Cable Workouts for Shoulders: 16 Best Exercises for 3D Delts

Welcome to the world of cable workouts for shoulders! Are you tired of doing the same old shoulder workout routine? If yes, then it’s time to switch things up and add some variety to your exercises. Cable workouts can help you develop 3D delts while also providing more resistance throughout your range of motion. The best part about cable workouts is that they allow you to do a wide range of movements that target different areas of your shoulders in ways traditional weightlifting cannot achieve. In this article, we will explore 16 effective cable shoulder exercises as well as an ultimate cable shoulder workout routine. Get ready to take your gains to the next level with these exciting and intense exercises!

Importance of Cable Workouts for Shoulders

Cable workouts are a great way to target your shoulders, especially for those looking to achieve 3D delts. Unlike traditional free weight exercises, cable machines provide constant tension throughout the movement, working your muscles through a full range of motion and effectively targeting each muscle fiber. Additionally, cable machines allow you to easily adjust the weight and positioning for each exercise, making it easier to isolate specific areas of the shoulder.

Incorporating cable workouts into your shoulder routine can also help improve balance and stability in the joint. As you work out with cables, these small stabilizing muscles are activated in order to keep your movements smooth and controlled. In turn, this can help reduce your risk of injury as well as improve overall shoulder strength.

Furthermore, since cable machines offer a number of different attachments and angles, they allow for greater exercise variety than traditional machines or free weights alone. This means that you can easily switch up your routine from week-to-week without having to change up equipment or alter major parts of an exercise – keeping things fresh and interesting while targeting all parts of the deltoids.

16 Best Cable Shoulder Exercises

Cable Shoulder Press

The cable shoulder press is a fantastic exercise to target the entire shoulder area. The use of cables provides constant tension throughout the movement, making it an effective way to build strength and size in your delts. To perform the cable shoulder press, stand facing away from the machine with your feet hip-width apart and grasp the handles with an overhand grip at shoulder height. Keep your elbows bent and raise your arms up until they are straight above you. Lower them back down slowly and repeat for desired reps.

Benefits of Cable Shoulder Press:

  • Targets all three heads of the deltoid muscles for well-rounded shoulders
  • Provides constant tension throughout each repetition, enhancing muscle activation
  • Reduces strain on wrist joints compared to other pressing exercises
  • Builds overall upper body strength

Muscles Worked:

  • Anterior Deltoid (front)
  • Medial Deltoid (side)
  • Posterior Deltoid (rear)


  • Seated Cable Shoulder Press
  • Single-Arm Cable Shoulder Press
  • Kneeling Cable Shoulder Press

Incorporate this exercise into your cable shoulder workout routine for 3D delts that pop!

Cable Alternating Press

To add variety to your shoulder routine, look no further than the Cable Alternating Press. This exercise targets the anterior and medial deltoids while also engaging the core for stability.

To do this exercise, stand facing a cable machine with a D-handle attachment at chest height. Grab one handle and step away from the machine so that there is tension on the cable. Keeping your core engaged and feet planted firmly on the ground, press the handle up and across your body until your arm is fully extended above your opposite shoulder. Lower back down to starting position and repeat on the other side.

Remember to keep control of the movement throughout, avoiding any swinging or jerking motions. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each arm.

Incorporating Cable Alternating Press into your shoulder workout can help increase strength in multiple muscle groups while also improving shoulder stability.

Cable Bent Over Single Arm Lateral Raise

When it comes to working out, the Cable Bent Over Single Arm Lateral Raise is my go-to move for targeting my posterior deltoid muscles. Not only does it work those muscles, but it also engages other ones like the trapezius, rhomboids, and rotator cuff. This compound exercise does wonders for improving shoulder stabilization while strengthening my upper back.

For starters, I stand in front of a cable machine with one hand grabbing onto the handle. I place my feet hip-width apart and hinge forward at the hips to make sure that my torso is parallel to the floor. My arm holding onto the cable should be straight below my shoulder and slightly bent at the elbow.

The key is raising your arm upward until it reaches shoulder height while keeping a firm grip on the handle as you control each motion. Make sure you focus on squeezing your muscles when you reach the top of each lift for maximum contraction.

One thing I find crucial during this exercise is maintaining proper posture by keeping your back straight, shoulders pulled down and back while engaging core muscles throughout repetitions.

If you want well-defined deltoids and overall upper body strength plus stability like me, then incorporating three sets of 12 reps into your workout routine will do wonders!

Learn more about how to improve your workout routine with our fitness guide!

