Cable Lateral Raise

Chest and Shoulder Workout For Upper Body Size and Strength – Fitness Volt –

Chest And Shoulder Workout
Do you have a favorite pair of old jeans? Or maybe some sneakers you love to wear, despite being a bit grubby and worn? If you do, you probably hang on to them because they’re comfortable. You slip on your jeans or sneakers and instantly feel at home.
While comfort is great for clothes and shoes, it’s the last thing you need for productive workouts. If your workout is comfortable, there is a very good chance that it’s not challenging enough to deliver the gains you want. 
Many exercisers develop their workouts over months or even years, gradually gathering a list of favorite exercises that they’re reticent to part with. As a result, every leg, chest, back, and shoulder workout remains the same.
While you DO need to follow a consistent training program to build muscle and strength, there is a massive difference between consistent and unchanging. To keep building muscle and getting stronger, you need to gradually increase your weights and/or reps, experiment with higher and lower training frequencies, and even adopt different split routine configurations from time to time.
If you don’t, your progress will soon grind to a halt, and you could even find yourself in a long-term training rut. So, as the saying goes, if you want to change yourself, you’ve got to challenge yourself. That means getting out of your comfort zone and embracing new workout methods.
If your chest and shoulder development has plateaued, we’ve got a new workout for you to try.
You may look at it and think, “well, I’d never do that in MY workouts,” but that’s entirely the point! By doing something new and unusual, you will trigger renewed muscle growth.
So, while you don’t need to throw out your favorite jeans or sneakers, you SHOULD try a new workout from time to time. Use this program for the next 6-8 weeks to jumpstart your progress.
After that, you have our permission to go back to your favorite upper body workouts!
While you don’t NEED to know everything about the structure and function of your chest and shoulders to get a good upper body workout, a little extra knowledge is rarely a bad thing. Learn the basic anatomy of the muscles you’ll be working in our chest and shoulder workout.
Chest And Shoulder AnatomyChest And Shoulder Anatomy
Known as the pecs for short, this is the large muscle located on the front of your chest. It makes up most of your chest bulk. There are three sets of fibers or heads that make up the pecs:
While it IS impossible to isolate any of the pec heads, you can emphasize each one by varying the angle of your upper arms. The primary functions of the pecs are shoulder joint horizontal flexion, adduction, and medial rotation.
Pec minor is the smaller of the two chest muscles. Located underneath pectoralis major, this muscle is flat, small, and doesn’t contribute much to chest size. However, it’s still essential and assists your pec major while keeping your shoulders down and back.
Shoulder AnatomyShoulder Anatomy
The deltoids are your shoulder muscles. Like the pecs, there are three sets of fibers called heads. The three deltoid heads and their functions are:
While this IS a chest and shoulder workout, it’s pretty tough to train these muscles without involving your triceps. Located on the back of your arm and responsible for elbow extension, your triceps are involved in every chest and shoulder pushing exercise.
This workout is designed to be done as part of a split routine. Do it once or twice a week. If you choose to train your chest and shoulders twice, use non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday and Thursday, to allow plenty of time for rest and recovery.
To get the most from this workout and minimize your risk of injury, make sure you warm up before you begin. Start with 5-10 minutes of easy cardio followed by dynamic mobility and flexibility exercises for the joints and muscles you are about to use. End your warm-up with 50-100 reps of band pull-aparts to really get your shoulders moving.
For this workout, you’ll be doing both compound and isolation exercises for your chest and shoulders, using a range of set and rep schemes. This will build muscle and strength, so it’s basically a powerbuilding program.
Program notes:
*AMRAP = As Many Reps as Possible; just rep out to failure.
Exercises 3a and 3b are to be done as a superset. Do the first exercise (3a) and then, without resting, do the second one (3b). Rest as directed, and then repeat the pairing. Do three complete supersets before moving on to the next exercise (#4).
Get the most from this workout by doing each exercise with perfect form. Not only will this make your training more productive, but it will also reduce your risk of injury.
