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As we get better at forming fitness routines that we can do from home, testing and trialing different exercises that can target different muscle groups, figuring out how to increase the difficulty to let us progress, there are some muscle groups that tend to fall behind.

The legs and glutes are pretty easy to work. The biceps and triceps get their fair share of attention too. But muscles in the shoulders can be a little harder to target.

Without the weights and machines that we’d usually use to do shoulders, it can be tricky to do a comprehensive shoulder workout full of challenge and variation.

Not anymore. Here are 6 body weight shoulder exercises, ranging in difficulty, that will help you develop strength and endurance in your shoulders without any fancy equipment.


The pike push-up

Difficulty level: Intermediate

The pike push up alone can bust any myth that you can’t work your shoulders from home. By lifting your hips up and back and putting your bum in the air, you’re inverting yourself. This means creating a vertical pushing pattern that engages the muscles in your shoulders, as well as your arms.



The handstand push-up

Difficulty level: Advanced

The handstand push-up is more advanced than the pike push-up because you’re using all of your body weight as resistance to push away from. Once you’ve tackled the difficulty and stability of the pike push up, progress to the handstand push-up to build more strength and endurance. Expert level is doing this without any support, but you can use a wall to help balance you.



Plank ups

Difficulty level: Beginner

These are labelled beginner because the movement is relatively simple to master, but after a few of these plank ups, you’ll definitely be feeling the burn. A great endurance exercise to incorporate into your workout. Start in the conventional plank position, and one arm at a time, bring yourself down the elbow plank position. Then go back up onto your hands. The shoulders are key for stabilizing the plank, and this motion of going up and down recruits them even more.



The push-back push-up

Difficulty level: Intermediate

Another variation of a push up that shifts the focus from the chest, to the shoulders. After lowering yourself down like in a traditional push up, you then push backways, bending your knees instead of pushing straight back up again.



Shoulder taps

Difficulty level: Beginner

Another modification of the plank that helps engage shoulder muscles. Lift your hand from the floor and tap the opposite shoulder, so that your weight is held in that shoulder as you do so. Repeat on the other side. Keep your feet together to increase the difficulty. Aim for as many reps as you can at one time, and between 3-4 sets as part of a circuit or workout routine.