Cable Cross Over Reverse Fly

One of my go-to exercises for toning the rear delts, upper back, and traps is the Cable Cross Over Reverse Fly. Here’s how I do it:

  1. I stand in the middle of a cable machine and grab two handles with an overhand grip.
  2. Then, to create tension on the cables, I take a few steps back.
  3. While keeping my core engaged, I slightly bend forward at my hips.
  4. Moving slowly and deliberately, I bring my hands together in front of me at waist level to prepare for the reverse fly motion.
  5. Next, as if I’m spreading my wings, I pull my arms outward while keeping them straight until they are parallel to the floor – squeezing my shoulder blades together as much as possible during each rep.
  6. Once I get to this peak position, I take a brief pause before slowly returning to where I started.

I recommend doing 3 sets of 10-15 reps using moderate weight for best results. Yet remember: maintaining proper form throughout every repetition should be your top concern – so never rush through any exercise.

It’s also worth mentioning that since all of the resistance when performing this move goes through your rear delts you should start with a lighter weight until you’re comfortable with this movement pattern – otherwise straining can occur which may lead to injury down the road.

Ready to beef up those shoulders? Give it a try!

Lying Reverse Fly

The lying reverse fly is a great cable exercise for shoulder development. It targets the rear deltoids and upper back muscles, helping to create that 3D look. To perform the exercise, lie on your stomach on a bench facing the pulley system with your chest slightly off the bench and arms extended down towards the ground. Grasp two stirrup handles with an overhand grip, keeping your elbows slightly bent.

With control, lift both arms up and out to each side in a ‘T’ motion until they are parallel to the floor or slightly higher. Keep your neck neutral throughout the movement with your gaze down towards the floor. Slowly lower back down to starting position.

It’s important not to swing or use momentum during this exercise as it reduces its effectiveness and risks injury.

To make it more challenging increase weight gradually or adjust cables further away from you while maintaining good form during execution.

Incorporating lying reverse flies into your workout routine can help improve posture by strengthening upper back muscles which helps keep shoulders pulled back properly.

Try adding three sets of eight to ten reps of this powerful move into one of your next gym sessions!

Single Arm Front Raise

I absolutely love the Single Arm Front Raise for firing up those front delts! To start, simply attach the cable to a low pulley and stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Ensure your palm is facing downwards while gripping the handle with one hand, while keeping your elbow locked. Lift your arm in front of you in a slow controlled manner till it reaches shoulder height before bringing it back down.

Maintain balance and control by engaging your core during this movement. You can choose lighter weights if you are beginning or go for heavier ones when you want some advanced training. Remember to exhale as you pull the weight up and inhale slowly on release.

By adding Single Arm Front Raises to your regular cable workout routine, expect stronger 3D delts that improve overall upper body strength and stability. For an all-rounded comprehensive shoulder workout plan, combine these lines-of-action-rich moves with other cable workouts for shoulders like Cable Shoulder Presses or Cable Upright Rows and see optimum results!

Cable Standing Front Raise Variation

Performing Cable Standing Front Raise Variation is an excellent way to target the anterior deltoid muscle. To execute this exercise, stand facing a cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the D-handle attachment with one hand at hip-level. With a slight bend in your elbow and palms facing down, lift your arm straight out in front of you until it reaches shoulder level. Slowly lower the weight back down to starting position while maintaining control.

To make this exercise more challenging, try using two cables instead of one. Begin by standing with both feet on separate resistance bands or cable attachments attached to either side of a cable machine; simultaneously raise both arms straight out in front of you until they reach shoulder height.

Adding Cable Standing Front Raise Variation to your routine will help build strength and definition in your shoulders’ anterior deltoids. Include it as part of your workout alongside other exercises like Cable Shoulder Press, Kneeling Cable High Rows, or Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raises for well-rounded 3D delts.

Single Arm Lateral Raise

Hey there fitness fanatics, want to add some size and definition to the outer part of your shoulders? The Single Arm Lateral Raise is the perfect unilateral exercise to target the lateral head of the deltoids. I’ve found that incorporating this move into my shoulder routine has helped me achieve those 3D delts that stand out from all angles.

To perform this exercise, start by standing with one foot in front of the other and grasp a cable handle with one hand. Keep your arm straight as you raise it out to the side until you reach shoulder height. Take a brief moment at the top before slowly lowering back down to starting position. Maintaining proper form is key here, so engage your core and avoid swinging or using momentum to lift the weight.

To maximize results, aim for 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps on each arm. And if you’re up for a challenge, try holding that contraction at the top or performing drop sets. Trust me – variety is key when it comes to any workout routine.

I hope this tip helps take your shoulder gains to new heights! Want more moves like this? Check out our website today.

