When it comes to martial arts and mixed martial arts, having strong shoulders is key.
From throwing punches to blocking kicks, developing the muscles in your shoulders is an essential part of training.Learn how to strengthen shoulders for boxing?
That’s why we’ve put together a list of 10 effective shoulder workouts for fighters.
These exercises will help build your strength, power, and endurance so you can stay one step ahead of your opponents in the ring. So what are you waiting for? Start training with these shoulder workouts today and watch your performance soar!
1) Push Press
The push press is a highly effective shoulder exercise for fighters looking to increase their punching power and speed. To perform a push press, start with a barbell at shoulder height.
From there, bend your knees slightly and push the barbell upward by driving through your legs and pressing overhead with your shoulders.
This explosive movement helps to build both strength and power in your shoulders, which can translate directly into improved striking ability in the ring.
It’s important to note that the push press requires proper form and technique to avoid injury.
Start with a light weight and focus on perfecting your form before increasing the weight.
Additionally, be sure to warm up your shoulders and joints before attempting any overhead movements to avoid strain or injury. Incorporate the push press into your shoulder workout routine and watch your punching power improve over time.
2) Rear Delt Push
One of the most crucial aspects of being a fighter is having strong shoulders, which can provide power and stability during punches and grappling.
One effective shoulder workout for fighters is the rear delt push. This exercise focuses on the posterior deltoid, which is an often-neglected muscle that helps with shoulder extension and rotation.
To perform the rear delt push, you’ll need a set of dumbbells. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the dumbbells with an overhand grip.
Bring your elbows up to shoulder height and extend your arms straight back, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement.
As you lower the dumbbells back down, focus on maintaining tension in your rear delts and not letting your shoulders collapse forward. Repeat for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps.
Incorporating the rear delt push into your shoulder workout routine can help you build a strong and powerful upper body, which will translate to improved performance in the ring or cage. Be sure to consult with a trainer or coach to ensure proper form and avoid injury.
The Military Press is one of the most effective exercises for developing shoulder strength and power. It targets the deltoid muscles, as well as the triceps and upper chest muscles. Here’s how to perform the Military Press:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell with an overhand grip, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Lift the barbell up to your shoulders, keeping your elbows pointed forward.
- Take a deep breath and brace your core.
- Press the barbell straight up over your head until your arms are fully extended.
- Lower the barbell back down to your shoulders and repeat for your desired number of repetitions.
When performing the Military Press, it’s important to maintain proper form throughout the movement. Keep your core tight and your back straight, and don’t lean back or use momentum to lift the weight. Gradually increase the weight as you become stronger and more comfortable with the exercise.
Incorporate the Military Press into your shoulder workout routine to build strength and power for striking and grappling in the ring.
4) Seated Dumbell Press
The Seated Dumbell Press is a great exercise for developing the shoulder muscles and increasing upper body strength.
It specifically targets the anterior deltoid, or front of the shoulder, as well as the triceps and upper chest.
This exercise is perfect for fighters as it helps to improve punching power and stability in the shoulders.
To perform the Seated Dumbell Press, start by sitting on a bench with your back straight and feet firmly on the ground.
Hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height with your palms facing forward and your elbows bent.
Inhale and slowly press the weights upwards, extending your arms fully without locking your elbows. Exhale and lower the weights back down to shoulder height.
It’s important to maintain proper form during this exercise. Keep your elbows slightly in front of your shoulders to avoid strain on your rotator cuff. Avoid leaning backwards or arching your back as this can lead to injury. Aim for 3 sets of 8-12 repetitions with a weight that challenges you but allows for proper form.
Incorporate the Seated Dumbell Press into your training routine to improve your shoulder strength and punching power.
5) Seated Barbell Press
The Seated Barbell Press is a great workout that targets the shoulders, upper chest, and triceps. It’s an essential exercise for fighters who want to build up their strength and power in their upper body.
To perform this workout, sit on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the ground.
Hold the barbell with a shoulder-width grip and lift it to shoulder height. Press the barbell upward until your arms are fully extended overhead. Slowly lower the barbell back down to shoulder height and repeat.
To get the most out of this exercise, make sure you use proper form. Keep your back straight and your core engaged to avoid straining your lower back. Start with a light weight and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.
