Shoulders joints enable a greater range of motion than any other body part. Tied to this, they allow us to pick up things, drive motor cars, hug that special person, and even basic movements we take for granted like feeding food into the mouth. So, should you do a shoulder workout with weight plates for bigger muscles?
You do not always have to use the whole range of exercise equipment you feel you need. In this instance, a part of the dumbbells can be used frequently and will positively impact the muscle growth and definition you want to achieve from training.
Using one or two weight plates from the dumbbells, you can engage in a training program that will work the three main shoulder muscles and your core. With the amazing ability shoulder muscles give us, they should be looked after and exercised carefully.
If you are in a hurry to see our top recommended equipment to help with your workouts, see the products below. Also, check out our posts on At Home Chest And Shoulders Workout and Shoulder Workout Machines and Exercises.
- 1 Exercise One – The Lateral Plate Raise
- 2 Exercise Two – Plate Around the World
- 3 Exercise Three – Overhead Plate Press
- 4 Exercise Four – Front Plate Raise
- 5 Exercise Five – Weight Plate Wood Chops
- 6 Exercise Five – Weight Plate Squat Press
- 7 Exercise Six – Plate Press Out
- 8 The Equipment We Will Use
- 9 What Muscles Do You Want to Develop?
- 10 Conclusion
Exercise One – The Lateral Plate Raise
Lateral raises are one of several muscle isolation workouts. The lateral plate raise targets the middle part of the deltoid muscle.
You can use several pieces of equipment for lateral raises, including weight plates, resistance bands, kettlebells, and other weights.
The sequence of this exercise is.
- Grab hold of a weight plate in each hand (Remember, the suggestion was to start with light weights).
- With your feet at shoulder width, stand,
- Keep your hands facing your body.
- Don’t stretch out your arms too far.
- Slowly raise your hands laterally until they are at shoulder height.
- Lower them back to the starting position. Do not swiftly drop your hands back down but use a controlled motion.
See our top three recommended adjustable resistance bands you can use for these exercises.
Exercise Two – Plate Around the World
The plate around the world targets the back, front, and side deltoid muscles, and it also has a benefit for your core muscles which have to keep your body facing a line.
This exercise needs some coordination, and if you don’t do it correctly the first time, don’t be discouraged. Eventually, you will master it.
- Take hold of one weight plate.
- Once again, stand with your feet apart to shoulder width.
- Hold the weight plate in front of you, at chest height, with each hand holding a side (similar to if you were holding a car’s steering wheel).
- Lift the weight plate to one side of your body, over your head, and back down the other side.
- Repeat the exercise by lifting the weight on the other side of your body, over your head, and back down the other side.
Exercise Three – Overhead Plate Press
Overhead plate presses work the front and middle sections of the deltoid’s muscles.
- As before, stand with your feet apart to shoulder width.
- Take hold of one weight piece, and just like the plate around the world, exercise; hold it in front as if you were holding a car’s steering wheel.
- Slowly raise the weight plate above your head with your arms at an equal distance.
- The weight plate will start in a vertical position, and at the top, over your head, it will have rotated to the horizontal.
- Carefully lower the weight plate back to the starting position and repeat.
See our top three adjustable dumbells that are great for this exercise, as you can remove the plates.
Also, check out dumbbell exercises to build shoulders in our post How to Do a Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press (Step-by-Step Guide).
Exercise Four – Front Plate Raise
The front plate raise exercise works the deltoid muscles’ front and back (posterior and anterior).
- Stand with your feet apart to shoulder width.
- Hold the weight plate in front just like a steering wheel; however, the starting point of this exercise is with your arms pointed down and the weight resting against your lower body.
- Slowly raise the weight up to the horizontal position.
- Slowly move your arms back to the starting position in a controlled motion.
Exercise Five – Weight Plate Wood Chops
This exercise will help work your core muscles and the Deltoids, Trapezius, and Rhomboids.
Do not try to start this exercise with too heavy a weight plate. Start small and work your way up to the weight which works for you and your body.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Hold the weight plate in the well-known steering position; keep it at hip height.
- Slightly turn your torso to one side, and remember, don’t stretch your arms straight out.
