How to Master Cable Shoulder Exercises in 7 Simple Steps

Cable shoulder exercises are a great way to build strength and definition in your shoulders.

While a well-rounded shoulder workout regimen might include shoulder exercises with various weights, adding shoulder cable workouts to your strength training program can be incredibly beneficial.

The fundamental advantage of cable machine shoulder workouts is that they allow you to move through a wide range of motion while maintaining continuous tension throughout.

As a result, cable shoulder workouts can help you increase your duration under stress for each exercise while also strengthening your shoulder muscles at various angles and positions throughout the activity.

What Is the Definition of Cable Shoulder Exercises?

Unlike free weights, this gadget provides resistance via an adjustable weight stack. A rope passes through multiple pulleys and connects to handles from which you can do various workouts.

Cable shoulder workouts allow you to strengthen your deltoid muscles from a variety of angles by using single handles, bars, or rope attachments.

The Benefits of Cable Shoulder Exercises

For shoulder training, most bodybuilders utilize barbells, dumbbells, and machines. Before you call it a day, go to the cables and do a few sets of lateral raises.

Cable exercises, on the other hand, have some significant advantages over free weights. You should also consider using cables for additional exercises during your shoulder workouts.

The following are the advantages of cable shoulder exercises:

  • Use a single piece of equipment to perform dozens of shoulder workouts.
  • Can work both arms or one arm at a time with constant tension throughout the range of motion
  • In a little time, you can strengthen your shoulders.
  • There is no need to transport weight plates or dumbbells.
  • Drop sets or supersets are simple to perform.
  • More secure than free weights

Muscles Worked by Cable Shoulder Exercises

Before getting into the cable shoulder exercises, it’s vital to understand shoulder anatomy. This way, you’ll know which exercises to use to target specific areas of your shoulder.

The deltoid muscle comprises three separate muscles called the anterior, lateral, and posterior deltoid. In layman’s terms, the anterior is the front, the lateral is the side, and the posterior is the rear.

Cable Shoulder Exercises

Anterior Deltoid

The anterior deltoid is the front of the shoulder, closest to your chest. As a result, it adds thickness to the front of your shoulder and makes you stronger on exercises such as the bench press.

The anterior delt gets worked during compound exercises like the overhead press. But you can also isolate it using different variations of the front raise exercise.

Lateral Deltoid

The lateral deltoid is on the side of your shoulder between the front and back. This deltoid muscle adds width to your shoulders, making them look wider.

The lateral delt gets worked to some extent during pressing exercises. But it’s best isolated using lateral or side raises.

Posterior Deltoid

The posterior deltoid is located on the back of your shoulder near your traps and rhomboids. And it adds thickness to your shoulders when viewed from the side or back.

The rear delt gets worked along with the traps and upper back on exercises like high rows. While it’s tricky to isolate, you can hit it more directly using rear delt fly variations.

6 Cable Shoulder Exercises

#1 Standing Cable Shoulder Press

Cable Shoulder Exercises

The standing cable shoulder press is great for shaping the shoulders as well as building strength and muscle size. It’s especially good for the deltoid muscles, which control shoulder flexion and abduction.

This exercise not only strengthens the deltoids and other stabilizing muscles, but it also improves posture due to enhanced control over movement.

How Do You Do It?

  • To correctly complete this exercise, take a wide grasp with your hands, starting in front of your shoulders.
  • Push the arms up slowly and explosively, maintaining them perpendicular to the torso.
  • Then, slowly lower your arms back down.
  • This technique, when repeated, strengthens the shoulders and provides stability when lifting greater weights.

#2 Seated Cable Rear Delt Fly

Cable Shoulder Exercises

The seated cable rear delt fly is an excellent exercise to help you strengthen, shape, and sculpt your shoulders. This exercise works the posterior deltoid muscles and helps improve shoulder stability.

Benefits of this exercise include improved thoracic spine posture, increased strength in all directions of shoulder articulations, and better functionality during other related movements such as rowing supports or pushups.

