lohre is an accomplished IFBB Professional and women’s fitness and competition expert who specializes in helping women achieve their personal fitness goals. She has been featured numerous times in the best industry magazines. She spreads her passion for Figure, Bikini & Fitness competitions with her Ultimate Posing and Contest Day DVD Series. With her Ultimate Personal Training DVD series, Julie helps women around the world go from good to amazing to get and keep the body of their dreams.

Delt Skier Kickbacks

Rear Delt Pull Across

Target Muscles: Posterior & Anterior Deltoids with the core engaged, stand tall holding two dumbbells. Begin holding one arm straight down and the other straight across your body at a 45-degree angle. You will be using the lateral delt head to hold your arm at shoulder level throughout this movement. Engage your rear delt head to draw the elbow backwards and pull your shoulder blade back. Push forward to extend the arm back to a 45-degree angle across the front of the body at shoulder level.

Julie’s Tip: Standing tall, with your chest lifted as you slowly draw your arm across your body. Never let allow your arm to fall below horizontal.

chest lifted slowly

Full Range Lateral Raises

Target Muscles: Lateral and Anterior Deltoids
Begin with dumbbells in your hands and hold them down, just in front of the quads. With arms slightly bent, lift the weights out to the side twisting hands forward as you pass through horizontal. Proceed on bringing the weights directly over head, turning them to meet at the top of the movement. Be sure to keep your abs tight and chest lifted. In a controlled manner, bring the weights back to your starting position.

Julie’s Tip: Think about completing a full 360 degrees with your arms and allow your wrists to rotate as you pass through horizontal.

Bent Over Rear Delt Raises

Target Muscles: Posterior Deltoids

Stand with both feet shoulder width apart and knees slightly bent. While keeping the core engaged, lean forward so that your chest is at a 45-degree angle. Maintain a straight, strong back stance and hold a pair of dumbbells down slightly in front of your knees. Extend both arms out and up to horizontal keeping a soft bend in the elbow. Pause for a moment and give an extra squeeze with the shoulder blades.
Julie’s Tip: Be careful that your back does not round or arch significantly here. Keep your abs pulled in and tight

For full descriptions and video demos of these exercises, be sure to check out the full EXERCISE LIBRARY at

Supplements for sexy shoulders

Building sexy shoulders is not about exercise alone. Exercise makes it possible, good nutrition makes it probable, and the targeted supplements listed below make it optimal.

Basic (building focus while losing fat)
  • Ultra 40 liver tabs – 3 with 5 meals per day (This supplement has always been one of my favorites and I really feel this helped me build my shoulders with super high quality protein. I love how I feel more energized when I take Ultra 40)
  • Mass Aminos – 3 with 5 meals per day
  • Glutamine Select – 1 scoop with training (I can tell a big difference in my recovery when taking Glutamine Select. It allows me to train shoulders up to 3 times per week with less muscle soreness. I can get in another hard workout in 1-2 days instead of 3-4 days.)
Next Steps (off season muscle building)
  • Muscle Synergy – 4 in the am and 4 before training
  • Density – 3 in the am, 3 before training, and 3 after training
  • (Continue using Ultra 40 & Glutamine Select as listed above.)
Tightening/Contest Prep
  • Ultra 40 – 2 with each meal (6 meals per day)
  • Muscularity – 2 with each meal (6 meals per day)
  • GH Factor – 6 in the am & 6 in the pm on an empty stomach
  • Lean Out – 2 with each meal
  • 7 Keto Musclean – 3 in the am & 3 with lunch

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