Best Shoulder Machine Workout: Developed by Experts

Machines are powerful tools. Studies show that shoulder machine workouts can help you improve shoulder stability, prevent injuries, and improve overall upper body strength. shoulder machines are especially useful for beginners as they help them to learn the movements.

In this article, we are going to cover the best shoulder machine workouts. We also cover the shoulder muscles, their functions, and techniques to help you get the best results from your shoulder workouts.

Shoulder Muscles Anatomy

Before starting shoulder machine workouts, it is important to understand the basics of shoulder muscle and their functions.

The shoulder is a complex joint. It has a wide range of functions. The shoulder muscles can be classified into two types a) intrinsic muscles and b) extrinsic muscles.

The intrinsic muscles of the shoulder are located inside the shoulder. they are

  1. Deltoid muscles – The deltoid muscle is responsible for the abduction, extension, and flexion of shoulder muscles
  2. Rotator Cuff Muscles – There are four muscles in the Rotator Cuff, Supraspinatus, Infraspinatus, Tere minor, and Subscapularis. The rotator cuff muscles are involved in shoulder abduction, external rotation, and stabilization of the shoulder joint.

Extrinsic Muscles of the shoulder

  1. Trapezius – stabilizes and helps in the movement of the shoulder blade
  2. Rhomboids – these muscles help in the retraction and stabilization of the shoulder
  3. Serratus Anterior – helps in stabilizing the shoulder

Muscle Location Function
Deltoid Shoulder Abduction, flexion, extension of the arm
Supraspinatus Shoulder Blade Abduction of the arm, shoulder joint stabilization
Infraspinatus Shoulder Blade External rotation of the arm, shoulder stabilization
Teres Minor Shoulder Blade External rotation of the arm, shoulder stabilization
Subscapularis Shoulder Blade Internal rotation of the arm, shoulder stabilization
Trapezius Neck/Shoulder Stabilization and movement of the shoulder blade
Rhomboids Between shoulder blades Retraction and stabilization of shoulder blades
Serratus Anterior Sides of the chest Stabilization of the shoulder blade during arm movements

Why Train Shoulders with Machines?

There are different types of equipment to train your shoulder muscles. You can train your shoulders with dumbbells, barbells and machines.

The machine provides certain benefits over free weights

    1. Controlled movement – The machine provides a controlled movement. This reduces the chances of cheating or poor form.
    2. Good for beginners – if you are a beginner, you will have a difficult time perfecting the movement. machine helps with control movement and allows you to focus on the exercise
    3. Advanced lifting techniques – if you are an advanced lifter, the machine allows you to use advanced techniques like drop sets, rest pauses, etc

Types of Shoulder Workout Machines

Depending on where you live and work you can have access to several shoulder workout machines.

Shoulder Press Machine

The shoulder press machine primarily targets the anterior or the front delt muscles. It involves some triceps muscles as well. This is an isolation movement and allows you to train with proper form.

Lateral Raise Machine

The lateral raise machine is similar to dumbbell lateral raises, however, this is an isolation movement and removes any form of cheating. you would not be able to lift a lot of weight in this exercise but this is a great movement to pump up your side delts.

Rear Delt fly Machine

The rear delt fly machine mimics the horizontal abduction movement. The primary muscle involved is the posterior deltoid. This is an isolation exercise, you would not be able to lift a lot of weight but it removes any cheating. The exercise also targets the trapezius muscles.

Cable Machine

Cable is a versatile equipment and allows you to train your shoulder in a variety of ways. with cable,

    1. you can train all three deltoid heads
    2. You can train using different grips.
    3. you can do unilateral movement to train one side at a time, this helps maintain muscle balance

9 Best Shoulder Machine Workouts

  1. Rear Delt Fly Machine: Focuses on the rear deltoids for balanced shoulder development.
  2. Cable Machine Face Pulls: Engages the rear deltoids and upper back muscles.
  3. Cable Machine Front Raises: Targets the front deltoids for shoulder strength and definition.
  4. Seated Shoulder Press Machine: Similar to the shoulder press machine but with a seated position, engaging the core and stabilizer muscles.
  5. Shoulder Shrug Machine: Targets the trapezius muscles for neck and shoulder support.
  6. Cable Machine Lateral Raises: Provides constant tension on the side deltoids for muscle growth.
  7. Cable Machine Reverse Flyes: Works the rear deltoids and upper back muscles for posture and shoulder stability. 
  8. Shoulder Press Machine: Targets the front and side deltoids. 
  9. Lateral Raise Machine: Isolates the side deltoid for lateral shoulder development.

How to Train the Shoulder Muscles Effectively

“Train the shoulders from all angles to ensure balanced development and reduce the risk of injury.”

-Charles Poliquin

When training for shoulder muscles you have to keep in mind the following points

    1. make sure you warm up properly – it is necessary to avoid any injuries. Proper warmup also helps you to train and engage muscles efficiently
    2. Make sure you are using the proper form: If you are training with machines, you would be able to use the proper form
    3. Include exercises to target all three heads of the deltoid muscles – The front, medial, and rear delts
    4. Include Rotator Cuff exercises – Rotator cuff exercises help to stabilize the shoulder and prevent shoulder injuries
    5. Progress and grow – To get bigger and more muscular shoulders, it is important to increase the weights gradually

Complete Shoulder Machine Workout Plan

Shoulder Machine Workout Plan A

Exercise Sets Reps
Shoulder Press Machine 3 8-12
Lateral Raise Machine 3 10-15
Rear Delt Fly Machine 3 10-15

Shoulder Machine Workout Plan B

Exercise Sets Reps
Shoulder Press Machine 4 8-12
Cable Machine Front Raises 3 10-15
Shoulder Shrug Machine 3 10-15

Shoulder Machine Workout Plan C

Exercise Sets Reps
Seated Shoulder Press Machine 3 8-12
Lateral Raise Machine 3 10-15
Cable Machine Face Pulls 3 10-15

Shoulder Machine Workout Summary

Shoulder machine workouts allow you to train the shoulder machine from all different angles. The benefit with machines is that they allow you to train with proper form and removes the possibility of cheating. because you are training with strict form, the chances of injury are also reduced.

I have shared a list of the best shoulder machine exercises and complete shoulder machine workouts. Start the workouts and let the gains begin!

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