Bodyweight Exercises for Shoulders

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If your workout consists of mostly bodyweight exercises and your shoulders are lagging behind, or you’re just looking to increase more size to them, then this article might be of use to you. The shoulders lag behind for a lot of people, but fortunately changing hand positioning and load will improve things immensely. This video presents 3 different bodyweight exercises for shoulders and their variations to make it to where anyone from beginner to advanced can do it.



Handstand Push-Up

This is a great movement if your shoulders are strong enough to handle it. The amount of load the shoulders are under makes this very challenging for beginners. He presents these variations to the movement so that someone can easily work their way up:

  1. Eccentric Handstand Push-Up – This is just focusing on the eccentric (negative) part of the movement. If you cannot maintain balance, focusing on just lowering yourself down would alleviate this.
  2. Handstand Push-Up On Floor – Since he is doing the handstand push-up with his hands gripping actual bars, this is the easier variation to that. You get less ROM with this version of the movement, but again there is going to be a lot of load on the shoulders so it is still challenging.
  3. Handstand Push-Up Against a Wall – This variation is to help with balance issues, and it takes some of the load off of the shoulders.
  4. Modified Handstand Push-Up – This is more of just an elevated push-up with the load placed more on the shoulders.
  5. Floor Push-Up Variation  — Same as above but even more load is taken off the shoulders.


He presents 4 variations to dips, mostly this is just taking a regular dip and changing the center of gravity so that the shoulders are the primary movers in the movement.

  1. Tuck Planche Dips – Again, he is performing this on bars so balance and coordination become more of a factor in performing the movement correctly.
  2. Floor Tuck Planch Dips – Same movement as above, just performed on the floor. Less balance and coordination are needed to perform this; ROM has been reduced as well. Less muscles being used to stabilize the body than the above variation.
  3. Butt Raised Dips – A dip variation that takes load off of the shoulders.
  4. Hip Stationary Dips – Same as above but the hips remain stationary as to take even more load off of the shoulders.


This is the third and last movement he shows the work the shoulders. Push-Ups in and of itself is not really a shoulder builder, although it will work the anterior part of the shoulder. What he has done is turned the push-up into an isometric exercises, where he is holding the top position of the movement. He only includes two variations to this; one which moves the body forward over the shoulders more and holds the position, the other is to raise the butt up from this position and then perform a push-up.


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