You may just be starting your lifting journey, or you may be a seasoned gym-goer looking for means to change up your routine slightly. The benefits of strong shoulders and arms extend beyond just looking good; they can significantly decrease your risk of injury and aid in your posture. So what would be the ultimate shoulder and arms workout?
There are various exercises to perform to help strengthen, build, and tone your shoulders and arms; whether a novice or seasoned lifter, you will benefit from them. Like the Arnold press, some work the arms and shoulders, while others, such as tricep kickbacks, work that particular muscle.
Often, gym-goers trying to get either ‘shredded’ or are hoping to put muscle mass onto their arms will give most of their attention to their biceps. However, you should back up bicep exercises with solid triceps, shoulders, and forearms.
So let us examine some prime exercises you can incorporate into your lifting schedule. Also, see How To Build Bigger Traps Fast and Workouts to Get Bigger Delts for more tips.
See the table below if you are in a hurry to see the best workout equipment we recommend for these exercises.
- 1 Shoulders and Arms Workout
- 2 Shoulder And Arms Workout With Dumbbells
- 3 Shoulder and Arms Workout at Home
- 4 Arm and Shoulder Workout for Females
- 5 Frequently Asked Questions
- 6 Conclusion
Shoulders and Arms Workout
Today we shall be looking at a complete shoulder and arms routine.
And what number of sets and reps we should be looking to perform. Depending on your experience level and ultimate goals, these will differ somewhat and the weight you utilize.
Today we shall be focusing on methods of lifting that allow for mobility, so although arm and shoulder workout gym equipment has arguments for and against, we shall not be incorporating them. However, that does not mean that some of them lack merit.
Shoulder And Arms Workout With Dumbbells
Suppose you want to tone your arms and shoulders and add more significant strength levels.
In that case, you’ll be pleased to learn that most people manage to see results in relatively short periods (roughly within the first month of training). If you are a seasoned lifter, though, there is a point where your gains will plateau.
We will now examine reasonably simple and proven movements that will enable you to garner the results you are so desperately seeking. To ensure a well-rounded routine, we shall look at the shoulders, triceps, biceps, and forearms.
If you want to increase in size and enjoy a shoulder and arm workout for mass or improve strength, you will perform the lower set and rep ranges with heavier weights. Also, see Plank Shoulder Taps for more tips.
If you are starting and need to work on form and technique, we suggest increasing the number of sets and reps and lowering the weight.
The same goes if you are ‘cutting’ and hoping to tone down and focus on building lean muscle.
Regardless of your requirements, ensure you use a weight that will allow you to execute the exercise with the correct form and technique.
For instance, if you are trying to bulk up and using a weight that is too heavy and hinders your form, you put yourself at an increased risk of sustaining an injury.
You can always do a shoulder and arms superset workout with dumbbells as they allow for quick transitions.
Check out our top three adjustable dumbells below.
Suppose you wish to do supersets where you immediately transition from one exercise to another without pausing to rest.
In that case, we recommend pairing your shoulders with your forearms and your biceps with your triceps. Here are some effective exercises to perform.
Shoulder (And Arm) Exercises
The Arnold Press (3 sets of 8-10 reps / 5 sets of 12-15 reps)
This is a versatile exercise that mainly works your shoulders and triceps.
You can perform it seated or standing, with a dumbbell in each hand and your arms bent in front of you with your palms facing your chest at shoulder height.
Rotate your arms and press up until your elbows are almost locked and your palms are facing away from you (make sure the dumbbells touch one another at the top and then at the bottom of the movement).
Reverse the motion and repeat from the starting position.
The Military Press (3 sets of 8-10 reps / 5 sets of 12-15 reps)
The military press also works mostly on the shoulders and the triceps.
Hold a dumbbell above the shoulder at roughly chin height in each hand. Have your palms facing away from your body, then push the dumbbells towards the ceiling, following a straight path.
Have a slight bend in your elbows, pause, and lower the weights slowly to the start position.
Front Raise and Lateral Raises (3 sets of 5-10 reps / 4 sets of 10-15 reps per arm)
These exercise predominantly work your shoulders, but your arms are activated too.
You can perform these standing or seated; in either case, your palms will face your body.
You will either alternate arms or commit both arms to the movement simultaneously.
You will raise the dumbbells with your arms straight and end with your arms parallel to the floor for the front raises. For the lateral raises, your arms will be at your sides, and you will lift the weights until your body forms a T-shape.
