Bodyweight Exercises for Shoulder (10+ Workout)

The muscular shoulder helps you look tall and attractive from front and side view. And building broader shoulders without weights can be difficult, especially for beginners. However, you can still strengthen your shoulder with the help of the best bodyweight shoulder exercises at home. These shoulder bodyweight exercises can help you build shredded shoulders, improve mobility, balance, and posture.

Shoulder Anatomy: How Shoulder Muscle Works?

Understanding the shoulder anatomy will help you target each shoulder muscle efficiently.

Shoulder Anatomy
Source: American Council of Exercise (ACE)

The shoulder is made up of two muscle groups such as deltoids and rotator cuff. Deltoids can be seen easily from the outside while the rotator cuff muscle is situated within the shoulder joints.

When you train your shoulders, you primarily target front, medial and rear deltoids. And when you do dumbbell shoulder exercises, the front raise works on your front delt, lateral raise build your middle delt while the rear delt exercises target the rear or posterior deltoid.

However, with bodyweight shoulder exercises it can be difficult to target the muscles you want because of fewer options.  But still, you can do myriads of bodyweight shoulder workouts at home to strengthen and tone shoulder muscles.

How to increase shoulder strength without weights?

Bodyweight exercises such as pike pushup, wall stand pushups, dive bomber pushups, and handstand pushups can help you increase shoulder strength without weights and equipment at home. These bodyweight shoulder workouts can also help you build toned and broader shoulders.

Related: The 10 Best Bodyweight Exercises For Arms

The Best Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises

So, here let’s take a look at the list of bodyweight shoulder exercises.

  1. Feet Elevated Push-ups
  2. Pike Pushups
  3. Elbows out pushups
  4. One-Arm Pushups
  5. Wall Handstand Push up
  6. Plank To Push Up
  7. Push-Back Push-Ups
  8. Archer Push-Up
  9. Dive-Bomber Push-Up
  10. Wall Walk
  11. Side Lateral Raise on Forearms

These bodyweight exercises for shoulders can be difficult for beginners. So when you can’t do any pushups on your toes, you can try on your knees.

1. Feet Elevated Push-ups

The feet elevated pushups or decline pushups can work well for your shoulders as it requires you to press through your shoulders and arms.

The feet elevated pushups are harder than normal push-ups and activate more muscles than the normal one. For example, it targets the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core. And help you build a strong upper body.

BEST BODYWEIGHT EXERCISES FOR SHOULDERS: FEET-ELEVATED PUSH-UPS
Feet elevated pushups or decline pushups

How to do a Feet elevated pushup

  1. Place your feet (hip-width) on the bench, and get into “up” position in push-up with your hands are slightly wider than shoulder-width.
  2. Adjust your feet in a way so that your body comes in a decline position.
  3. Keep your core tight, arms straight and hands firmly on the ground. That’s the start.
  4. Bend your elbows lower your chest down toward the floor until your chest just hover over the floor.
  5. Hold for a second and then push your body away from the floor until your elbows are straight.
  6. Focus on your shoulders during the movement.
  7. Keep your body straight and firm during the push-ups.
  8. Do as many reps and sets as possible.

2. Pike Pushup

The pike push-up is a kind of decline push-up but there is a difference between them. In pike pushups, half of your body stays in the decline position while in the decline pushup, your whole body from head to heels stays in the decline position.

Pike pushups are harder than both standard and feet elevated pushups but it works more effectively on shoulders than them.

It tones and strengthens the entire upper body, such as the triceps, chest, core, and especially the shoulders.

So when you don’t have the equipment you can try this bodyweight workout for the shoulder.

How to do a pike push-up

  1. Start with getting into inverted V position with your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  2. Try to maintain the inverted-V position by keeping your hips high, heels low.
  3. Brace your core; tighten your hips and lower your head toward the floor between your hands until you feel the contraction in your shoulders.
  4. Hold for a second and then raise yourself to the starting position by extending your arms.
  5. Focus on engaging shoulders during the movement.
  6. Do two to three sets of 6 to 10 reps each.

3. Elbow out pushups

The elbows out push-ups or planche push-up is easier than pseudo planche push-up.

The pseudo planche push-up mainly works on the triceps but planche push-up works on the shoulder, especially on the middle and posterior deltoids.

So including it in your bodyweight shoulder exercises can help you strengthen your overall shoulder.

How to do a Elbows out push-up

  1. Sit on your knees and keep your hands straight underneath your chest with your gingers are facing each other, in such a way that when you go down your elbows are out to the sides.
  2. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, and lower your chest as close to the floor by bending your elbows out to the sides.
  3. Hold for a second and then push your body away from the floor until your arms are fully straight.
  4. Keep your body straight and firm during the push-ups.
  5. Do as many push-ups as you like.

4. One-Arm Pushup Exercise for Shoulder

The one-arm push-up is one of the most difficult push-ups to do. It needs proper technique, good balance, and enough strength.

