10 Cable Shoulder Workouts For Amazing Boulder Shoulders

10 cable shoulder workout

Cable shoulder workouts are highly under rated. In the gym, it’s safe to say that there are a few muscle groups that are more important than others. Of course, there are a few that are just there for show, but the majority of the body is going to be targeted by these top-priority muscles.

One of them is the shoulder. This is a hard-working muscle group that is often overlooked by many, but it is a key part of a well-defined upper body. If you want big, strong shoulders, you’re going to need to make sure you’re doing the right exercises. 

In this article, we’ll be taking a close look at some specific shoulder cable workouts that will serve to target every aspect of the shoulder muscles. These exercises involve the front, side, and rear laterals.

In the end, you’ll discover that there’s one great workout that can be done on a Cable Shoulder Workouts machine and that we encourage you to follow it on a regular basis. To begin with, we’re going to discuss the exercises.

cable shoulder workouts

What are Cable shoulder workouts? 

Cable Shoulder Workouts are a simple way to target some of your body’s biggest muscle groups. The shoulder area is a very complex area of the body, as it consists of several different muscles. These muscles include the pectoralis major, the deltoids, the trapezius, the serratus anterior, the levator scapula, and the rhomboids. If you ignore your shoulder workouts, your shoulders will suffer for it. The shoulder muscles are large and cumbersome, and can easily become uneven and disproportionate if you don’t work them regularly.

Cable shoulder workouts are the best way to train your shoulders. There are several techniques that can be used to build your shoulders. The two most popular are using free weights and the shoulder press machine. Although, one of the best ways to train your shoulders is using cables. I’m sure you have seen pictures of people with huge, round shoulders. These people are the ones who have really worked their shoulders to the point of overdevelopment. You can achieve the same results by following a proper Cable Shoulder Workouts.

Hammer curl

Benefits of Cable Shoulder Workouts:

  • Boost other workouts

Improving your upper-body strength can also help your ability in other workout. If you look at the majority of high intensity training and circuit classes, most exercises will include moves that hit the upper body such as planks, press-ups or mountain climbers. Thus, by making improvements to your upper body you’ll be able to make the most out of these workouts without having to modify them so much because you lack strength or endurance. 

  • Improve posture

When strengthening the muscles, your body will naturally begin to feel as though it’s more important to hold everything that you’ve got up high as opposed to down low. It sounds silly, but it’s something that naturally happens once you become stronger and more consistent with your routine. Ultimately, it will help your posture and make you feel as Though your core actually has some strength left to utilize and build upon!

  • Improve Metabolism

Shoulder workout training can help get rid of excess body fat when paired with a controlled calorie deficit diet. Shredded shoulders give you a leaner, more toned appearance.

Best Cable Shoulder Workouts:

Below are all of the shoulder exercises you’d need to include in your workout. You’ll find detailed descriptions of the exercises you’ll be doing to complete each workout.

One-Arm Cable Lateral Raise

The reverse cable crossover targets the middle deltoid muscles and delivers ample tension. It is similar to the reverse cable kickback, only with the handles grasped in each hand.

How to perform:

Stand sideways to a cable machine with your left foot forward. Use the handle in your right hand while keeping both of your feet shoulder-width apart. Reach behind you while clenching your abs tight and pulling your shoulders back. Using just the motion of your arm and shoulder, pull the cable upwards towards the ceiling, stopping when it’s at about shoulder level before slowly returning back to its original position. Do this several times then switch sides. Your hand and elbow should move together simultaneously throughout the full range of motion during each repetition.

Press Cable Shoulder Workouts

When it comes down to working your shoulders, either the front of the shoulder muscle of the back or rear delts is going to be engaged depending on which type of overhead press you choose. The pull of a cable machine will engage your middle delts though, working all different heads of both shoulder muscles at once! If using a free weight instead, step away from the free weight bench and turn your shoulders more horizontally towards either side to maximize engagement. Thats an amazing routine for Cable Shoulder Workouts.

