dumbbell only shoulder workout

Today's dumbbell only shoulder workout is going to be unlike any shoulder workout you have ever done, because we are going to be using light dumbbells only and focusing on perfect activation of all 3 heads of the deltoid muscle. I have had the amazing opportunity to train with Charles Glass, aka "The Godfather Of Bodybuilding" the last year and film all of my workouts for you guys so you can see first hand the optimal way to train for muscle gains. Charles trains several Mr. Olympia winners and even trained The Rock! He is considered one of the best bodybuilding trainers in teh world, so sit back and take some notes and try this shoulder workout 1-2x per week to grow your boulder shoulders!

DUMBBELL ONLY SHOULDER WORKOUT WITH LIGHT DUMBBELLS

This dumbell shoulder workout is going to consist of 8 different shoulder exercises. I recommend that you perform 2-3 sets of each one and keep your rest times to about 60 seconds. I also recommend that you leave your ego at the door for this entire workout and perform these moves in the 10-15 rep range with light dumbbells. I am a pretty advanced lifter, and for the majority of these exercises I was using just 15 - 20 lb. dumbbells. As you will see these moves are extremely challenging and unique!

EXERCISE 1/8 - DB LAT RAISE | 2 sETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME


We are starting the dumbbell shoulder workout with the db lat raise, with a huge focus on attacking our side delts and getting a great shoulder pump to start the workout. Charles teaches a unique form on this, so I highly suggest you watch the short video above. With this exercise we are targetting the largest part of the shoulder, the side delt which is what will give you that 3D shoulder look from the side. The key with this move is you want to keep your chest up, and think about pushing the weight away from your body instead of lifting the weight up, which will get your traps too involved.

This is definitely a move you will want to go very light on and make sure you have perfect form. Another unique form cue on this db lat raise is that you will be internally rotating your elbows as you push the weight up, so your hand will be pointing down. If you have a current shoulder impingement or have a nagging ache or pain in your shoulders I don't recommend this, but if your shoulders are healthy this will put even more activation on your side delts.

Perform 2 total sets in the 10-12 rep range with 60 seconds rest between sets. 

EXERCISE 2/8 - LAT RAISE v2 | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

This next move is a great alternative to the last dumbbell shoulder exercise if it irritates your shoulder, or you can simply perform it right after for 2 sets like I did in this workout to get even more side delt gains! This is once again a unique lat raise move to put more activation and get better growth from the side delts, which is the most important muscle for boulder shoulders. The form on this one is crucial. You are going to be bringing your elbows forward, keeping your chest up, and locking your elbows in place. Then you are going to push away instead of up, while keeping your shoulders locked in place at the front. You won't be able to go as high on this move, and thats the point. Less range of motion and more activation on the delts.


Perform 2 total sets of this exercise for 10-12 reps resting only 60 seconds between sets. Now that we got your side delts fired up, let's move onto some shoulder moves that will hit all 3 heads of the shoulder muscle in 1 move!

EXERCISE 3/8 - 4 wAYS | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

4 Ways are a staple in my dumbbell shoulder workouts because they will work the front delt, side delts and rear delts in 1 exercise. The exercise gets its name from the fact that you will be performing 4 different "mini reps" within a single repetition. 

You will start this move by lifting the dumbbells with a pronated grip to about the height of your face, then you will control the dumbbells in this elevated position and mimic a rear delt fly while keeping your elbows up the entire time. Next you will rotate back to the front position with the dumbbells in front of your face, and then back down slow and controlled to the starting position. 4 moves in 1 and this will activate all 3 heads of the shoulder muscle in 1 exercise. Make sure you go light on this.

Perform 2 total sets for 10-12 reps with only 60 second rest time. Remember that "1 rep" means you completed the entire 4 way.

EXERCISE 4/8 - 6 WAYS | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

6 ways are almost identical to 4 ways but there are 2 additional moves at the end which make them a lot more challenging. After you complete the"4 way" with the form instructed above, and you are back to the dumbbells directly in front of your face, instead of lowering them back to the starting position I want you to raise them as high as you can, and then lower them back down slowly back in front of your face, and finally lower them slowly again back to the starting position with the dumbbells in a supinated position in front of your thighs.