Side Lying Lateral Raise

The Side Lying Lateral Raise is the perfect exercise to target your middle deltoids to get those 3D shoulders. First, lie on your side with your arm extended towards the floor. Next, lift your arm up towards the ceiling while keeping it straight. This isolation movement will help you achieve maximum muscle activation in your middle delts. Make sure to keep a slight bend in your elbow and avoid swinging your body. To increase intensity, lift a weight or hold a resistance band during this exercise. Aim for 3 sets of 10-12 reps on each side, and feel the burn!

Cable Upright Row

The Cable Upright Row primarily targets the upper trapezius muscles, also known as traps. This exercise is great for building size and strength in the traps, which are responsible for moving your shoulder blades. It is performed with a cable machine and helps to activate the delts and biceps while working on upper back muscles.

To perform this exercise, stand facing the cable machine with a narrow grip on the cable and hands close together. Keeping your elbows higher than your wrists throughout the movement, lift the bar upwards towards your chin while keeping it close to your body. Keep going until it is at chin height before slowly lowering back down to starting position.

It’s important not to lift too heavy in this exercise as it can cause strain or injury on parts of shoulder joints overtime if done with poor form or excessive weight.

Include Cable Upright Rows into your shoulder workout routine today for strong and toned-looking traps that will complement those other well-defined areas of deltoids!

Cable Y Raise

If you’re looking for an awesome way to work your rear deltoids and upper back, the Cable Y Raise is a must-try. Here’s how it works: plant yourself in the middle of a cable machine with one handle in hand, your arms lowered straight with palms facing down. Next, lift both of your arms upwards into the shape of a “Y”, remembering to keep tension on the cable throughout the entire motion. After reaching the peak position, gradually lower your hands back down and rinse and repeat.

You can do this particular move in either a standing or kneeling position – whichever floats your boat! However, make sure you maintain proper posture throughout, engaging your core muscles while avoiding any arches or overextensions of your lower back. Not only does this exercise improve range of movement in the upper body, but it also strengthens and defines those shoulders that come in handy for everyday tasks.

By incorporating Cable Y Raises into your workout routine alongside other exercises like lateral raises and face pulls, you’ll get all-around shoulder development without any weak spots. Keep weight load light at first as it’s better to prevent injury than be stuck recovering from one (ouch!).

Cable Twisting Overhead Press

Switch up your shoulder routine with the Cable Twisting Overhead Press. This killer exercise is a two-for-one deal, giving your shoulders and core muscles some love simultaneously.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Plant your feet hip-width distance apart in front of a cable machine.
  2. Grasp the handle with an overhand grip and bring it behind your head.
  3. Palms should face forward, elbows at 90 degrees.
  4. Engage both your core and deltoids by pressing upwards towards the sky while twisting your torso at the same time.
  5. Return to starting position and repeat for as many reps as you desire.

Not only will this exercise build up those delt muscles, but it’ll also target rectus abdominis and obliques which help to improve overall balance during overhead weightlifting.

It’s important to start slow and work on form before adding heavy weights to prevent any injuries or muscle strains down the road.

Looking for more exercises to add variety? Check out our full range of shoulder workouts here!

Cable Face Pulls

Cable face pulls are a great exercise to strengthen the upper back and rear shoulders. They help to improve posture and reduce the risk of shoulder injuries. To perform cable face pulls, take a double rope attachment on the cable machine and set it at chest height. Grasp the ropes with an overhand grip and step back while leaning slightly forward.

Next, pull the ropes towards your face while keeping your elbows higher than your hands. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the end of each repetition before slowly returning to starting position.

Make sure that you keep proper form throughout this exercise to maximize its benefits. Focus on using your back muscles rather than pulling with your arms, and avoid jerking or swinging movements.

Try adding cable face pulls to your workout routine twice per week for 3 sets of 12-15 repetitions each time. You can adjust the weight as needed to challenge yourself without sacrificing proper form. With regular practice, you will notice increased strength in your upper back and shoulders, leading to improved posture and reduced discomfort during daily activities.

Cable High Row

The Cable High Row is a great exercise for targeting the upper back and shoulders. To perform this exercise, start by attaching a straight bar or rope to the cable machine at around head height. Stand facing the cable machine with feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Keep your core engaged and back straight as you pull the bar or rope towards your chest, leading with your elbows. Keep your shoulders down and avoid shrugging them up towards your ears. Pause at the top of the movement before slowly releasing back to starting position.

