Home Workout: Small Dumbbells, Big Shoulders


Want bigger shoulders? Think small. Yes, your deltoids can handle appreciable amounts of weight, but consider risk/reward for a second: they’re also wrapped around one of the most injury-prone joints in your body, and once you blow a rotator cuff there’s not much you can do about it.

Instead of hoisting the heaviest barbell possible aloft, then, the solution is to give them a hefty amount of time under tension – and the double-whammy workout here does just that, while keeping them safe.

How it works

This home workout’s designed to challenge the stabiliser muscles of your rotator cuff and then hit the delts from three different angles, making sure they grow in every direction. Result: impressive, injury-free shoulders.

RECOMMENDED: The Best Dumbbells for Home


Start with the push press: do ten to 15 reps over 30 seconds, then “rest” for 30 seconds with the weights held overhead. Repeat once for a two-minute set. Rest properly for two minutes, and do the whole thing twice more. Next, do 12 reps each of moves 2A, 2B and 2C without resting, then rest for one minute and repeat three times. If your shoulders feel toasty at the end, you’ve done it right.

1 30/30 push press

Home workout using small dumbbells for big shoulders. Exercise 1, 30/30 push press

Hold the weights by your shoulders, then lower into a quarter squat. Push up through your heels and press the weights overhead, then lower them under control. The “hold” is the challenging part, so use a weight that allows you to complete the move easily. During the hold, keep your midsection tight and brace your glutes to keep your lower back aligned and safe.

2A Lateral raise

Home workout using small dumbbells for big shoulders. Exercise 2A, lateral raise

Start with the weights at your sides, then raise them to the sides, keeping them in line with your body and keeping your thumbs pointing slightly downwards. Stop just shy of shoulder-level to keep the tension on your delts.

2B Front raise

Home workout using small dumbbells for big shoulders. Exercise 2b, front raise

Switch the focus to your front delts. Starting with the weights in front of you, slowly bring them up to just below eye level. Pause at the top, then lower slowly, keeping the weights under control.

2C Reverse flye

Home workout using small dumbbells for big shoulders. Exercise 2C, reverse flye

With a slight bend in your arms, bend forward at the waist – back straight, please – and bring the dumbbells up as if you were flapping your wings. Bring them back to the centre to complete the rep.

Model: Freddie [email protected] Clothing: Adidas Los Angeles shoe, £65


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here