The one-arm push-up is great for arms and shoulders. It targets all parts of the shoulders such as the front deltoid, middle deltoid, and rear deltoid.

Overall, the One-hand push-up strengthens the upper body, improves balance and stability.

So you can incorporate this workout in your bodyweight shoulder exercises.

How to do a one-arm push-up

Bodyweight Shoulder Workout: one-arm push-up
Bodyweight Shoulder Workout: one-arm push-up
  1. Place your left hand on the floor under the shoulder and keep your right arm on the back of the thigh.
  2. Your feet about wider than shoulder-width apart in such a way that most of your body-weight relax on the arm.
  3. Brace your core and tighten your lower body as well.
  4. Bend your elbow and lower your chest toward the floor, as much as you can.
  5. Hold for a moment and then return to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  6. Do as many reps as you can. Prefer reps: 5, Sets 3 with both arms.

5. Wall Handstand Push-up

The wall stands pushup or handstand pushup against the wall is an advanced variation of the push-ups. It needs excellent balance and enough strength to perform.

BODYWEIGHT SHOULDER EXERCISES FOR : wall stand push up
Shoulder Bodyweight Exercise: wall stand push up

To do the wall stand pushup you need enough strength in your upper boy, especially in arms and shoulders.

It has multiple benefits such as; strengthens the upper body; increases core strength; develop rounded shoulders and improve overall balance.

Many fitness enthusiasts used this bodyweight exercise to train their shoulders at home.

How to do a wall stand Push-Up

  1. Stand on your hands with the support of a wall. Keep your arms extended but do not lock your elbows.
  2. Breathe in and start lowering yourself by bending your elbows. Hold there at below for a moment and then slowly raise yourself by pushing into the floor with your hands. That’s one rep!
  3. Do as many reps as possible. Suggested reps: 5, Sets 3.
  4. Try your feet stick on the wall during the movement.

6. plank to push up

The forearm plank up strengthens the core, arms, shoulders, and lower body.

It doesn’t directly target the shoulders but it is effective for the overall upper body development.

It is not that tough, with proper technique and strength, you can easily do this.

How to do a Plank To Push Up

Plank To Push Up
  1. Get into the plank position with forearms on the floor just underneath your shoulders.
  2. Brace your core and keep your body as straight as possible from top to bottom.
  3. Bend right hand to bring the elbow and forearm on the floor.
  4. Bring the left hand down so you return to the forearm plank position.
  5. Repeat this movement for as many reps as you like.
  6. You can modify this push up by increasing or decreasing width between your arms and feet.

7. Push-Back Push-Up Exercise for Shoulder

Push back push-up targets the shoulders, abs, arms, chest, and back. This is an intermediate-level pushup.

You can do this if you’re good at standard or feet elevated pushups.

If you work out at home, you can incorporate in your shoulder bodyweight exercises.

How to do a Push back push-up


  • Get into the push-up position with your arms slightly wider than shoulder-width and in line with your shoulders.
  • Keep your arms extended and do not lock your elbows. That’s your starting position.
  • Bend your elbows; lower your chest toward the floor;
  • In the next step; instead of pushing yourself up as you do in the standard pushup. Push straight back, while bending your knees. Then return to the beginning position. That’s one rep!
  • Try focus on your shoulders during the movement.
  • Do as many as reps you want. Prefer reps: 5, Sets 3.

8. Archer Push-Up

The archer pushup is an upper-body compound bodyweight workout that involves several muscles at once, including shoulders.

If you’re a beginner, you can do archer pushups on your knees, and doing on knees feels easy for you, then you must try on your toes.

Doing archer pushups will also help you do one-arm pushups safely and effectively.

How to do Archer Pushup

bodyweight shoulder exercise
  1. Get into a high plank position with your hands and toes are wider than shoulder-width apart
  2. Keep your core tight and body as straight as possible from head to heels.
  3. Bend your right elbow and bring your bodyweight down at your right side until your left arm is fully straight. Keep your right elbow close to your body to engage shoulder muscle. If you flare your elbow out to the side, your shoulder wouldn’t engage properly.
  4. Pause for a couple of seconds and then bring your bodyweight down at your left side until your right arm is fully straight
  5. Do two sets of 6 to 10 repetitions each.

9. Dive-Bomber Push-Up

The dive-Bomber push-up is a challenging and effective upper body workout. It engages multiple muscles simultaneously, such as chest, shoulders, arms, core, lower back, and hamstrings.

When you don’t have any equipment, you can include this movement in your bodyweight shoulder workouts.

How to do dive bomber pushup

bodyweight exercises for shoulders
  1. To perform the dive bomber pushup, get into a downward dog or inverted V position with your face facing floor and knees slightly bend. Your arms should be shoulder width apart.
  2. Keep your spine as neutral as possible.
  3. Bend your elbows and bring your chest forward between your hands.
  4. Once your torso is parallel to the ground, raise your chest up until your arms are fully straight and face facing forward.
  5. Reverse the steps to return to the start and repeat for the desired number of times.