Target muscles: Entire chest
No chest workout would be complete without the bench press. But, instead of lowering the bar fast and bouncing it off your chest, negating most of the benefits, with this version, you’re going to lower the bar smoothly, pause, and then push it back up.
This reduces momentum, increases time under tension, and protects your joints, too. However, the pause also makes bench presses more challenging, so use less weight to avoid getting pinned under the bar.
How to do it:
Target muscles: Upper, Inner chest
While most people are familiar with incline dumbbell bench presses, most do them with a medium-width, overhand grip. This variation is a little different in that you’ll be using a narrow, parallel grip and pressing the weights together, which will increase inner chest activation.
How to do it:
Target muscles: Lower, inner chest
Cable crossovers are an isolation exercise for your chest. Done from high to low, they emphasize your lower, inner chest. Get the most from this exercise by squeezing your pecs as hard as you can between reps.
Cable CrossoversCable Crossovers
How to do it:
Learn more about cable crossovers here.
Target muscles: Entire chest
A lot of people dismiss push-ups as being too easy to build muscle or strength. However, now that your pecs are fatigued, you should find them a whole lot more challenging. Paired with cable crossovers, this final chest exercise should leave your pecs feeling pumped.
Pushup ExercisePushup Exercise
How to do it:
Target muscles: Anterior, medial, and posterior deltoids
You won’t see many people doing the Bradford press nowadays, and that’s a shame. This combination of front and behind-the-neck shoulder presses keeps your delts under constant tension, creating the ideal environment for muscle growth.
You WILL need good shoulder mobility to do this exercise, and it’s best avoided if you have shoulder pain. That said, if you CAN do it, you will undoubtedly appreciate the delt-building power of the Bradford press.
If you can’t do Bradford presses, do regular overhead dumbbell, barbell, or Arnold presses instead.
How to do it:
Target muscles: Medial deltoids
You can do lateral raises with dumbbells, but cables keep your delts under constant tension. Do this exercise using one arm at a time or, for efficiency, raise both arms at once. Don’t go too heavy with this exercise. Instead, focus on slow, smooth movements and maximizing muscle tension.
Cable Lateral RaiseCable Lateral Raise
How to do it:
Target muscles: Posterior deltoids
When it comes to posterior delt training, most people rely on exercises like rear delt flyes, face pulls, and band pull-aparts. While there is NOTHING wrong with any of those exercises, there are other ways to work your rear delts.
Prone incline dumbbell shoulder presses put your rear delts, mid-traps, and rhomboids under constant tension and are also a tremendous postural exercise.
How to do it:
Your chest and shoulders are two of the “showcase” muscle groups. They’re eye-catching and make up a considerable chunk of your upper body mass. That means you can’t afford to get complacent when training them. Train them hard and often to maximize your strength and muscular development.
Of course, you need to balance all those pushing exercises with plenty of pulling exercises for your back and biceps, too, but that’s a whole different article!
Keep your upper body workouts fresh and productive by changing things up every 4-8 weeks. The moment you start to feel comfortable with your workout, it starts to lose some of its transformative power.
Use our new chest and shoulder workout to shake up your training, and then, in a month or two, jump on a new program and shake things up again.
That’s how you maintain your muscle-building progress!
Patrick Dale is an ex-British Royal Marine, gym owner, and fitness qualifications tutor and assessor. In addition, Patrick is a freelance writer who has authored three fitness and exercise books, dozens of e-books, thousands of articles, and several fitness videos. He’s not just an armchair fitness expert; Patrick practices what he preaches! He has competed at a high level in numerous sports, including rugby, triathlon, rock climbing, trampolining, powerlifting, and, most recently, stand up paddleboarding. When not lecturing, training, researching, or writing, Patrick is busy enjoying the sunny climate of Cyprus, where he has lived for the last 20-years.
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© Copyright 2010 – 2021 Fitnes Volt IBC. All Rights Reserved.