Want strong, sculpted shoulders but no time to hit the gym? Use this at home shoulder workout! These shoulder exercises sets fire to your upper body and requires no equipment to get the job done.
Target all three areas of the shoulders in just 15 minutes at home.
Your shoulders are made up of three main muscles: anterior deltoid, lateral deltoid, and rear deltoid (front, side, and back!).
In order to have bulletproof shoulder muscles, you need to hit all three heads.
And while this is done very easily with a set of light dumbbells or resistance bands (see my top four pieces of workout equipment for small spaces!), as a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialistshoulder exercises can be done without equipment as well if you’re strategic!
To strengthen your shoulders without equipment you’ve got to get creative in using your bodyweight against you.
This workout contains just five shoulder exercises (and none of them are strict push ups!) but will have your shoulders on fire in no time!
Benefits Of STRONG Shoulders
Meaning, yes you want strength but you also want your shoulder joint to be able to move in a full range of motion (learn more about shoulder mobility).
The benefits of strong, mobile shoulders include:
- Being able to pick up kids and items easier
- Reaching for things on the top shelf as we have
- Reduced injury risk
How To Warm Up For Your Shoulder Workout
When you’re short on time it’s hard to prioritize warming up the upper body. However, getting your shoulders warmed up before you work them could mean the difference between a great workout and an injury.
If you have bands, doing mobility drills before the workout is great (this will help get movement at the shoulder joint). Likewise, here is a wonderful upper body warm up in general.
If you’re super short on time, do the following four exercises back to back for 8-10 repetitions each:
- Scapular Pro & Retractions
- Alternating superman
- Downward dog shoulder shrugs
Shoulder Workout Summary
Muscle groups: frontal, lateral, rear deltoid
Length of workout: Beginner
Equipment: Towel, stairs (optional)
Your At Home Shoulder Workout
This no equipment shoulder workout uses just your bodyweight against you to provide resistance to your shoulders.
In turn, this helps strengthen the shoulders and rotator cuffs. Like any home workout though, it requires focus, control, and making sure you’re engaging the muscles you should be. Make each rep count!
How to do it:
Perform the pike press for eight repetitions with your feet on the floor (or progress it to five repetitions with feet elevated). Rest for 45 seconds and repeat for a total of three rounds.
Move on to the “B” grouping of shoulder exercises and perform the exercises back to back for the repetitions listed. Take a 45s rest and repeat for a total of three rounds.
Finally, finish off with the “C” exercises. Perform the exercises back to back for the repetitions listed. Take a 30s rest and repeat for a total of two rounds.
A1. Pike Press 3x8 or 3x5
B1.Plank To Down Dog 3x10
B2. Towel Lateral Raise 3x10/side
B3. Body saw 3x25s
C1. Plank With Shoulder Tap 2x30s
C2 . I-Y-T 2x6/letter
- Begin in a downward dog position with your feet super wide and hips in the air. Hands should be roughly shoulder width or slightly more apart.
- Tuck the elbows down from the shoulders and shoot them backward as you bend the elbows and lower your head toward the floor.
- Pause and push through the hands, lifting the head away from the floor and shrugging at the top of the movement.
To make this exercise harder, elevate your feet on yoga blocks or a bench or stair.
Plank To Downward Dog
- Begin in a push up position with a slightly rounded upper back, hands shoulder width apart, and glutes engaged.
- Push through the hands, shrug the shoulders and lift the hips into the arm to perform a downward facing dog. Really push the floor away from you and shrug the shoulders.
- Pause briefly and reverse the movement coming back into the push-up position with your hands right under or even slightly behind the shoulders.
Make it harder: add in two scapular protractions & retractions when in the plank.
Towel Lateral Raises
- Grab a towel. Bend your arm at the elbow and place the towel on your forearm against a door or wall. Your arm should be at hip height.
- Walk your feet away from the door slightly so that you are leaning on the forearm.
- Keep leaning into the forearm and slide your arm up the wall so that your elbow comes just below the shoulder. Your body leaning provides the resistance.
- Return to the starting position.
The further away your feet are from the wall the more challenging this is.
- Come into a plank position on your forearms on the floor. Squeeze the glutes and round the back slightly to engage the deep core muscles. Shoulders should be over your elbows.
- Holding that position lean your body forward over your shoulders.
- Push your body back so that your shoulders are now slightly behind your elbows. Keep rocking for the duration of the exercise.
Plank With Shoulder Tap
- Begin in a push up position with a slightly rounded upper back, arms straight, hands shoulder width apart, and glutes engaged. Take your feet wider than normal.
- Keep your body from twisting as you bring your right hand off the floor and tap the opposite shoulder.
- Place the right hand back on the floor and repeat with the left hands.
- Keep alternating while holding the plank position.
- Lay on your belly on the floor. Keep your feet together, legs straight, and begin with your arms straight above your head. Close your fists and point your thumbs up
- Squeeze your glutes and using the back of your shoulders raise your thumbs up as high as you can. Bring them back down. Perform the “I” raise for six repetitions.
- Move onto the “Y” raise. In the same position, take your arms out wider so that your body makes a “Y” position. Do the same movement.
- Finally, make a “T” position with your arms right out to the side from your shoulders.
Other Fitness Tips You’ll Love
- How to make at home workouts harder
- Everything you need to know about home workouts
- How to master push ups as a beginner
- The best tricep exercises for women
- Wicked exercises for back strength
- 3 muscles to always stretch post-workout
- Why you should use pause reps
- Best bodyweight exercises for moms
- Follow-along at-home workouts
- Fitness tips
Frequently Asked Questions About The No Equipment Shoulder Workout
It’s not a piece of equipment that helps a muscle grow or get strong, it’s the engagement, fatigue and consistency. Using no equipment exercises like pike presses, lateral raises, and shoulder stability exercises, focus so that you feel the muscles working when performing the workouts. Target your shoulders multiple times per week for best results.
Do this workout two times per week for best results. When it comes to a workout schedule, aim to schedule at least one day of rest between each shoulder workout (two is best!). know that if you’re a beginner, you may have a bit of extra soreness in the first week as you adjust.