How to perform:

Before you get started, always double check that there is a safety latch on the machine and a spotter to help if something goes wrong. Once you have set yourself up at the Cable Shoulder Workouts station machine, find a comfortable standing position while holding on to the handles. Take a deep breath in, and let it out as you press your arms straight up until they are fully extended over your head. Slowly lower back down again to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times for 3 sets with 1 minute rest in between.

Cable Shoulder Workouts Alternating Press

There are many different ways to do the alternating overhead cable press, one arm at a time if you’re stuck with just doing it by yourself. Before you know it you won’t even notice that your core is being engaged to keep the body vertical since that’s pretty much what it does regardless of what else we’re doing out there, right? Deltoids are targeted, but this exercise also works the biceps along with brachioradialis – which would otherwise be missed out on during any other type of shoulder workout.

How to perform:

Position stirrups at the lowest point available. Stand facing away from the cable machine with one leg placed in front of the other and grab the stirrups with a neutral grip. Start with your hands at shoulder height, arms bent in front of you at about 90 degrees with your elbows tucked in close to your body. Press away from the handle up towards the ceiling.

The upper arm should be parallel to either side of your head while simultaneously retracting your shoulder blades back into their sockets behind you. Bring the weight back down then press into that same arm up towards the ceiling again, repeating for desired repetitions on one side before switching over to the opposite side.

Kneeling Shoulder Press

If you’re an individual who is looking to work on their arms but wants to maintain the proper form behind the workout, changing your body position during the overhead press will help ensure you stay straight and narrow rather than using any leg drive to actually press the weight up. The close grip ensures that all shoulder-related muscles are being worked out the most – mainly your front delts, pecs and triceps and is a great example of cable shoulder workouts

How to perform:

So in this move, we’re going to start at the Cable Shoulder Workouts machine and what we want to do is set up

the stirrups. Now, when doing so it is important that they are low enough so that your feet can rest in them comfortably. The next step would be to kneel in such a way so that you face towards the cable machine and grasp onto them with your overhand grip.

To get into position simply bring your hands up until they meet at the upper chest, elbows bent at a 90 degree angle tucked into front of you then press straight into that forward motion. We want to make sure that our arms are fully extended into that overhead position and then slowly return back to the starting point from where we came from. From there we’ll be ready for our next repetition.

Cable CrossOver Reverse Fly

While the middle delts are usually not an issue when it comes to problems in specific muscle groups, most people often forget about this working group out of habit. The cable cross over bent over reverse fly is really no different than the last exercise except you’ll be targeting both shoulders at once by using two sets of weights instead of one.

How to perform:

Place the cables on the ground in front of you. Lock your feet into the stirrups at both sides of where the cables are attached so that your body is perfectly straight when you are in a standing position. As with all cable exercises, you have to remember not to let yourself get too close or too far from where the attachments are placed so that your resistance is always ideal for whatever movements you’ve set out to do.

Keeping your back straight and most importantly, your shoulders level throughout this exercise means that you’re working correctly! Bring the handles just below shoulder level while keeping them next to each other throughout – then slowly return back to starting position after squeezing with intensity for one second.

Cable Standing Front Raise Variation

Use this front cable to raise variation only if you’re only willing to bring it hard. This particular variation of the movement involves lifting the weight up with one arm bar at a time or with two arms on one side, or with a single handle in a rack position with one arm at a time. The common theme among these variations is that both hands will come together momentarily until reaching the top of the movement – which is where they’ll stay for a short period of time warming up your delts and traps.

How to perform:

Set the cable at its lowest setting with a curl bar attached to it. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart facing away from the machine. Reach down and grab the bar behind you with both hands using an overhand grip, stopping when your arms are straight out in front of you with your shoulders square to the machine. Without bending your knees, lift up off of the floor until you reach shoulder level with your arms still fully extended in front of you.

Lower slowly back down to starting position. Repeat for reps, alternating which side you lift up on each time.

Side Lying Lateral Raise

This variation of the lateral raise is great for increasing strength. If you are on the floor, there’s no reason to cheat with momentum. Instead, it’s extremely effective because your body position allows for maximum isolation of your side delt. This exercise can be performed on either the floor or a bench.