How to Do It?

  • To perform a seated cable rear delt fly, sit on a highly stable bench with a low pulley station directly in front of you.
  • With your lower back supported against the backrest, hold each handle of the pulley in either hand.
  • Bring your arms out to your sides at a 45-degree angle with palms facing down, be sure to keep your elbows slightly bent.
  • Now pull your hands together towards one another in a smooth, controlled motion until they meet at the centerline of your body and pause for one second.
  • Slowly bring them back to the starting position and proceed for the desired reps.

#3  Cable Upright Row

Cable Shoulder Exercises

Cable upright rows are a fantastic shoulder toning and strengthening workout. They not only shape and contour your upper body, but they also work various muscle groups, such as the trapezius and rhomboids in the back and the deltoids above the front muscles of the chest below.

How Do You Do It?

  • To begin, face a cable machine with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart.
  • Overhand grasp the handle, arms wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Exhale while keeping your core engaged; force your elbows up towards the sky until your hands are at chin height.
  • Pause for a moment, then slowly lower yourself back to the starting position before repeating.
  • To reap the full benefits of the cable upright row, execute 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions with moderate weight.

#4 Standing Cable Face Pull

Cable Shoulder Exercises

The Standing Cable Face Pull is a simple and effective workout for sculpting your shoulders. It entails utilizing a cable machine to draw a rope across the body with both hands at shoulder height. It provides broad benefits by strengthening your rear deltoids, teres major, rhomboids, and trapezius muscles.

Some of the most significant advantages are improved posture, increased upper back stability, and greater control of the shoulder blades for streamlined dynamic movement. It also aids in the improvement of mobility and flexibility within the shoulder joint.

How to Do It?

  • To perform a Standing Cable Face Pull, stand facing away from the cable machine with a straight body and your feet aligned at hip level.
  • Hold the handle with an overhand hold on each side before drawing it outward towards you horizontally at shoulder blade level.
  • Depending on strength levels and personal inclination, this can be done for 1-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.

#5 Standing Cable Lateral Raise

Cable Shoulder Exercises

For those looking for an exercise that sculpts and tones their shoulders, the Standing Cable Lateral Raise is an ideal choice. This highly effective workout targets all three deltoid muscles simultaneously and provides maximum benefits in the shortest possible time. Benefits include increased strength, improved muscular endurance and stability, and a more defined silhouette.

How to Do It?

  • To perform this exercise, stand close to a cable station with weight on either side and raise both arms to shoulder level while keeping them straight.
  • Lower your arms to the starting position one arm at a time, ensuring you control the weight throughout the entire range of motion.
  • Complete these repetitions for several sets with progressively heavier weights for best results.

#6 Cable Shoulder Press

Cable Shoulder Exercises

The cable shoulder press is an excellent exercise for shaping your physique. This workout strengthens the shoulders and deltoids, resulting in a more attractive upper body. It also aids in the definition of the traps and triceps.

How to Do It?

  • Begin this exercise by grasping the cable handle with both hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  • Push up with both arms until they are nearly completely extended, then slowly return your arms to their starting position, squeezing your shoulders at the top of the press.
  • With constant repetitions of this activity, you’ll notice a difference in the definition of your upper body!

#7 Cable Rear Delt Raise

Cable Shoulder Exercises

The cable rear delt raise is an excellent exercise for sculpting and working the shoulders from various angles. It targets back muscles in the shoulders and can help strengthen the posterior chain.

How to Do It?

  • To complete this exercise, you’ll need access to a cable machine.
  • Set the pulley as low as possible and use a rope attachment (if available).
  • With your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a soft bend in your knees, grip the rope securely with both hands at shoulder height.
  • Raise your elbows up and out until they reach shoulder level, keeping them slightly bent throughout the entire movement and avoiding any sway in your lower back or torso while you pull up on the cable machine.
  • Lower it back down slowly and under control to feel that deep stretch in the shoulder before completing another repetition.

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