Best Chest and Shoulder Workout To Build Muscle

If you do chest and shoulder workouts together on the same day, this post can be useful. I’ve shared the best chest and shoulder workout that you can do with dumbbells at home. And if you workout at the gym, you’ll also see 4 exercises that you can incorporate while training your chest and shoulders together.

Can You Train Chest and Shoulders Together?

Yes, you can train your chest and shoulder together on the same day. Chest and shoulder exercises both come under the push workout category. When you do the push workout, the weight goes away from your body, for example, bench press and overhead press are push workouts for the chest and shoulder.

You can train your chest and shoulder together Monday, legs on Tuesday, back and core on Thursday, and Arms on Friday. In this way, you’ll target each muscle part at least once a week.

However, if you’re an intermediate and working out for muscle growth, you can do 6 days push pull legs (PPL) workout with 1 day off in a week. And on push day, you’ll work out your chest, shoulder, and triceps together.

Related- 17 Dumbbell Chest Exercises You Can Do Without A Bench At Home

List of The Best Chest and Shoulder Workouts

  1. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press
  2. Inclined Dumbbell Flys
  3. Incline Dumbbell Twisting Bench Press
  4. Flat Dumbbell Squeeze Press
  5. Dumbbell Arnold Press
  6. Seated Dumbbell IYT Raise
  7. Incline Prone Dumbbell Rowing
  8. Flat Barbell Bench Press
  9. Incline Bent-Forward Cable Crossovers
  10. Landmine Press 
  11. Standing Barbell Overhead Press

So, let’s take a look at how to do each exercise with step-by-step instructions with images and embedded youtube videos.

Chest and Shoulder Workout with Dumbbells at Home

You can do the best chest and shoulder workout at home if you have dumbbells and a bench.

Below, I’ve shared shoulders and chest dumbbell workouts that can increase strength and muscle.

1. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell bench is one of the best exercises you can do to build your chest at home in the absence of a barbell.

Dumbbells provide a full range of motion so you can engage your muscles efficiently and build a stronger chest.

Best Chest And Shoulder Workout with Dumbbells
Dumbell Bench Press

 How to do DB Bench Press

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, lay down on a flat bench on your back with your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Hold the dumbbells at your sides to the chest level by bending your elbows.
  3. Keep your abdominal muscles tight, inhale and and press the dumbbells up toward the ceiling until your arms fully straight over you.
  4. Pause for a moment and then slowly lower the weight to the start. That’s your one rep.
  5. Do three sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitions with 1-2 minutes rest between every set.

Related: 10+ Dumbbell Chest Exercises For Home And Gym

2. Incline Dumbbell Flys

The dumbbell flyes elicited higher muscle activation in pectoralis major and anterior deltoid after barbell bench press showed in research done on seventeen resistance-trained men. 1 A Comparison of Muscle Activation between Barbell Bench Press and Dumbbell Flyes in Resistance-Trained Males – The Journal of Sports Medicine (National Institute of Health Database)

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, if you work out shoulder and chest on the same day, you can incorporate dumbbell incline flyes in your workout routine.

Most people used to say dumbbell flyes aren’t good for the shoulder and can cause injury. This can be true if you do it in the wrong technique because it is one of those exercises that highly depend on proper form and technique.

To do dumbbell flyes safely and effectively, you can take care of the following things

  1. Pick dumbbells that are heavy enough to use effectively without losing your control.
  2. Keep your elbows slightly bent during the movement. Keeping your arms straight throughout the movement put a lot of strain on the shoulder.
  3. Lower your arms until your elbows are in line with your shuolder. Going too low can cause damange to your shoulders in the long run.
  4. Do it correctly, in a controllled manner, and with the right technique, or don’t do it at all.

  How to do incline dumbbell fly

Best Exercise For Chest And Shoulder
  1. Set the bench at 45-degree incline position, grab one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip and lay down on the bench on your back. Keep your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Hold the dumbbells directly over your upper chest with your arms are straight and palms facing each other. This is your starting position.
  3. Keeping your abdominal muscles tight and elbows slightly bent, lower your arms out to the sides in a slow and controlled manner until they reach below your shoulder height.
  4. Pause for a moment, and squeezing your chest, bring the dumbbells to the starting position. That’s your one complete rep.
  5. Do 3 sets of 12, 10, and 8 repetitions with 90 seconds to 2 minutes rest between sets.
  6. Increase load when you decrease the number of repetitions.

If you work out at the gym, you can replace dumbbell flyes with cable flyes.

Related: 12 Upper Chest Workout And Exercises Of All Time

3. Incline Dumbbell Twisting Bench Press

The incline dumbbell twisting bench press engages your chest (primary) and shoulder (secondary) muscles simultaneously and can help you increase strength and gain.

How to do dumbbell twisting bench press

Best workout for Chest And Shoulder
  • Holding a pair of dumbbells, lay down on a 45-degree incline bench and keep the dumbbells at your sides to your chest level by bending your elbows, palms facing forward.
  • Contracting the muscles of your chest, press the dumbbell upward toward the ceiling and when you reach halfway, twist your wrist so that your palms are facing in the opposite direction.
  • Pause for a moment at the top and then squeezing your pecs return your arms in the starting position where your palms are facing forward. This is your one complete repetition.
  • Do three sets of 10, 8 and 6 reps with 1-3 minutes rest between the sets.

