Calisthenics Shoulder Workout without Equipment for Strength and Size

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How to get big shoulders with calisthenics workout?

I’m going to show you some moves that will boost the size and power of your delts.

If you do bodyweight training, strong shoulders are essential since they take part in almost all the bodyweight exercises you do. A typical mistake of beginners is that they do not strengthen their shoulders because they think other the other practices such as dips and push-ups are enough.

But that is not true. You need to target your delts with various exercises for strength and endurance. As a result, you will be more successful with other calisthenics exercises such as handstands and more advanced movements.

Note: In this calisthenics shoulder workout intermediate level compound exercises are included so after a set, you need time to rest to get prepared for the next round. But, do not rest too long so that you can develop your endurance. I usually have a maximum of 2 minutes.

These are advanced moves, find an easier shoulder workout at home here.

Bodyweight shoulder exercises to build strength

1. Wall Walks

calisthenics shoulder workout

This is an excellent progression exercise for such workouts like upside down shoulder press. Besides the shoulder muscles, it works all the major muscle groups of the upper body that used for pushing exercises.

Put your hands on the floor slightly wider than your shoulders. Now start walking up the wall. The best is if you walk backward until you get into a handstand position. But, if you have no confidence yet walk as far as you feel safe. At the top, stop for a moment, then walk back to the starting position.

The number of reps depends on your level. I always try to do at least 7 reps.

If you are a beginner and you can do just 2 that is still OK. With time and practice, you will be able to do more.

2. Handstand Shoulder Taps

Handstand Shoulder Taps

This is a very effective static exercise to increase shoulder strength and to prepare for the handstand push-ups. Just think about it, you have to hold your entire weight with a single arm.

You can do it by facing forward or away from the wall. To tell the truth, I prefer doing it facing toward, just like I do wall walks because I feel myself safer. But, no matter which version you do, the effects are the same.

Go up to the handstand position. Keep your body straight, and your feet close together. Then tap your opposite shoulder with your hand alternately.

If you have not done this exercise before here are two techniques to progress.

The first version is when you just press your body up with your fingers alternately. So, you still touch the floor. The second move is when you lift your hands a few inches alternately off the ground. These progressive practices also help to get confidence.

How many reps? Again depends on your strength. But 10-15 are pretty good.

3. Handstand push-ups

Handstand push-ups

If you want to boost the power of your shoulders, handstand push-ups should be in your calisthenics routine. Of course, it is an advanced level exercise, and it needs practice.

Just like the previous move, you can do handstand push-ups facing away or forward the wall. But, I prefer facing the wall, because I can focus on the technique instead of being afraid of falling. That minimum angle and the support by the wall help me a lot to keep the correct form. But that’s just my opinion. Try both techniques and pick the one that works you the best.

Obviously, the deeper you go, the lengthier the range of motion is. But if you go deep, at the beginning of the pressing phase, your triceps have to work seriously. If you want to focus on your shoulder, go down until your upper arms are parallel to the floor or a bit under that.

How many reps? This is the hardest calisthenics move on this list so if even if you can do 5 reps that is great.

4. Elevated pike push-ups

pike press up

This is a rather beginner friendly calisthenics shoulder exercise. More natural to perform and not as “scary.”

So, get a high surface such as a chair or bench. Get into a pike position in which your body is right-angled. But, keep your back and legs straight. The move is similar to the handstand push up.

Since you get help, you can do higher repetitions from this exercise maybe 8-10.

5. Handstand hold variations

A great finisher. Depending on your level of fitness you can do it by the wall, freestanding or if you are a pro with parallettes. Or, you can do all if you want. You can hold as long as you want or you can.

Tips to create your personalized shoulder training plan

If you do these bodyweight exercises for shoulders, you can build serious strength. The number of rounds depends on your level, but 2-4 circles are OK. Try to keep your routine intensive. If you cannot do an exercise correctly, it is better if you do progressive exercises instead with higher reps to build strength.

Want to build other muscle groups? Check out the bodyweight back workout guide here and calisthenics chest workout here.

Now you know how to get bigger shoulders at home. Try it for a few weeks, and you will see how effective it is. If you have more ideas or questions about shoulder workout at home without weights, feel free to ask below.

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James Wright

James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

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