The Seated Barbell Press is a challenging exercise that will help you build up your shoulder muscles and improve your punching power. Incorporate it into your workout routine for a stronger, more powerful upper body.
6) Upright row
The upright row is an effective shoulder exercise that targets the medial deltoid, traps, and upper back muscles. This move is crucial for fighters as it enhances shoulder stability and strength, which can ultimately impact the power and precision of their punches.
To perform the upright row, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grip a barbell or dumbbells with an overhand grip, hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Lift the weight towards your chest, keeping it close to your body.
As you lift, focus on keeping your elbows high and close to your body. Lower the weight back down slowly, resisting gravity as you go.
It’s important to avoid using too much weight when performing the upright row to avoid putting too much strain on your shoulders and potentially causing injury.
Start with a weight that allows you to perform 10-12 reps with good form and gradually increase weight as your strength improves.
Incorporating the upright row into your shoulder workout routine can help improve your overall punching power and make you a stronger and more formidable fighter.
7) Arnold Press
Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, this exercise is a great addition to your shoulder workout routine. To perform the Arnold Press, start by sitting on a bench with a pair of dumbbells in your hands.
Raise the dumbbells up to shoulder height, with your palms facing towards your body. Then, as you lift the dumbbells overhead, rotate your palms so that they are now facing outwards.
Lower the dumbbells back down to shoulder height while rotating your palms back towards your body. Repeat for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps.
The Arnold Press targets both the front and middle delts, as well as the triceps. It also engages your core muscles to maintain stability throughout the movement.
Make sure to keep your back straight and avoid using momentum to lift the weights.
This exercise is great for fighters because it helps to build overall shoulder strength and stability, which can improve punching power and technique.
Try incorporating the Arnold Press into your shoulder workout routine for a knockout performance in the ring!
8) Rear Delt Fly
The rear deltoids are often overlooked in shoulder workouts, but they play an important role in shoulder stability and can help prevent injuries. The Rear Delt Fly is a great exercise to specifically target these muscles.
To perform this exercise, start by lying face down on an incline bench with your arms hanging down towards the floor, palms facing each other.
With a slight bend in your elbows, lift your arms out to the side, keeping them parallel to the ground. Slowly lower them back down to the starting position and repeat for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps.
You can also perform this exercise with dumbbells or resistance bands for added resistance. It’s important to focus on keeping your shoulders down and your elbows slightly bent to avoid straining your neck or shoulders.
By incorporating Rear Delt Flys into your shoulder workout routine, you’ll improve your overall shoulder strength and stability, helping you become a better fighter in the ring.
9) Lateral Rise
The lateral rise is a fundamental exercise for developing strong and powerful shoulders, making it a perfect addition to any fighter’s workout routine.
This movement targets the lateral or side deltoids, which play a critical role in generating power in punches and defending against attacks.
To perform a lateral rise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides with your palms facing inward. Lift the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms are parallel to the floor, making sure to keep your elbows slightly bent throughout the movement.
Pause briefly at the top of the motion before slowly lowering the dumbbells back down to your sides.
To maximize the benefits of this exercise, make sure to keep your core tight and maintain proper form throughout each repetition.
Additionally, consider adding in a slight pause at the top of the movement to help enhance muscle engagement and further stimulate your shoulder muscles.
By incorporating the lateral rise into your training regimen, you can build the shoulder strength and endurance needed to knock out your opponents in the ring or cage.
So give this exercise a try and take your fighting game to the next level!
10) Front Rise
The final shoulder workout on our list is the front rise, which specifically targets the anterior (front) deltoid muscles.
To perform this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight and palms facing down.
Raise your arms forward and upward until they reach shoulder height, then slowly lower them back down to starting position.
It’s important to keep your back straight and engage your core muscles throughout the exercise to prevent injury.
You can increase the weight of the dumbbells as you become more comfortable with the movement, but be sure to maintain proper form at all times.
Incorporating front rises into your shoulder workout routine can help improve your punching power and accuracy by strengthening the muscles responsible for generating force in your arms.
As with any workout, consistency and dedication are key to seeing results, so be sure to make these exercises a regular part of your training regimen.