Adding other muscle groups to your shoulder strength training is like dolloping jelly onto your peanut butter sandwich. You boost the benefits of your workout (or the deliciousness of your sandwich). You’ve got more than 600 muscles in your body. This article will explain which muscle groups you should pair with shoulders during strength exercises to maximize your fitness gains.
The best muscle groups to pair with your shoulder muscles for effective strength training include those close to the shoulders, like the arm, chest, and back muscle groups. Another strategy is to combine shoulder and leg strength training in one workout.
You could always randomly choose which muscle groups to train with your shoulders. But this might slow your progress or trigger overtraining injuries.
A smarter move? Get clued-up on how different muscle groups work with your shoulder muscles.
Coming up: all you need to know to create a multi-muscle shoulder-sculpting workout.
- 1 What’s Good to Pair With Shoulders? 🤔
- 1.1 Shoulder and Arms Workout
- 1.2 Chest and Shoulder Workout
- 1.3 Leg and Shoulder Workout
- 1.4 Shoulder and Traps Workout
- 1.5 Shoulder and Bicep Workout
- 1.6 Shoulder and Back Workout
- 1.7 Shoulder and Tricep Workout
- 2 Tips for Pairing Muscle Groups With Shoulders 💪
- 3 Frequently Asked Questions 🙋♂️
- 4 Conclusion 🤗
What’s Good to Pair With Shoulders? 🤔
Over 600 muscles in your body can be divided into six main groups: shoulders, arms, chest, back, abs, and legs.
We can then further break down these muscle groups – for example:
With so many muscles and possible combos, how can you choose what to train with your shoulders for boast-worthy results?
There’s not just one way. You can pair several different muscle groups with your shoulders to make your training simpler and more effective.
Here are your shoulders’ best workout buddies, why they’re winning muscle combos, and exercise ideas.
Shoulder and Arms Workout
Your shoulder and upper-arm muscles are close, so when you work one of these muscle groups, you naturally also work the other.
Because of their connection, focusing on shoulders and arms in one workout makes sense.
Work your shoulders first, then your biceps, and finish with your triceps.
Shoulder and Arm Exercises
These exercises target the front, side, and back of your delts, your biceps, and your triceps:
Chest and Shoulder Workout
Your chest and shoulder muscles are complementary because you use them together while performing many exercises.
Lots of go-to upper-body strength-training moves work your shoulder and chest muscles simultaneously.
Suppose you trained your shoulder muscles one day and your chest the next.
While targeting your shoulders on day one, you would also be working your chest.
On day two (chest day), your chest muscles would be recovering from the previous day’s activity, so they’d tire easily and perform poorly.
Work your chest first (these are big muscles, so it’s best to train them while you’re fresh), then your shoulders. See our post on Effective Cable Shoulder Workouts for more information.
Chest and Shoulder Exercises
These exercises work your chest and shoulders from every angle:
Leg and Shoulder Workout
The perk of pairing shoulders and legs during your strength training is being able to target muscles from your upper and lower body in one session without overstressing your body.
Combining these two muscle groups is a manageable way to work out many body parts in a single session.
However, if you were to train back muscles and legs on the same day, you’d likely become tired, as these muscle groups are both large and energy-intensive.
One way to pair legs and shoulders during a single strength-training workout is to alternate leg and shoulder exercises.
After working your legs till they can’t do another rep of an exercise, you swap to a shoulder exercise to let your legs rest. Then back to your legs.
Leg and Shoulder Exercises
These exercises train your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves, as well as all three sides of your delts:
Shoulder and Traps Workout
Your trap muscle is essential to keeping your shoulders stable.
This muscle’s main job is to stabilize and move your shoulder blades.
Simultaneously training your shoulders and traps will keep these interconnected muscles strong and working well as a team.
As a result, your posture will improve, lifting weights will be easier, and you’ll be better able to maintain good form while exercising.