How to perform:

For this exercise you’ll need a stirrup, which is basically just a small loop of wire. Now with the stirrup attached to the cable machine at its lowest setting, position yourself with your side facing the machine so that when you lie on your side reaching out with one foot in front of you your front leg is in line with the pulley. Grab onto this portion of the cable with an overhand grip using your upper arm.

Now what you’re going to do is brace your right hand on the floor beside your shoulder. Start by slowly lifting up until both arms are parallel with one another then slowly return to the starting position again. Repeat for desired amount of reps before repeating on the other side.

Cable Twisting Overhead Press

This is a truly functional exercise that helps not just build strength in one’s shoulders, but also strengthens the arms by making them work together with the core and legs to get the job done. If you’re looking for an exercise that builds not just shoulder strength but overall skill by building coordination, agility, and balance while also toning up your arms this excellent movement is what you should give a try.

How to perform:

Attach a stirrup handle to a low pulley and set it at belly-button level. Stand sideways to the weight stack, facing the machine as you would for a push-up. Place one foot slightly in front of the other, then extend your arms out by your sides, balancing your weight on the ball of your back foot and lowering yourself into a quarter squat.

Bend at the waist and cross your arms so they touch in front of you. Next press up and across until your arm is fully extended, without letting any portion of your body rise out of proper alignment with any other part. 

Cable Shoulder Workouts High Row

This variation of the row has your arms fully extended but allows you to use your back and shoulder muscles as you bend over as far as possible. Your feet are anchored into place helps to give extra stability. This Cable Shoulder Workouts can be a great workout for anyone who has trouble with rows because it allows you to work out those mechanics without having to twist around and put excess strain on yourself before back pain starts setting in.

How to perform:

Set the Cable Shoulder Workouts machine up against a wall that is higher than the one your bike is resting on. Attach either end of the rope to each side of the machine’s pulley, then grab both ends of the rope with each hand and stand back at arm’s length. Place your knees on the ground facing forward and use your arms to pull back on the ropes so that you place some tension on them. Make sure to keep pulling throughout the motion so as not to lose momentum before finally returning to arm’s length. Repeat for desired number of repetitions.

Cable Shrug

A lot of people think that traps are exclusive to having gigantic deltoid muscles, but shoulder muscles are involved in the movement of the trapezoids. That’s not to say that cable shrugs is an exercise solely for deltoids. What makes it so amazing is because one can choose between many variables of weights and reps, they are able to manipulate different parts of their traps strategically so as to work differently with respect to effectiveness.

How to perform:

Grab the bar with your hands shoulder width apart. Attach the cable at the lowest setting possible. Now grab the bar and take a step back. While standing straight, contract your traps in order to stretch them out so they can exercise more effectively. Hold this position for one second while remaining in control of your shoulders which you should never let raise past horizontal throughout the movement.

Slowly move your arms until they are back to their original position next to your body, taking care to hold this position momentarily before repeating the entire process again for 6-10 reps to complete one set!

Final Thoughts:

We hope you enjoyed our blog about cable shoulder workouts. We tried to give you a variety of different exercises so that you can mix and match and find a routine that works well for you and your body! If you’d like to find more information like this, we suggest you check out some of our other blogs. 


How many shoulder exercises should I do per workout?

The ideal workout regimen consists of initially doing 2 sets of exercises for each muscle area to be trained, and then doing the same muscle area at least 1 more time within a week.

Can I do shoulder workout everyday?

It’s recommended to do these exercises at least one to three times per week with at least one day in between sessions. Do some weight training, and build up duration and intensity. This will help you prevent injury while also improving strength. 

Do cable exercises build muscle?

To make your fitness routine a little more interesting and much more challenging, simply adding cable exercises to it can enable you to train muscles from different angles while getting a great workout.

Are cables better than weights?

Cables are far less clunky than free weights, which makes them smoother and more fluid when used. Using a series of pulleys means you’re less likely to get hurt because you’re not directly pushing or pulling against gravity’s force in the same way that you do when using free weights where the only thing helping you out is your own strength.

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