Perform 2 total sets of this for 10-12 reps resting only 60 seconds. I recommend you choose a lighter weight than you did with the 4 ways.

EXERCISE 5/8 - Db alt front raise | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

The db alt front raise is a staple dumbbell shoulder exercise because you are getting a ton of activation and range of motion right on the anterior deltoid, aka the "front delt." If you are a fan of oldschool bodybuilding you probably remember clips of Arnold doing this in Pumping Iron. The starting position of this move is your hands in a supinated grip position, right in front of your thighs. Lift the weight up and away from your body as high as you can. You should be raising the dumbbells to at least the height of your head, or even a few inches higher.

Perform 2 total sets in the 10-12 rep range with 60 second rest. This move will blast your front delts.

EXERCISE 6/8 - DB FRONT RAISE | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

This is another front deltoid exercise and a lot more targetting than the last one in my opinion. You are sitting on the back of an incline bench and just using 1 dumbbell for this exercise. The key with this move is keeping the deltoid in the constant tension place and not resting at the bottom or going to high at the top of each rep. Another great form cue is think about leaning forward slightly and not only pushing the dumbbell up but slightly away from your body. This will force your front delt to do all the work.

Once again perform 2 total sets in the 10-12 rep range and focus on going light and mastering your form.

EXERCISE 7/8 - DB FRONT press | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

The db front press is a variation on the classic db arnold shoulder press, and is great if you want to target the front delts without using heavy weight in a pressing motion. This is also a great exercise to build up strength to increase your barbell overhead press, which is a staple compound exercise you should be doing. This one you will be pressing up and slightly away from your body while your hands are in front of your face in a supinated position. Once again keep your ego at the door on this move, as you will be surprised at how heavy light dumbbells feel!

Perform 2 total sets in the 10-12 rep range resting only 60 seconds. Lets move on with the rear delt finisher!

EXERCISE 8/8 - rear delt incline fly | 2 SETS X 10-12 REPS | 60 SECOND REST TIME

Last but not least we are blasting the rear deltoid muscle, which is the muscle located on the back of your shoulders and is underdeveloped in most lifters. You will start off on an incline bench in approximately a 45 degree angle. Your hands will be in front of you in a supinated position. Focus on lifting the weight out to your sides instead of lifting straight up. By pushing your hands and the dumbbells away from your body, you will be able to target the rear delts and get in a great contraction.

Perform 2 total sets in the 10-12 rep range with a huge emphasis on not resting the muscle at the bottom of each rep.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER FOR SUPERHUMAN MUSCLE GAINS

If you want to grow your shoulders this is a great dumbbell shoulder workout to add into your routine 1-2x per week. I typically would not have such a huge focus on only training 1 muscle group in a workout however. I like performing a push, pull, legs type workout routine so I'm able to train a few muscle groups in each workout. This is the exact way that we train on the Superhuman physique programs, which utilize the power of the Balloon Method to maximize the 3 science backed ways your body builds muslce in a short and intense workout.

The fastest way to reach your muscle building goal is to have a diet and workout program that you can easily stick too, and have the accountability along the way to ensure you stay motivated and don't fail. That is exactly how Marcello was able to see such incredible progress in only 1 month on the SuperHuman Gains program! 

If you are serious about making a life changing 12 week muscle building transformation, CLICK HERE and hop on the Superhuman Mass program and build the Massthetic Physique (huge and aesthetic). Superhuman Mass spoonfeeds you a failproof blueprint you can easily follow for 12 straight weeks with your workout and diet. Most of the Superhuman Mass members report more muscle gains in the first month of the program than they have gotten in the last 6 months of lifting, as the Balloon Method ensures that every workout you will trigger the 3 science backed ways your body builds muscle. I look forward to you being my next incredible transformation on the Superhuman Mass program and connecting inside the Superhuman fb private group!