Table of Contents

How to Get Big Shoulders and Biceps

Bulk Supplements Direct

By bulksupplementsdirect

Your shoulders are a vital component of your upper arms. Your shoulder joints enable you to make an extensive range of movements, and strong deltoid muscles help increase your shape and broaden your shoulder width.


Equally, strong biceps improve your definition and support you with a range of everyday lifting tasks. It’s little surprise, then, that people are keen to learn the secrets of getting big shoulders and biceps at the same time.


While it’s undoubtedly important to work your biceps in isolation, too many people focus on their upper arm muscles while neglecting their shoulders.


To save you from falling into this trap, you can pair shoulder and bicep workouts together. Performing exercises like the barbell press push, seated dumbbell shoulder press, and lateral raise all work both your shoulders and biceps simultaneously. We introduce these in detail a little later on.


As well as performing appropriate exercises, to get big shoulders and biceps, you need to devise a workout schedule that is varied and includes rest days. You should also ensure that your form is on point, so your targeted muscles are worked in the way you intend.


Let’s begin by looking at how to work your shoulders and biceps simultaneously.


Working your shoulders and biceps simultaneously

According to a 2014 study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, the most impactful exercises for your biceps involve your shoulders, too. As such, performing exercises that work both your shoulders and biceps in tandem are an excellent way to increase your upper body strength and definition.


From an anatomical perspective, your biceps brachii is a double-headed muscle at the top of your arm. The biceps are often the first muscle that many people target when they first sign up for the gym. After all, who doesn’t want big guns?!


When we write of working your shoulders, we’re referring to your deltoids. One of the golden rules to getting big shoulders is working all three deltoid muscles and mixing up your routine. Your three deltoid muscles are as follows:


1] Anterior: often referred to as your front deltoid, this is also the easiest to train, as any type of shoulder push or press exercises will activate your anterior deltoid.


2] Lateral: more commonly known as your side deltoids, your lateral deltoid is the biggest muscle in your shoulder and is commonly targeted by weightlifters who want to see bulk in their shoulders.


3] Posterior: Your posterior deltoid sits at the back of your shoulders. It’s helpful to bolster the back of your shoulders to improve your posture and help with everyday lifting.


If you’ve got your heart set on building big shoulders, make sure you incorporate a range of deltoid exercises into your workout schedule.


What you need to know about building big shoulders and biceps

#1 - Don’t skip your rest days

When you’re hoping to see significant gains in the gym, it can be tempting to go all out and lift every day. However, according to Healthline, rest is essential for muscle growth, as it is during your rest periods that your muscles actively repair themselves and increase in size. If you don’t rest in between workouts, you will struggle to see the gains in your shoulders and biceps that you desire.

#2 - Variety is key

While you can benefit from a perfectly good shoulder and bicep workout from bodyweight exercises and by using equipment like dumbbells and barbells, consider spicing things up when you’re in the gym. Thanks to the advanced equipment and cables on the gym floor, you can vary the angles you lift at, as well as your planes of motion. Mixing things up ensures you don’t get stuck in a rut and experience a plateau, so try and regularly update your exercise schedule for best results.

#3 - Study your form

When performing curls or any form of pressing exercise, people routinely struggle with their form. This is often a result of trying to lift too much weight for your capacity and can result in limited movement ranges and poor form traits like swinging and lifting from the elbows. Those who see significant gains in their biceps and shoulders study and constantly work on their form. If you’re struggling with form, drop your weights down a notch or two while you get to grips with the basics.

Three of the best exercises to get big shoulders and biceps simultaneously

As we mentioned in the introduction, coupling your shoulder and bicep workouts ensures you don’t fall into the trap of neglecting your shoulders. Below are three excellent exercises that you can add to your workout to target both your deltoids and biceps simultaneously.

