Being in the army means you will be lifting and carrying heavy stuff, and the bigger and taller you are the bigger and heavier stuff you will carry.  If you join the Army or Marine Corps and you are 6’3″ and 220 lbs, it is all but guaranteed that they will figure out how to hand you a machine gun, mortar or field radio no matter what your recruiter promised you.

Otherwise, you will be hefting supplies, ammo crates, your pack, or maybe a wounded comrade and overall physical strength is very important. Now, arms and shoulders are almost always given extra attention by male gym-goers, which is not a bad thing except, of course, if you disregard the other working parts of your bodies entirely. For the gym buffs, it’s fairly easy to decide which of the exercises they would like or would not like to do. Also, some people tend to grow pounds of muscles after a single lift (which is an exaggeration, obviously), while others struggle to develop their gun-rack. If you’re a newbie or just planning to start your journey to beefiness, or you just want to strengthen your shoulders, or you’re an expert who’s looking to try other routines, here are some workouts that you can try, that if done right will build strength without you injuring yourself in the process.

Seated Overhead Dumbbell Press

A tried-and-tested upper body workout regardless of your lifting level and capability. This workout engages both your delts and upper traps. All you need is a weight bench, dumbbells, and willpower to complete your sets. The bench is usually set up at 90 degrees position, but if you want an extra challenge, you can incline it a bit. Here’s how you do it:

Sit on the bench and prop up your weights to shoulder level using your knees one at a time. Keep the tension on your upper body by tensing up your torso and engaging your abs as you lift your arms. Keep your shoulders squeezed as you go (like your squeezing walnuts between your shoulder blades) until your biceps and delts reach your ears. It is important to not lock out your elbows as that is not good for your joints. Also, do not clank the dumbbells overhead as that would mess up your mechanics at the top of the movement. One of the benefits of doing this exercise while sitting is there is less chance of you dropping the weights on your feet.