Shoulders and Arms Workout {5 Best Moves For Women}

By: Chris Freytag, CPT // September 24, 2021

The five moves we selected are perfect for your shoulder and arm workout. Because when you genuinely want to see a change in your arms, you also need to work out your shoulders. These five exercises work multiple arm muscles in one move, meaning you get more done in less time.

If you walk through the free weight area in any gym, and my guess is the most common exercise you will see is the infamous bicep curl! It’s just too straightforward of a move to pass up. Biceps are easily the most overtrained muscle on our body, and yet when it comes to getting fabulous arms, there is so much more in store for you beyond the traditional curl!

To do this shoulder and arm workout, all you need is a set of dumbbells. Start with 5lb weights. Anytime you are working shoulder muscles, it’s essential to start slow so you can avoid injury.  Listen to your body and as you get stronger, make sure to increase the weight. My rule of thumb is that you should be lifting enough weight so that you are struggling to finish your final rep.


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    1. Army Crawl Plank

    Chris Freytag demonstrating an army crawl

    While this exercise does work your core, your arms are getting a pretty great workout too! Pressing your body weight up and down is not an easy task for your arms and shoulders. Most of us find that this is a far greater challenge than a set of dumbbells.

    A)  Begin in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, your feet together, and your body in a straight line.

    B)  Bend your left arm so that it is now in the forearm plank position. Then bend your right arm so you are in a full forearm plank position.

    C)  Lift your left hand and place it on the mat directly below your shoulder as you push through your palm to lift yourself.

    D)  As you reach the top, place your right palm on the floor under your right shoulder and push back into a full plank. Repeat, leading with the right arm.

    Perform ten reps.

    You can modify this exercise if you’re finding it too difficult when you start.

    2. Arnold Press

    Chris Freytag demonstrating an arnold press

    Arnold Press is an upper-body move that strengthens your shoulders, biceps, and upper back.

    Make sure you start with a lighter weight to avoid any possible shoulder injuries.

    Always perform this move very slowly. The essence of strengthening muscles is to focus on the time under tension. The slower you move, the more time your muscles spend under pressure and the better results you will have. In addition, you will have better form and avoid swinging or using momentum.

    A) Stand with feet hip-distance apart, holding dumbbells at shoulder height with arms tight to the body and palms facing in.

    B) Rotate wrists out and extend your arms overhead, and return to start with control.

    Perform 12-15 reps.  

    3. Tricep Push Up

    chris Freytag demonstrating a tricep push up

    Tricep Side Push-Ups are an excellent bodyweight move for strengthening the triceps or back of your arms, as well as your biceps and shoulders.

    When it comes to Tricep Side Push-Ups, do as many reps as you can on both sides, and pretty soon, you will have killer arms (and abs)!

    A) Lie down on one side, stacking your shoulders, hips, and feet. Bring top hand to the mat directly in front of your bottom shoulder. The bottom hand will be wrapped around your waist below your chest.

    B) The top arm does all the work as you press yourself up and lower yourself to the mat to your starting position. You will feel the tricep muscles on the back of the top arm working. Repeat on the other side.

    Start by performing ten reps per side. After the first week, do as many reps as you can. 

    4. Shoulder T

    Chris Freytag demonstrating a Shoulder T

    Shoulder T is an upper body exercise that uses light weights to strengthen your shoulders and move them through a range of motion to stabilize the rotator cuff.

    The Shoulder T should be done very slowly and with control to keep the shoulder from getting injured. Start with lighter weights until you gain confidence in your strength and ability. It is easy to rush the move and lose your form.

    A) Starting with feet together and dumbbells at sides.

    B) Engage abs and lift dumbbells to shoulder height. Open arms out to sides rotating dumbbells parallel to the floor.

    C) Return dumbbells back to the front of the body and down to sides with control working the shoulders.

    Move slowly through 10-12 reps.

    5. Bear Walk

    Chris Freytag demonstrates a bear walk

    This movement is one of the most effective upper body moves around. The muscles in your chest, arms, shoulders, upper back, and abdomen will be burning after you finish because your knees can’t touch the ground, so the pressure is constant on your upper body.

    This dynamic exercise fires up all three of these muscle groups, which, in turn, fires up your heart rate and burns calories, and fires up your metabolism.

    A) Begin by getting onto all fours and then rise to your feet with your hands remaining on the floor.

    B) Crawl forward, starting with your right hand with your left foot, following with the left hand and the right foot.

    Crawl forward four steps and back four steps for 30 seconds.

    Congratulations, you did this kick-butt shoulder and arm workout! Now start including these moves into your weekly workout routine!

     READ THIS NEXT: 15 Push-Up Variations You’re Going To Want To Try

    5 Minute Workouts, Fitness, Strength Workouts, Upper Body Workouts, Workouts, Workouts by Length

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    on Reply

    I love your blog it motivated me,

    on Reply

    Thank you for this

    on Reply

    5 mints and it affects my belli as well

    on Reply

    I love quick and easy to tone! Thank you

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