What are some free weight or body weight exercises (and general guidelines) to specifically bulk up the

  • pectoral
  • deltoid
  • trapezius
  • and other muscles around the shoulders

while avoiding the arm muscles such as

  • tricep
  • bicep
  • brachio radialis
  • 3
    Why do you want to bulk those muscles specifically without the arms? What about the latissimus dorsi?
    – JohnP
    Oct 14, 2013 at 15:06
  • 2
    @JohnP T-Rex hates push ups
    – Baarn
    Oct 14, 2013 at 15:22
  • 1
    Seriously, I guess he is on some sort of split routine. Clarification would be nice, otherwise it might be good to add this to the question anyway.
    – Baarn
    Oct 14, 2013 at 19:26
  • Not a good thing since this avoids a balanced physique. In the end, the arms will suffer.
    – rrirower
    Dec 20, 2013 at 16:44

2 Answers 2


Man, I know that the above exercises would add definition, you would have to go heavy for bulk.

I like the shrug suggestion (try saying that three times fast)...but I would try doing some Farmers walks man...Intense whole body movement, works the hell out of your traps, shoulders, legs, core, forearm grip.

Won't work your triceps or biceps too much, mainly stabilization, but wow will you get big doing these, keep the weight around 100-160lbs and go for a long walk. You won't regret it!


If you are looking at working the chest and shoulders without working the arms as well, your only choices are flys of various types.

  • Chest flies of various inclinations, with either dumbbells or cables will work the pectorals.
  • For the shoulders the...
    • anterior deltoid can be worked with front raises with either dumbbells, barbells or cables.
    • lateral deltoid can be targeted with lateral raises with either dumbbells or cables.
    • posterior deltoid can be argeted with rear lateral raises, with either dumbbells or cables and either seated or standing.
  • The upper trapezius can be worked using standard shrugs, however the arms will be worked to a small degree holding the weight. The medium trapezius is generally worked through regular shoulder work, and the lower during back exercises.

That is the majority of the muscle mass around the shoulder. However, the cuban press is an excellent pre-hab and re-hab exercise for strengthening many of the muscles that make up the rotator cuff.

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