This exercise targets mainly the rear deltoids, rhomboids, trapezius muscles, and biceps while also engaging some of the stabilizing muscles in the shoulders. It can help improve posture by strengthening those postural muscles while also improving shoulder mobility.

To increase difficulty add more weight onto the cable machine or try using a wider grip on the bar or rope to really target those upper back muscles.

Incorporating Cable High Rows into your workout routine as one of many Cable Shoulder Exercises can be an effective way to achieve well-rounded 3D deltoids that will help support other upper body lifts like bench press and overhead press exercises while also improving overall aesthetic appeal through muscular definition in this area of focus when training delts!

Cable Shrug

If you’re after a exercise that effectively targets the trapezius muscles and builds overall shoulder stamina, the Cable Shrug is one you should consider. Getting started is easy: set yourself up facing the cable machine with your legs apart at shoulder width. Take hold of the handles (overhand grip – palms facing inwards towards your body) and begin shrugging your shoulders upwards, all while keeping your arms tucked straight.

It’s important to remember throughout every repetition that correct form is key. This means resisting any temptation to hunch up those shoulders towards your ears; instead, keep them relaxed and concentrate on engaging that core.

To dial things up a notch, give heavier weights or multiple sets with shorter rest intervals between each rep a go. By incorporating regular sessions of Cable Shrugs into your workout routine, you can build stronger traps for heavier lifts in other exercises such as Dumbbell Shoulder Press or Barbell Overhead Press.

For anyone new to this particular move – it’s always best to start light and progressively increase weight as your strength improves over time.

The Ultimate Cable Shoulder Workout

Here’s a 6-exercise ultimate cable shoulder workout that’ll help you build massive and toned shoulders.

  1. Cable Shoulder Press: Start with the cable shoulder press to build shoulder strength. Stand facing away from the weight stack, grab the handles, and bring them up to your shoulders. Extend upward until your arms are straight, then pause before lowering to the starting position.
  2. Cable Single-Arm Shoulder Press: Isolate each arm by performing single-arm presses while standing sideways to the cable machine. Use one hand at a time and repeat on both sides after finishing all sets for one side.
  3. Kneeling Cable Shoulder Press: Get down on one knee (the opposite side of where you’re holding the handle), keep your other leg bent at 90 degrees in front of you and perform overhead presses focusing solely on pressing rather than balancing.
  4. Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raises: Hold onto a low pulley attachment with one hand standing sideways keeping back flat and leans forward slightly, lift up directing parallel out from body stopping when it reaches around shoulder level.
  5. Cable Upright Rows: Standing mid-body width apart feet facing forward grips with both hands crosswise slightly positioned downwards at waist level hold onto handle grips with knuckles facing inward towards each other lift weights toward chin height leading elbows upwards as they move towards ceiling whilst inhaling gradually lower weights back downward as exhale occurs
  6. Kneeling Cable High Row: Kneel in front of exercise station facing high-pulley bar, grab hold of it either by an overhand or underhand grip without wrapping thumbs wrap fingers around gripping lever make sure wrists are straight pull weight down using upper back muscles raise bar until is just above chest while squeezing together elbow blades pause temporarilyExhale during this phase slowly return lever pulling weight upward maintaining its life continue throughout set can substitute wide grip or parallel grip alternatively for workout variation.

Cable Shoulder Press

If you’re looking to build up your shoulder strength, the Cable Shoulder Press is an excellent exercise that targets all three heads of the shoulders – front, middle and rear deltoids. To get started, take a stance with your feet shoulder-width apart and face away from the cable machine. Take hold of the cables with your hands facing forward and press them over your head until your arms are fully extended. Then, lower back down slowly and repeat for desired reps.

This move not only specifically isolates all three main shoulder muscles at once but it also calls on other upper body muscles for additional support. It’s essential to maintain proper form throughout this entire motion by tightening up your core and engaging those glutes to prevent overarching of the lower back.

To switch things up a bit, try performing this exercise seated or kneeling which adds increased stability or change up from the gripping techniques we mentioned earlier as well as using an underhand grip or wider grip so different muscle groups are targeted more intensely.

It’s important to steadily progress in weight (measured in lbs) as you continue doing this routine if you aspire towards continued challenge along with conspicuous results in achieving that effective shoulder workout look!

Cable Single-Arm Shoulder Press

The Cable Single-Arm Shoulder Press is a great exercise to work on building unilateral upper body strength for your shoulders. This exercise targets the entire shoulder muscle, with an emphasis on the anterior region.

To perform this exercise, start by setting up the cable machine with a handle attachment at about shoulder height. Adjust the pulley so that it is aligned with your shoulder and then stand perpendicular to the machine. With your outer arm reaching across your chest to hold onto the opposite side of the handle and elbow bent 90-degrees, grab onto the handle with your inner hand overhand grip just below shoulder level.