Shoulder and Traps Exercises
These exercises give your traps and delts a full workout:
Shoulder and Bicep Workout
Toned biceps make your arms look lean and defined.
Because these muscles have a striking influence on your arms’ appearance, you might be keen to give them special attention in a biceps-focused workout.
A tip for boosting your bicep routine? Add shoulder work.
Combining shoulder and bicep training can help sculpt your biceps quicker because it’s easier to ace your bicep moves when your shoulders are strong.
Shoulder and Bicep Exercises
These exercises sculpt your biceps and delts all over:
Shoulder and Back Workout
Weak shoulder and back muscles increase the chance you’ll struggle to perform everyday movements like carrying, reaching, twisting, turning, lifting, and bending.
Pairing shoulder and back exercises during your weekly strength training will help your body work better and prevent injuries. If you are a woman, see our post on Back And Shoulder Workouts For Women.
Shoulder and Back Exercises
These exercises target your shoulders as well as the main back muscles that connect to your shoulders (the lats, traps, rhomboids, and erector spinae):
Shoulder and Tricep Workout
Your shoulder and tricep muscles are smaller than some of your body’s other muscles. But don’t underestimate them.
Strong shoulders and triceps help you perform impressive exercises like push-ups.
So, giving this muscle combo regular attention will pay off when you’re attempting intense upper-body strength-training moves.
Shoulder and Tricep Exercises
These exercises give your shoulders and triceps a good workout:
Tips for Pairing Muscle Groups With Shoulders 💪
Now you know which muscle groups pair well with shoulders and know the exercises that work your different muscles.
The next step? Fit your shoulder sculpting into your overall strength-training program.
You’re free to create a program that suits your schedule and fitness goals – just as long as you stick to five rules:
Frequently Asked Questions 🙋♂️
Want to know more? No problem; we’ve got another few tips to share!
Are There Full-Body Exercises That Work Shoulders?
So, you’ve been brainstorming how to fit your body sculpting into your busy life but see that you’ve got almost no time for strength training?
You want max rewards for as little time as possible.
The solution: exercises that work all your main muscle groups at once – including your shoulders.
Be warned: these moves are intense and need plenty of rest afterward!
Here are 3 of the best full-body shoulder-sculpting exercises:
Full-Body Exercise # 1: Rowing
Rowing machines work your shoulders, arms, back, abs, back, and legs. Before you give the rowing machine a go, read this WebMD article packed with pointers on how to use the machine with good technique.
Full-Body Exercise # 2: Push-ups
Push-ups work most of your muscle groups, especially the muscles in your upper body. This Healthline article gives step-by-step guidelines for mastering push-ups if you’re new to this move.
Full-Body Exercise # 3: Burpees
Burpees merge the push-up and squat into one (tough!) power move that works every major muscle in your body. Does the thought of a burpee turn you off? Don’t be. Check out these tips from Healthline for doing a classic burpee and how to make the move easier or more challenging.
Is There One Exercise That Works Shoulders From Every Angle?
There’s a move that works all three parts of your delts (front, back, and side) in one go: the Arnold press.
The exercise is named after no other than a former bodybuilder, action star, and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger. It’s a variation of the overhead press that “The Governator” created to better target the back delts than the original exercise.
This WebMD article explains how to do the Arnold press properly to hit your delts from every angle.
You’ve plenty of options for muscle groups you should pair with shoulders for the best results.
So, pick and choose exercises to match your schedule and fitness goals.
Popular pairings are shoulders and other upper-body muscle groups, like arms, chest, or back.
Combining shoulders and legs is good if your workout balances grueling (leg) and easier (shoulder) moves.
Strong, sculpted shoulders make a huge difference to how your body works and looks, but don’t neglect your other five muscle groups.
When creating your customized strength-training program, choose workouts that train all six of your main muscle groups a few times a week, and let your trained muscles rest for at least 48 hours before making them work again.