Try this four-move dumbbell workout to develop stronger shoulders and protect yourself from injuries

Build muscle and boost your shoulder health with this short four-move dumbbell workout circuit

A woman performing a front raise with dumbbells as part of an outdoor workout by a lake
(Image credit: Getty)

Many people have swapped the gym for home workouts in recent years, and who can blame them? This time-efficient training alternative helps you build strength and boost your fitness levels without leaving the house. 

A few simple bits of equipment can elevate your home workouts too. Case in point: this four-move workout from personal trainer Berenice Salazar (@ladyfit) can help you build shoulder muscle and protect yourself from future injuries using just a few dumbbells.

You might want a couple of differently-weighted dumbbell options for the various exercises, or you can invest in a pair from our roundup of the best adjustable dumbbells. These allow you to increase or decrease their weight, so you can switch it up to suit your strength level and the move you're doing. 

To try Salazar's workout, perform 10 repetitions of each exercise back to back as a circuit, resting as little as possible between movements. Repeat this circuit for four rounds in total, or five if you want an extra challenge. 

Watch the video below for a demonstration of each exercise, and try to match Salazar's technique to make sure you're performing each one with good form. 

Watch Berenice Salazar's shoulder workout

If you're wondering, "What dumbbell weights should I use?", we have a simple rule of thumb to follow. They should be heavy enough to feel difficult to lift for the last few reps of each set, but not to the point you're forced to compromise on your technique. 

If all of the movements feel easy, chances are you need to challenge yourself with a heavier weight. If you find yourself using momentum rather than your muscles to move the weights, you might need to lighten the load.

Building stronger shoulders with workouts like this one can be crucial for keeping the surrounding joint healthy and robust. Strengthening this area can boost your performance in a wide range of sports, as well as allowing you to carry out everyday tasks like picking up weighty objects without injury. 

If that has you ready to hit a shoulder session but you're in need of some extra inspiration, take a look at these shoulder gym workouts or try our shoulder dumbbell workout.  

Or, if you're already experiencing discomfort around the joint, you can use our shoulder muscle pain workout to build resilience without adding to your existing injury. 

Alice Porter
Freelancer Writer

Alice Porter is a freelance journalist covering lifestyle topics including health, fitness and wellness. She is particularly interested in women's health, strength training and fitness trends and writes for publications including Stylist Magazine, Refinery29, The Independent and Glamour Magazine. Like many other people, Alice's personal interest in combining HIIT training with strength work quickly turned into a CrossFit obsession and she trains at a box in south London. When she's not throwing weights around or attempting handstand push-ups, you can probably find her on long walks in nature, buried in a book or hopping on a flight to just about anywhere it will take her.