You may also like: The 6 Best Dumbbell Exercises For Lower Chest

4. Flat Dumbbell Squeeze Press

Dumbbell squeeze press is an isolation workout that highly activated your chest muscles and helps you build a bigger chest.

Incorporating the squeeze press in your chest workout routine can also improve your bench-press performance – an article published on the Bodybuilding website suggested. 2 Feel The Bench In Your Chest With This Move – Bodybuilding.com

Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, you can incorporate DB squeeze press when you train chest and shoulder together.

How to do flat dumbbell squeeze press

  1. Grab a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip, lay down on a flat bench with your feet firmly on the floor.
  2. Hold the dumbbell just above your chest with your palms are facing each other.
  3. Keeping your core tight and squeezing your pecs, press the dumbbells upward until your arms are fully straight.
  4. Pause for a moment at the top, and then squeezing your chest lower the dumbbell to the start. This is your one repetition.
  5. Do three sets of 10, 8 and 6 repetitions each.
Also Check out: The Best Upper Body Dumbbell Workout (With PDF)

5. Dumbbell Arnold Press

The dumbbell Arnold press is an effective workout to target each muscle of the shoulders, especially the anterior deltoid.

Arnold dumbbell press was found to be a more effective exercise for the activation of Anterior and Medial deltoid muscles as compared to the Overhead Dumbbell Press in a study. 3Comparison among the EMG Activity of the Anterior Deltoid and Medial Deltoid During Two Variations of Dumbbell Shoulder Press Exercise – Indian Journal of Public Health Research and Development

When you do shoulder and chest workouts with dumbbells, including Arnold press will help you increase strength, muscle, and body composition.

How to do Arnold press

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand, sit on the bench with your back rested on the bench and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Hold the dumbbells at your chest level by bending your elbows with your palms are facing the body. That’s the start.
  3. Inhale and twisting your wrist, press the dumbbells overhead until your arms are fully straight. At the top, your palms will face away and elbows point out to sides.
  4. And then twisting your wrist, lower the dumbbell in the starting position. That’s your one complete rep.
  5. Do three sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitions with 1-3 minutes rest between sets.

Related: The Top 10 Dumbbell Exercises For Shoulders

6. Seated Dumbbell IYT Raise

The seated dumbbell IYT raises is a mixture of three different movements (“I” raise, “Y” raise, and “T” raise) that help you target several muscles of the upper body.  

It works on each muscle of the shoulder such as the front, lateral and rear deltoid.

I always include dumbbell IYT when I do upper body dumbbell workout because its supper effective and help me increase strength and muscles.

If you’re trying to build a stronger shoulder, you can also include it in your overall dumbbell exercise regime.

How to do seated dumbbell IYT raises

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip, sit on the edge of a flat bench and place your feet firmly on the ground.
  2. Hold your arms down and straight with your palms are facing inward.
  3. Keep your abdominal muscles tight and back straight. That’s the start.
  4. Inhale and raise your arms straight over your head toward the ceiling “as high as you can” and then return to the start. This is “I” raise.
  5. To do the “Y” raise, raise your arms straight slightly out to the side so your arms flare out in the “Y” shape. Pause for a moment and then lower the dumbbell to the start.
  6. Now, raise your arms straight out to the sides until arms are completely outward, your palms facing the ground. Hold for a couple of seconds and return the weight to the starting position. That’s “T” raise.
  7. Once you completed all three movements, it will be your one repetition.
  8. Do three sets of 8, 6, and 4 repetitions with 1-2 minutes rest between set.
  9. Squeezing your shoulder blades together and try to generate most of your lifting power through your shoulders during the entire the movement.

7. Incline Prone Dumbbell Rowing

The shoulder has three deltoids and to build a stronger and shredded shoulder, you need to target each muscle specifically. And the 45-degree incline dumbbell row is one of the highly effective exercises for targeting your rear delt, according to a study published by the American Council of Exercise (ACE). 4ACE Research Identifies Top Shoulder Exercises – American Council of Exercise

How to do a 45-degree incline row

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with an overhand grip. Lie prone on a 45-degree incline bench with your chest lie on the edge of the bench.
  2. Let your arms hang straight toward the ground. That’s the start.
  3. Squeezing your shoulder blades together lift the dumbbells as high as you can.
  4. Hold for a moment at the top, you’ll feel the contraction in your rear delt.
  5. Return your arms to the start. This is one complete one rep.
  6. Do three sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitions with 1-3 minutes rest between sets.

Best Chest and Shoulder Workout at the Gym

All the above dumbbell chest and shoulder exercises are effective and can be done at the gym as well. However, incorporating other exercises can help you build muscle more effectively if you work out at the gym.

Flat barbell bench press, peck deck fly, and incline cable crossover were identified as the most effective exercises for strengthening and toning the chest muscles in the ACE-sponsored study published in 2012. 5ACE-Sponsored Research: Top 3 Most Effective Chest Exercises

The peck deck fly and incline bent-forward cable crossovers are similar movements so you can do them alternatively on different days.

