Workouts for Women

Best Shoulder Workout for Women – According to PTs!

Shape and tone your shoulders with our fantastic shoulder workout for women. 

On top of creating a challenging, and effective shoulder workout for women, we’ve also included a list of shoulder exercises that will help you in planning future workouts too! 

Shoulders are notorious for injuries in a range of sports, and can be unstable if the muscle around the joint isn’t strong enough to support it. So, it’s important to include a good shoulder workout for women to ensure they don’t get injured or hurt during general day to day life! 

Furthermore, there are a range of other benefits aside from injury proofing too. 

You’ll find a stronger shoulder will help to support a more upright posture! With this, you could also help to reduce issues with back pain which can come around from weaknesses in muscle through bad posture and sitting too much. 

You could start doing simple exercises such as shoulder press, however this joint is quite complex, so the best way to create a safe and secure shoulder is to use a range of shoulder exercises that target all the muscles in this area. 

If you’re just starting out with shoulder workouts, you might like to check out our guide to the best shoulder workout for beginners too!

The muscles in the shoulder joint: 

  • Rotator Cuff – This muscle keeps your arm bone securely within your shoulder socket. This is actually quite a delicate muscle and can be harmed easily. It’s important to keep this strong and secure. 
  • Traps – This is the muscle running along the top of each shoulder, from the neck and spine to your shoulder blades.
  • Lats – These are the ‘wing’ shaped muscles in your back, running from the middle of your spine to your armpit
  • Rear Deltoids – The delts sit at the back and outside of your shoulder

As this is quite a small area to be working on, we don’t want to over-do it, as that could lead to injury. So when you’re looking at our shoulder workout for women, we recommend doing it just once a week along with the rest of your workout routine. 

Best Shoulder Workout for Women

Four sets of: 

6 Strict shoulder press with barbell

Three sets of: 

8 Lateral raises

8 Rear Delt Raises

Three sets of: 

12 Upright dumbbell row

Three sets of: 

12 Banded Pull aparts 

Three sets of: 

10 Inverted Push up

10 Cable Face pulls  

The Shoulder Exercises 

Strict Shoulder Press: Begin with the bar on the rack. Grip the bar at about shoulder width apart, then step under it so your elbows are pointing forward, your hands are still on the bar and it’s resting on the front of your shoulders. From here, step up and back to take the bar from the rack. With a strong grip on the bar, push it upwards, keeping your core tight and avoiding arching in the back. When your arms are fully extended, return the bar to your shoulders. 

Lateral raises: Begin with a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your elbows slightly flexed, raise your hands up and out to the side until your hands are level with your shoulders. Stop at this point and slowly bring your arms back down to your sides. 

Rear Delt Raises: With a dumbbell in each hand, bend over until you’re about parallel with the floor, the dumbbells should be directly below your chest and held together. With a slight flex at the elbow, raise the dumbbells up and outwards until your hands are level with your shoulders. 

Banded Pull Aparts: Hold a band directly out in front of you with one end in each hand. Keeping it at around shoulder height, pull the band apart with both hands. When you’ve reached the maximum that you can pull it, return to the start position slowly. If you find it’s too easy, find a more difficult band, or adjust your grip so your hands are closer together. 

Upright dumbbell row: With the dumbbells in each hand, stand in a neutral stance with the weights on the front of your thighs. From here, lift them in a straight line upwards, keeping them close to your body, by ensuring your elbows move outwards and up. Stop when your elbows are just slightly above your shoulders, then return to the start position. 

Inverted Push Up: Start in a push up position on your toes and hands, with your hands about shoulder width apart. Step your hands in towards your feet until your body is in a kind of triangle shape. From here, bend at the elbows like a kind of push up until the top of your head touches the floor. Push back up again so you’re back in that triangle shape. 

Cable Face Pulls: Using a rope attachment or two handles, set the cable machine so it’s at around face height. Holding a handle in each hand, pull it towards your forehead, keeping your elbows high throughout. Stop when your hands are either side of your forehead and slowly return to the start position. 

Why it’s the best shoulder workout for women

In this workout we’ve used a range of exercises that are designed to target all the areas we highlighted above, allowing you to develop a strong, defined and well balanced shoulder. 

Furthermore, we’ve combined a few movements in ‘supersets’ to really up the intensity on these shoulder muscles and work them in new, challenging ways. 

With this workout, you should only need to target should only need to target shoulders once a week, anything more would potentially be exhaustive for this small area of muscles, especially if you’re just starting out. 

Top tips for this shoulder workout for women:

  • As we said, this area can be pretty prone to injury, so start of light and build up your weights to ensure you keep it safe and build a strong and stable shoulder
  • Look at your nutrition when you’re doing weight training workouts. Ensure you’re including protein in your diet regularly to help with recover and building strength. 
  • You can do this workout regularly, however if it starts to feel easy, you need to up to the weights to ensure you’re still challenging your body as you grow stronger. What’s more, you can mix it up a bit too with some of our other workouts, check them out here. 


gymgirlfit was created by health and fitness enthusiasts, with backgrounds in powerlifting and writing. We've written for a number of well-known fitness publishing companies.

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