Objectives Our objective is to provide a systematic and technical guide on how to reduce a shoulder dislocation, based on techniques that have been described in literature for patients with anterior and posterior shoulder instability. Materials and methods A PubMed and EMBASE query was performed, screening all relevant literature on the closed reduction techniques. Studies regarding open reduction techniques and studies with fracture dislocations were excluded. Results In this study we give an overview of 23 different techniques for closed reduction and 17 modifications of these techniques. Discussion In this review article we present a complete overview of the techniques, that have been described in the literature for closed reduction for shoulder dislocations. This manuscript can be regarded as a clinical guide how to perform a closed reduction maneuver, including several technical tips and tricks to optimize the success rate and to avoid complications. Conclusion There are 23 different reduction techniques with 17 modifications of these techniques. Knowledge of the different techniques is highly important for a good reduction.