In each case, you will return the weights to the starting position in a slow and controlled manner.
Tricep Exercises (4 sets of 8-10 reps / 4 sets of 10-15 reps)
To perform the Tricep Kickback, hold a dumbbell in both hands and have your arms close to your sides, facing one another.
Keep your knees slightly bent and lean somewhat at the waist while keeping your back straight.
Bend your arms, and straighten them backward with the dumbbells finishing just behind you.
Skull Crushes (3 sets of 8-12 / 4 sets of 15)
Skill crushes are slightly complicated, so take your time to focus on making the mind-muscle connection.
You will need a bench to lie on for this exercise and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Begin with your arms extending upwards in a straight line.
Then, bending at the elbows, lower the dumbbells to either side of your head.
Once you have reached this point, reverse the motion until your elbows lock out and repeat.
Here are our favorite three benches below.
You can perform four sets of 3-5 reps / 4 sets of 5-10 reps per arm, either seated or standing.
First, have a dumbbell in each hand at your sides and slowly curl the weight up towards your shoulder, squeezing the bicep as you do so.
Do not arch your back when curling or fling the weights up; instead, focus on activating the muscle.
You can do three sets of 5-8 reps / 4 sets of 10-12 reps per arm seated on a bench with your legs apart.
Rest your elbow against your inner thigh, and slowly curl the weight towards your shoulder with your palm facing upwards.
Squeeze the muscle and then slowly lower it again. You will execute the complete number of reps per arm before changing over.
You can do ‘Palms up wrist curls’ and ‘Palm down wrist curls’ with light weights as you could risk injuring your wrist if not careful.
Sit on a bench and rest your forearm on your thigh; your hand should extend past your knee.
For both exercises, whether your palm is facing up or down, you will relax your wrist and then curl the weight up – concentrating on muscle activation.
Shoulder and Arms Workout at Home
If you are not comfortable working out at a gym or cannot find the time to head there, then fret not, as you can do shoulder and arm exercises at home with little to no equipment.
We advise investing in a set of adjustable dumbbells for you to use.
Also, a set of resistance bands always comes in handy, and you can adapt most of these exercises mentioned above to use with them.
Here are some of our favorites below.
If you do not possess either of these, though, see below for a list of exercises to perform:
- Push-ups (standard, wide, narrow, inverted, and reverse) – 4 sets of 15-20 reps
- Planks and Side Planks – 30 seconds per position for three sets
- Dips – 4 sets of 10-15 reps
- 5 liter (1.3 gallons) water bottle curl/weighted backpack curls – 5 sets of 10-15 reps per arm
- Shoulder taps – 5 sets of 20-30 reps
- Prone v-up – 3 sets of 20 reps
- Downward facing dog to plank – 3 sets of 15-25 reps
Arm and Shoulder Workout for Females
Some women believe that they will bulk up and look muscular (or ‘manly’) if they use weights.
However, this does not have to be the case. Instead, we must emphasize that as long as you keep the weight from low to moderate and do not train excessively, you will not face this problem.
So all the exercises mentioned above can be performed by women too.
If you are not comfortable doing those exercises, see the ones below the Shoulder And Arms Workout At Home subheading to find more body-weight-focused exercises that will still help with toning and make you stronger.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some questions related to Arms and shoulder workouts that you may find helpful:
Are Isolation Or Compound Movements Better?
Although some would argue for either, the consensus is that compound movements will yield more significant results. And this is especially important to note if you only have a limited time to spend in a gym.
How Do I Tone My Arms and Shoulders Quickly?
If you want to cut or tone, your best option would be to use a combination of heavier compound movements with lower reps while simultaneously increasing the reps for isolation movements and lowering the weight. This ensures that your muscles retain their size but will be worked in a way that provides a good “pump.” Additionally, supersets are highly ideal.
We hope you understand how to do the ultimate shoulder and arms workout and will continue practicing regularly.
There are countless benefits to working out your shoulders and arms; however, we need to avoid incurring injuries, especially when working out our shoulder muscles.
Therefore it is highly advisable to warm up properly and stretch before lifting or pushing any weight, whether dumbbells or body weight.
We hope you enjoyed this post, and here’s to setting and reaching goals.
Take a look at Shoulder Workout Exercises before you go.
Last update on 2022-10-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API