So let’s take a look at how to do flat bench press and incline bent-forward cable crossovers with step-by-step instructions.

8. Flat Barbell Bench Press

Best Workouts Chest And Shoulder
Bench Press
  1. Set the bar into the rack to an appropriate height and put weight according to your strength.
  2.  Lie on the bench under the bar with your feet firmly on the ground.
  3. Grab the bar with an underhand grip, arms two times wider than hip-width apart.
  4. Keep your core tight, un-rack the bar and hold over your chest with arms straight.
  5. Lower the bar by bending your elbows and keep it a few inches above your chest. That’s the start.
  6. Inhale, and press the bar slowly with your full strength until your arms are fully straight over your chest.
  7. Exhale, and make sure to squeeze your pecs at the top for a second and two, and then slowly lower the bar to the start. That’s one rep!
  8. Perform 4 sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps each with 2 minutes gap between set.
  9. Keep your lower back in an arc position while pressing up the bar as it will help you maintain a neutral spine and keep your back tight and protected.
  10. Perform each and every rep slowly and in a controlled fashion.

9. Incline Bent-Forward Cable Crossover

Best workout for Chest And Shoulder
Bent-Forward Cable Crossover for Chest
  • Insert D handles to cable machine and set to an appropriate height and put the desired weight. 
  • Grab the D handles firmly, take one step forward and stand in the staggered position.
  • Hold the handles at your sides lower than the shoulders height with a slight bend in your elbows.
  • Keep your front knee slightly bend and lean forward. That’s your starting position.
  • Engaging your chest muscles, bring the handles together in front of your stomach with arms fully straight.
  • Hold for a couple of seconds and then return your arms to the starting position. That’s your one rep.
  • Do each and every rep in a controlled fashion with squeezing your pectoralis muscles throughout the movement.
  • Complete three sets of 12, 10 and 8 repetitions with as shorter rest period as possible.

10. Landmine Press Workout For Training Chest and Shoulder Together

The landmine press is the best compound exercise that will help you build a stronger chest and shoulder together.

Whenever you do a push-pull-legs or full-body workout, doing landmine press once a week can be efficient for strength and muscle gain.

Moreover, it can also save your time whenever you’ll be in a hurry because it activates chest and shoulder muscles simultaneously.

How to do Landmine press

Best workout for Chest And Shoulder
  • Put the desired weight into the bar, and hold a heavy dumbbell on the one end of the bar while grab the other end firmly with your both hands.
  • Holding the bar, stand in the shoulder-width stance and keep your core tight.
  • Slightly lean forward, hold the bar at your chest height and keep your back as straight as possible. That’s the start.
  • Inhale, and engaging your chest and shoulder muscle together press the bar upward until your arms are fully straight.
  • Pause for a moment and then slowly lower the weight to the start. That’s your one rep.
  • Complete three sets of 12, 10 and 8 repetitions with as shorter rest period as possible.

11. Standing Barbell Overhead Press

The overhead barbell press is a compound workout that primarily works on the shoulder and helps you build a strong upper body.

You can replace Arnold press with this move if you like or you can do them interchangeably.

How to do Standing Barbell Overhead press

  • Put the desired weight in the bar and grab it firmly with your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  • Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and hold the bar at your shoulder height in front of you with your palms are facing upward. Maintain tight core and straight back. This is your starting position.
  • Inhale and press the bar overhead until your arms fully straight.
  • Hold for a moment and then slowly return your arms to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  • Perform 4 sets of 12, 10, 8 and 6 reps each with 1-3 minutes rest between set.
  • Keep your back straight and chest up during the movement.

Chest and Shoulder Workout Routine

If you want to build muscle, go for fewer repetitions and high volume, meaning when you decrease repetitions, increase the load, and keep the intervals as short as possible between the sets.

However, if you want to gain strength, go for higher reps, such as 12 to 16 reps in each set, use as heavyweight as possible and take 3-4 minutes rest between sets.

Week 1

  • Flat Bench Press: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Bent-Forward Cable Crossover or Incline Dumbbell Fly: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Incline Dumbbell Twisting Bench Press: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Arnold Press: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Seated IYT Raise: 3 sets of 8, 6, and 4 repetitios
  • Incline Prone Dumbbell Rowing: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios

Week 2

  • Flat Barbell Bench Press: 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Bent-Forward Cable Crossovers: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Dumbbell Squeeze Press: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Landmine Press: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
  • Seated Dumbbell IYT Raise: 3 sets of 8, 6, and 4 repetitios
  • Incline Prone Dumbbell Rowing: 3 sets of 10, 8, and 6 repetitios
Related: 1) 5 Day Gym Workout Schedule With PDF, 2) 6 Day Gym Workout Schedule With PDF, 3) 12 Week Dumbbell Workout Plan (With Free PDF)

Final Words

Doing chest and shoulder workouts together on the same day can be efficient for strength and gains.

You can do the above chest and shoulders workout with dumbbells at home. And if you exercise at the gym, you can incorporate both free weights and machine workouts to build a stronger chest and shoulder.

References

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