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Biceps & Shoulder Exercises

author image Nick Ng
Nick Ng has been writing fitness articles since 2003, focusing on injury prevention and exercise strategies. He has covered health for "MiaBella" magazine. Ng received his Bachelor of Arts in communications from San Diego State University in 2001 and has been a certified fitness coach with the National Academy of Sports Medicine since 2002.
Biceps & Shoulder Exercises
A man is measuring his toned arms. Photo Credit Comstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Toned shapely biceps and deltoids are the hallmark of well-sculpted arms, and finding exercises that target them is easy. But bear in mind that your muscles work in groups, and failing to get a balanced workout can result in sacrificing function for form. For a more balanced physique, combine exercises that isolate your biceps and deltoids with compound exercises that use them in conjunction with larger muscle groups. And for truly awesome arms, be sure to work your triceps as well.

Lunge Press

A lunge press recruits your deltoid muscles in conjunction with your lower body and trunk, and targets your triceps to boot. Hold a 20-pound dumbbell in each hand over your shoulders with your forearms close to your body's center. Stand with your left leg in front of you with both feet pointing forward. Lunge until your right knee almost touches the ground. Exhale and stand up, pressing the weights above your head. Keep your torso upright. Lower the weights down to your shoulders, and lunge at the same time. Perform 10 reps per leg for two to three sets each.

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Curl and Press

A curl and press recruits both your biceps and deltoids in two phases. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, and hold a 20-lb. dumbbell in each hand facing forward. Curl your arms up, and press the weights over your head, rotating your forearms so that your palms face forward in the overhead position. Lower the weights to your shoulders, and then return to the starting position. Perform 10 to 12 reps for three sets.

Standing Cable Row

A standing cable row works you back, posterior deltoid, and biceps while recruiting the muscles of your legs and trunk as stabilizers. Use a cable machine with two strapping grips set at shoulder height. Take a wide stance with slightly bent knees and contract your abdominal muscles to stabilize your spine. Keeping your elbows close to your ribs, exhale and pull the handles toward your armpits as you retract your shoulder blades, then slowly extend your arms to starting position. Perform 10 to 12 reps for three sets.

Balance is Best

Perform pushing exercises that work your triceps to balance your arm muscles. Too much exercise for your biceps can cause your arms to have poor extension and pushing abilities. If you do one set of a pulling or curling exercise, do a second exercise that opposes the movement, such as a dumbbell chest press or push-ups. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends you do resistance training for all your major muscle groups on non-consecutive days, two to three times per week. Do one to three sets of eight to 12 repetitions, performing each set to volitional fatigue.

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