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.
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.
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.
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.
• 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.
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.
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.