Keeping core tight and glutes engaged, press upward until your arm reaches full extension above you while suppressing any twisting or turning motion in hips and maintaining neutral spine position. Pause for a second at top contraction and slowly lower back down until almost near starting point without letting cable tension go slack.

Repeat for desired reps before switching sides. Despite working one-sidedly, make sure to use proper form unilaterally, striving towards consistency between both arms in terms of range of motion from front-to-top positions as well as acceleration through concentric motion phases between both pressing controlled-ly but powerfully upwards.

This exercise can be great addition to other shoulder exercises within workout routine like Cable Shoulder Presses or Kneeling Cable Shoulder Presses which also employ single-arm movements targeting similar regions but varying positions under resistance force load per angle variations setup in their respective setups among others mentioned prior.

Kneeling Cable Shoulder Press

The Kneeling Cable Shoulder Press is a fantastic exercise for building your shoulder muscles. This movement engages the front and side delts, as well as the upper pecs and triceps. When performing this exercise, make sure to maintain proper form and keep your core tight throughout the movement.

To perform this exercise: 1. Attach a handle to a low pulley cable machine. 2. Kneel down facing away from the machine, grab the handle with one hand, and lift it up to shoulder height. 3. Keeping your core tight, extend your arm upwards until fully extended. 4. Slowly lower the weight back down to starting position and repeat for desired number of reps before switching arms.

It’s important to remember that form is key with this exercise – avoid using momentum or arching your back during repetitions in order to maximize results while minimizing injury risk. Start light and focus on good technique before increasing weight or intensity in order to prevent injuries or muscle strains when taking on new exercises like these!

Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raises

If you’re looking to give your shoulders a targeted blast, Single-Arm Cable Lateral Raises are fantastic exercises that hit the lateral head of your shoulder while also engaging your deltoids, trapezius, and forearms. This move is fairly straightforward: Start by standing perpendicular to the cable machine, with feet shoulder-width apart. You’ll want to use one hand to grab onto the handle and slowly lift it up until your arm reaches a parallel position relative to the ground. Don’t forget to keep that elbow slightly bent throughout and avoid any swinging or momentum that can take away from engagement.

Take a pause at the top of each rep as you contract those muscles before lowering back down nice and steady into starting position. Aim for 8-12 reps on one side before switching over and repeating on the other arm.

Here’s an expert tip: Increase difficulty levels once you’ve achieved proper form by trying partial reps or pulsing at the end of each movement! You could even try upping weights if you feel like challenging yourself further.

By working this exercise into your routine, not only will you be creating some wicked looking 3D delts but also improving overall fitness gains!

Cable Upright Rows

One of the great cable exercises for shoulder development is the Cable Upright Row. Incorporating this exercise into your training will target your upper traps, lateral deltoids and biceps while also improving stability in your rotator cuff.

To perform a Cable Upright Row, start by selecting an appropriate weight on the cable machine and attaching a straight bar to it. Then, stand with feet shoulder-width apart facing towards the machine with arms extended downwards holding onto the bar at hip level. Next, pull upwards towards your chin while keeping elbows higher than wrists and close to your body. Be sure to keep tension in the cable throughout the entire movement, controlling both upward and downward phases.

Performing Cable Upright Rows 3-4 sets for about 10-12 repetitions can have huge benefits for strength development as well hypertrophy gains. Just make sure not to overdo it on weight as improper technique during this exercise could lead to injury.

Kneeling Cable High Rows

I absolutely love doing Kneeling Cable High Rows! They are an incredibly effective exercise that targets my upper back, shoulders and arms, giving me a fantastic workout. When performing this exercise, I kneel in front of a cable machine with a rope attachment overhead and grasp it with both hands. Then, by keeping my elbows high, I pull the rope towards my chest before slowly lowering the weight back to its starting position. It’s important to repeat this for desired reps.

One of the best things about Kneeling Cable High Rows is that they’re perfect for building shoulder stability and strength whilst also improving posture by strengthening certain muscles that help pull your shoulders back. Additionally, they can help reduce the risk of shoulder injuries – which is always crucial!

To keep my workouts interesting and take full advantage of muscle activation without experiencing any plateaus in training progress, sometimes I’ll try different hand placements on the rope or adjust where I position myself relative to the cable machine.

If you’re after optimal results and impressive 3D delts, you should definitely include Kneeling Cable High Rows in your cable shoulder workout routine. Believe me when I say you won’t be disappointed!