For more clarity, follow the video guide.

10. The Wall Walk Bodyweight Shoulder Exercise

You can strengthen your shoulders with the help you wall walk exercise. It allows you to hold your body weight on your arms and shoulders during the movement that boosts shoulder strength.

The wall walk exercise increases stability, balance, and overall upper body strength. It can also help you scale up for wall handstand push up.

Incorporating this movement in your shoulder bodyweight exercises can be useful for strength and stability purposes.

How to do Wall Walk

bodyweight shoulder workout
  1. Stand on your hands (shoulder-width apart) with your feet on the wall for support.
  2. Keep your core tight and hands firmly on the ground. That’s the starting position.
  3. Walk forward slowly as far as you can with the help of your arms, you’ll also feel the contraction in your shoulder muscles.
  4. After that, return to the start and repeat for the desired number of times.

11. Bodyweight Lateral Raise Exercise for Shoulder

The bodyweight lateral raise is one of the best bodyweight exercises for the shoulder suggested by famous YouTube trainer Jeff Cavalier.

He explained how you can target your side deltoid when you don’t have equipment.

It is easy and suitable for all fitness levels.

How to do bodyweight lateral raise:

  1. Get into a plank position with your forearms resting on ground below your chest and palms facing each other.
  2. Keep your back straight and your body in a straight line from top to bottom. That’s the start.
  3. Pushing into the floor with your right forearm, lift your left arm off the floor and rotate your body to the right until your chest facing forward.
  4. Pause for a moment and then return to the start. That’s one rep.
  5. Do as many reps and sets as possible on both sides.
  6. Focus on your deltoid during the entire movement.

If you want to Add Resistance to Your Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises, You can do the Following Workout

You can add resistance to your shoulder training by adding resistance band shoulder exercises. Including resistance band exercises can help you build defined shoulders at home.

Resistance Band Front Lateral Raise

Bodyweight shoulders exercises can also be done with resistance bands. The Resistance Band Front Lateral Raise is one of the safest and the best ways to target the front deltoid.

Resistance bands also allow a good range of motion so that we can target the specific muscles you want.

Source: Vimeo
How to do a Resistance Band Front Lateral Raise
  1. Stand straight with your feet about hip-width apart; keeping resistance band under your feet so that you can perform front lateral raises.
  2. You can slightly bend your knees so that you can firmly stand on the band.
  3. Hold the band at the top with your hands about shoulder-width. That’s your starting position.
  4. Start raising the bands upward until your arms reached shoulder level or just over the shoulders.
  5. Hold for a second at the top and then slowly lower the band back to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  6. Do as many as reps you want. Prefer reps: 5, Sets 3.
  7. You can make it easy and more effective if you do one-arm front lateral raise.

Related:


Resistance Band Side Lateral Raise

The Resistance Band Side Lateral Raise mainly targets the middle deltoid or medial deltoid. This is an alternative to the dumbbell side lateral exercises.

You can make it more easy and effective by doing single-arm side lateral raise.

Source: Vimeo
How to do a Resistance Band Side Lateral Raise
  1. Stand straight with your feet about hip-width apart; keeping resistance band under your feet so that you can perform side lateral raises.
  2. Hold the band at your sides with your hands. That’s your starting position.
  3. Start raising the bands at your sides until your arms reached shoulder level or just over the shoulders.
  4. Hold for a second at the top and then slowly lower the band back to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  5. Do as many as reps you want. Prefer reps: 5, Sets 3.
  6. Try creating more tension on your shoulder during the movement.

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Shoulder Upright Row With Resistance Band

The shoulder upright row can also be done with a resistance band more effectively. Shoulder upright row mainly targets the neck portion around the shoulder and apart from this it also targets the upper traps.

The process of doing the shoulder upright row with a resistance band is almost the same with a barbell.

HOW TO DO A SHOULDER UPRIGHT ROW
  1. Stand straight with your feet about hip-width apart; keeping resistance band under your feet so that you can perform the shoulder upright row.
  2. Hold the band at the top with your hands about shorter than shoulder-width. That’s your starting position.
  3. Start raising the bands upward until your arms reached under the neck. Your knees should be out to the sides of your neck.
  4. Hold for a second at the top and then slowly lower the band back to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  5. Do as many as reps you want. Prefer reps: 5, Sets 3.
  6. You can make it easy and more effective if you do one-arm front lateral raise

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Bodyweight Shoulder Exercises – Final Words

Body-weight exercises are now trending among fitness phantoms. Doing bodyweight workouts are fun because you can do a lot with your own body and can modify many exercises.

They have many benefits, they are adaptable, efficient and effective. Because you can adapt bodyweight workouts to your current level of fitness, whether you’re a beginner, intermediate or an advanced.

You can do them anywhere and anytime you like.

When you have to stay at home due to some reason or when you are on vacation or trip, then bodyweight workouts is the best way to maintain your fitness and build overall strength and power.

I hope the above bodyweight exercises for the shoulder will work well for you.

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