Your shoulder muscle is basically made up of 3 parts. The front, middle and rear deltoids (delts).
To have a balanced and a nicely formed shape to them, all 3 parts must be trained in proportion. There is a degree of over-lap when training the shoulders, for example the Standing Press will work the front & outer delts, and the Press Behind Neck will work the rear & outer delts.
As long as your shoulder routine includes work to all three parts of your deltoids they will develop nicely.
Standing Press / Military Press
Front & Outer Delt. Aptly named because you stand to attention and the movement is quite strict. It is best to take the barbell of a rack or stands. Grip the barbell just wider than shoulder width, stand upright with the bar resting on the top of your chest, grip with palms facing forwards and press the bar vertically upwards straight over the top of your head to full arm extension.
Lower down slowly to starting position. Big breath just before the effort at the rest position and blow out as you are pushing the bar up.
It is recommended that you use a weight-lifting belt for this exercise, especially as your weights increase because you will naturally arch your back slightly to adjust your balance as you push the bar up. Avoid arching your back excessively. Try different grip widths on the bar to vary the exercise and find the grip that suits you best.
Similar to the Military Press but on a press machine and usually seated.
Seated Dumb-Bell Press
Front & Outer Delt. On a seat with a rigid upright backrest.
Start with the Dumb-bells at shoulder height, palms facing straight forward and press both Dumb-bells together in one steady movement to full arm extension above your head. The Dumb-bells may touch together at the top of the movement but don’t bang them. Then lower slowly to rest position. Big breath just before the effort at the rest position and blow out as the Dumb-bells move upwards.
As your weights increase it may be advisable to have 1 or 2 people pass you the Dumb-bells so that you receive them at the start position.
Front Dumb-Bell Raises
Front Delt. Using light to medium weight dumb-bells, stand upright with the dumb-bells resting on your thighs and palms facing back towards you. Alternately lift the dumb-bells in one strict, swift movement with your arms out straight so that the dumb-bell moves in a full arc in front of you.
The Dumb-bell should move from the rest position on your thigh to around the height of the top of your head and slowly back down to start position. Then do the same with the other arm. Again, big breath just before the effort at the rest position and blow out as the Dumb-bell moves upward.
Front Bar-Bell Raise
Front Delt. Similar to Dumb-bell raise but with a bar-bell. Grip the bar around shoulder width or slightly wider, vary the grip to find which suits you best but no less than shoulder width and no wider than plus 12 inches / 300mm.
For the front delts and the traps. Using a narrow grip, around 6″ (15cm) hand spacing, pick up a barbell and stand upriright so the barbell is resting on the front of your thighs. Then raise the bar keeping it close to your body by shrugging your shoulders and raising your elbows until the bar tucks under your chin.
You should feel the contraction in your traps and your front delts as you lift the bar. Hold for a second and then lower down in a controlled manner to starting position.
Press Behind Neck
Can be performed on a machine or using free weights, seated or stood up. This is a good all over shoulder exercise, working the middle and outer delts.
With a barbell placed behind your neck, resting across the top of your shoulders using a wide grip. Press the barbell up, using shoulder muscle only to full arm extension. Then lower slowly behind your head back to starting position. Repeat for the required number of reps.
Avoid leaning back to much whilst performing this exercise – use slightly less weight on the bar if you find yourself having to to this to complete the rep.
It is advisable to use a weight lifting belt for this exercise due to the natural tendency to arch your back when pressing the weight up over your head.
Bent Over Dumb-bell Raise
For the rear delts. Bend over with your back straight and parallel to the floor, knees slightly bent. Using a light dumb-bell in each hand with your arms hanging relaxed.
Flex your rear delts and bring the dumb-bells up and out to your sides by bringing your elbows out. Keep your palms facing down and keep the dumb-bells moving out until they are in-line with your ears and level with your upper body. Your chest should be at full stretch and your rear delts should be at maximum contraction. Hold for a second a then lower slowly back to starting position.
Upright Dumb-bell Raise
For the outer delts. Stood upright with a slightly wider than hip width foot spacing and a dumb-bell in each hand resting on the thigh.
Bring the dumb-bells up to the side, keeping your elbows up and your palms facing down using your shoulder muscles only. The dumb-bells should come up to the level of the top of your head. Feel the contraction in your outer delts.
Hold this for a second and then lower slowly to the start position.