#1 - Barbell push press

This one is best done standing up. Pick up a barbell with appropriate weights attached, keeping your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the bar in line with your shoulders and ensure your palms are facing forwards. Then, bend your knees slightly and raise the bar, pushing up with your legs to press the barbell directly above your head. This should be an explosive thrust upwards before holding it above your head and slowly returning it to the starting position.

#2 - Seated dumbbell shoulder press

Begin by sitting on a bench with your back at a ninety-degree angle. Pick up one dumbbell in each hand and raise them to just above shoulder height, using an overhand grip. In one motion, press the dumbbells directly above your head until your arms are fully extended above you. Pause at the top and squeeze before slowly returning to the starting position. The press should finish with both dumbbells simultaneously in line with your ears.

#3 - Lateral raise

While standing, pick one dumbbell in each hand and hold them with your palms facing your body. You start by holding the weights by your side, then, keeping your body tight and still, raise the dumbbells out to your sight upward, maintaining a slight bend at your elbow. You need to really focus on your form here and make doubly sure that you aren’t swinging your body when lifting the weights. You should lift straight until your arms are parallel to the floor, then pause before lowering them slowly to the starting position.

How to get big shoulders and biceps – FAQs

Do I need to join the gym to get big shoulders and biceps?

It’s perfectly possible to devise a comprehensive and effective shoulder and bicep workout from home. Utilizing bodyweight exercises and basic equipment like dumbbells and barbels can help you see some remarkable gains in your upper arms and shoulders. That being said, joining the gym provides you with access to a range of machines and cables that undoubtedly help you build big shoulders and biceps. If you can combine your home workouts with a session on the relevant machines in the gym, you stand a better chance of seeing the results that you desire.

How many times each week should I work my shoulders and biceps?

We’ve already touched upon the importance of rest days, as you need to allow your muscles sufficient time to recover and grow. It’s never a good idea to work out the same muscle groups on consecutive days, either. If you’re extremely dedicated and want to build big shoulders and biceps quickly, you can lift on 3-4 days each week, ensuring that the days in between are designated rest days.

Which bodyweight exercises are good for working my shoulders and biceps?

You will find that bodyweight exercises can produce remarkable results when it comes to building big shoulders and biceps. Providing your form is good; bodyweight training is an ideal way of working out from home or on the road when you can’t get to the gym. To build big shoulders and biceps, consider adding some or all of the following exercises to your workout regime:


• Inclined push-ups.

• Chin-ups.

• Plank to dog down.

• Inverted row.


Coupled with barbell or dumbbell exercises, bodyweight training is a super effective way to see significant results in your upper arms and core.


Can I still work my shoulders and biceps if another part of my body is injured?

This is a common question that gets asked a lot, particularly by regular gym-goers. The answer really depends on the severity of your injury, as well as its location. If, for instance, you have a minor abrasion on your toe, you’ll probably be perfectly fine working out your shoulders and biceps. But if you have any type of muscle sprain or pull, we would advise you to lay off the weights until you have recovered. If you aggravate a muscle injury, you will only make it worse in the long run, so you should focus on recovering before returning to your workout schedule.

The verdict – how to build big shoulders and biceps

If you want to build an upper body to be truly proud of, putting in the time and effort to see gains in your shoulders and biceps is an important step to take. Designing your workouts to include a range of exercises that work your deltoid muscles and biceps in tandem will help you build big shoulders and biceps quickly.


What’s more, utilizing a range of gym floor machines, cables, dumbbells, barbells, and bodyweight exercises will reduce the likelihood of you getting stuck in a rut. The more you vary your workouts, the quicker you see results.


But as with all other weightlifting exercises, we can’t stress enough the importance of form and rest days. We’ll leave you with this – if you neglect either, you will struggle to achieve the results that you desire and won’t see huge gains in your shoulders or biceps.



Ultimate 6-Week Muscle Building eBook!

69 Pages of everything you need to know to pack on muscle in a 6 week training and nutrition plan. Free and available for a limited time! Download Now!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.

Don't Miss Out!

Subscribe to our private newsletter to receive the latest news, views and offers!

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more information.