- While holding the weight plate with both hands, lift it diagonally across your body until it is above your shoulders on the opposite side to which you started.
- Reverse the motion by moving the weight back down to the starting side of your body.
- Turn your torso slightly to the other side.
- Hold the weight plate to the other side of your hips.
- Lift the weight plate diagonally across your body until the weight plate is above the opposite shoulder.
- You can do repetitions on one side and then the other, or you can follow the process and change sides with each “wood chop.”
See more kettlebell shoulder exercises in our post Kettlebell Shoulder Workouts For Strength And Stability.
See our top three recommended adjustable kettlebells with removable plates you can use for these exercises.
Exercise Five – Weight Plate Squat Press
Although this post concentrates on exercising the shoulders with a weight plate, there are also some leg exercises you can benefit from.
The Weight Plate Squat Press exercises the deltoids’ back, front and middle parts while also engaging the glutes, quadriceps, and calves.
If you suffer from any knee injury, pain, or other affliction, DO NOT DO THIS EXERCISE.
Instead, check out our posts on Effective Stretches and Exercises to Relieve Shoulder Pain and 6 Shoulder Mobility Exercises and Stretches.
- Hold the weight plate like a steering wheel and stand with your feet apart.
- Keep your arms at chest height.
- Slowly bend down (using your knees) and lower your hips while keeping the weight plates horizontally in front of you.
- Eventually, the goal is to bend your knees until your hips are in line with them.
- Push up with your knees until your legs are fully straight.
- As you extend your knees and start straightening up, slowly lift the weight press above your head as you did in the overhead plate press.
- Lower the weight back down until your arms are in front of you horizontally.
Exercise Six – Plate Press Out
The plate press out will engage all seven of the shoulder muscle groupings.
- Start in the familiar feet apart and weight held in a steering wheel position.
- Hold the weight against your chest and slowly push your arms until they are horizontally in front of you.
- Slowly pull your arms back in until the weight plate is back at your chest.
- Repeat as you feel able.
The Equipment We Will Use
The primary equipment we will use are weight plates – that’s right, the plates and not the rest of the barbells.
When used without being attached to the barbells, these flat, heavy circular bits of heavy metal enable a more varied range of exercises that are ideally suited to sculpting the upper torso and shoulder muscles.
They are so useful that it is now possible to use weight plates with grips that make it convenient to carry them with one hand. If you can get hold of weight plates with grips, these are the most suitable for the exercises described below.
If you have not previously exercised with weight plates, experts suggest starting with light weights and working up once you have learned the technique.
Here are our top three barbells with removable plates you can use for these exercises. Check out more barbell shoulder exercises in How To Barbell Shoulder Press: Muscles Worked And Technique Tips.
What Muscles Do You Want to Develop?
The shoulder joint is a great part of your anatomy in that it provides more rotational movement than any other body joint.
There are seven muscles in the shoulder that support the shoulder joint and give it strength, stability, and shape.
Subscapularis – Rotator Cuff
The Subscapularis muscle attaches to the middle part of the scapula and stretches to the bottom part of the humerus ball. A fluid-filled sac (bursa) separates the muscle mass from the scapula reducing rubbing against the bone.
Supraspinatus – Rotator Cuff
The Supraspinatus muscle stretches from the top of the scapula to the top of the humerus.
Infraspinatus – Rotator Cuff
The Infraspinatus muscle stretches from the scapula to the humerus behind the supraspinatus.
Teres Minor – Rotator Cuff
The Teres Minor muscle attaches to the side of the scapula and the humerus.
The Rhomboid Muscles
The two rhomboid muscles join the top of the spine, at the base of your neck, to the scapula, and they help you lift your shoulder blade.
The trapezius (traps) muscle is a large triangular muscle at the back of your shoulder that helps lift and lower the shoulder.
The deltoid muscle is the outside of your shoulder, which helps move the arm forward, backward, and side.
I hope you now understand how to do a shoulder workout with weight plates for bigger muscles.
The sequence of exercises you can do with a simple tool like a weight plate shows the degree to which you can embark on a very thorough exercise program with the most basic equipment.
Using the weight plate will help build and define your shoulder muscles.
Last update on 2023-09-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API