Chest and Shoulder Workout for Mass and Strength

The duo of chest and shoulder workout increase your muscle strength and endurance in the chest and shoulder. Chest and shoulder is a muscle pairing as old as the bench press itself, and for good reason.

The pecs might be the prime movers in most pressing exercises, but the shoulder is crucial synergistic, or secondary movers.

We’ve taken this workout a step further by using giant sets to build lean muscle in your shoulders and chest.

In this post, you’ll learn:

  • Chest and shoulder anatomy
  • Why You Should Train Chest and shoulder together.
  • Best exercises for a chest and shoulder workout
  • The best chest and shoulders workout superset routine for building major muscle mass

Know About Chest And Shoulder Muscles

Chest Muscles

The chest muscle is also known as the pectoralis muscle and is mainly divided into the upper and the lower sections.

It’s important to train the chest with a variety of exercises to develop the upper and the lower, pectorals, the inside and the outside pectorals.

upper, middle, and lower Chest head
upper, middle, and lower Chest head

Shoulder Muscles

The deltoid muscle of the shoulder consists of three separate sections or heads.

The anterior deltoid (In front), lateral deltoid (at the side), and posterior deltoid (behind), and you need to work all three of them, along with the trapezius muscle in the upper back, to build an impressive shoulder.


Why You Should Train Chest and shoulder together on same day workout session

During a compound workout, many targeted muscles work together with other Synergistic and stabilizer muscles to function.

Targeting one muscle may not fully engage these other supportive muscles, but they may be in use to some degree. So, if a workout targets one specific muscle group, the groups that work along with that muscle are also getting some work.

Training chest and shoulder together in the same workout is something that bodybuilders have been doing for decades. The reason for training those muscle groups together is very logical.

When doing a bench press, one of the target muscles is in the chest. However, there are other muscles working in this motion, such as the shoulders and the muscles in the triceps.

It’s important to let you know that we are strong believers in first training your chest before your shoulder during your workout routine. This is because your chest muscle will need your full energy and is most likely the heavies to train and gain in terms of muscle.

12 Best Chest And Shoulder Workouts for Beginner to advanced

Below is a list of a few of the best chest and shoulder workouts for building up a strong and healthy body and muscle.

6 Best Chest Exercises

1. Bench Press

Bench Press, is one of the best chest muscle-building exercises. This exercise should be the center of all your chest workouts.

Bench Press is the fundamental exercise for the upper body and should be a part of any best chest exercises regime.

That’s why, for overall chest development, the barbell press always remains on the top of the list. Must add this Chest and shoulder exercise to your workout routine.

Bench Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on the bench, keeping your feet on the floor for better balance.
  2. Lift the bar off the rack and hold it at arm’s length above you.
  3. Now lower the bar under controlled motion until it touches above the chest (around the nipple area).
  4. Now raise it until your arms are nearly locked out.


  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements.
  • Do not bounce the weights off the chest.
  • Avoid too much arching of the back.
  • For heavyweights, use a spotter.

2. Push-Ups

Push-Ups are the best bodyweight calisthenics exercise to build your entire upper body, shoulders, chest, and arms. Check how to do them correctly and blast your muscles at home or at Gym. It is used to be done to build muscle and strength in the chest, shoulders, and arms.

Push-Ups can be a real challenge if done in various forms. Intensity is the key here to Build Muscle and Strength. You can do this exercise on the floor, with or without Push-up handles. For the Beginner, push-ups must be the part of the chest and shoulder workout.

Push Ups

How To Do

  1. Lay face down on the ground with your legs straight, and arms supporting the upper body. Keep your knees off the ground.
  2. Raise yourself off the ground straightening your elbows and your arms. But keep your elbows close to your body.
  3. Raise until your elbows are locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.
  4. Now, lower your body under slow sustained motion, feeling the motion all the way down until your chest is very close to the ground.


  • Exhale while you exert.
  • For more variations, you do incline push-ups, decline ups.

3. Decline Bench Press

The decline bench press is an effective flat bench alternative that will change the angle and tension placed on the chest; increasing the likelihood of new stimulus to the working muscle and therefore an increased probability of muscle growth in size and strength. You can add this chest exercise with shoulder exercise to your workout to train both muscles at the same time.

Decline Press Exercise is much better than the flat bench press for building your lower chest muscles, which gives your chest a fuller, denser, more attractive look.

To do the decline bench press, you’ll need a specialized decline bench that puts the back pad at about a 15-30 degree angle. 

Decline Press

How To Do

  1. Lie on a decline bench and secure your legs at the end.
  2. Lift the bar from the rack using a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar. Hold it over yourself with your arms locked.
  3. Bring the bar down slowly until you feel the bar on your chest. Pause slightly at this point.
  4. Move the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale. Use your chest muscles to push the bar. Hold for a second and then bring the bar down slowly again.


  • Get help from a spotter as you take the barbell off the rack.
  • Perform them before triceps in any workout.
  • Keep a controlled motion and avoid jerky movements

4. Incline Bench Press

The Incline Bench Press is a compound upper-body exercise, meaning that multiple joints and muscles contribute to the movement.

It is a variation of the bench press and an exercise used to build the muscles of the chest. The shoulders and triceps will be indirectly involved as well.

Incline bench press exercise focuses on the upper chest more and therefore helps build massive upper pecs. It is the best exercise to develop muscle mass in the upper and middle pectoral region.

Incline Bench Press

How To Do

  1. Lie back on an incline bench. Make sure the bench is adjusted to between 30-45 degrees on an incline.
  2. Lift the bar from the rack using a shoulder-width overhand grip on the bar. Hold it over yourself with your arms locked.
  3. Bring the bar down slowly until you feel the bar on your chest. Pause slightly at this point.
  4. Raise your arms until they are nearly locked out. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.


  • Do not bounce the bar off of the chest. Lower the bar with control.
  • Set a bench at about 30-45 degrees inclined. Do not go more upright as the stress shifts more to shoulders rather than chest area.
  • Do not lower the bar to the neck. Bring the bar to the upper part of your chest on the descent.

5. Cable Crossover (Middle Cable Fly)

Cable Fly aka Cable Crossover fly Exercises helps to build huge Pectorals. Crossover provides constant tension in helping build massive pecs.

Standing Cable Crossover Exercise helps to develop and define the lower and the Inner pectoral muscles. Cable provides constant resistance and helps develop the lower and the central chest muscles by providing the much-needed stress in the lower and the inner pecs.

Cable Crossovers

How To Do

  1. In a standing position, grab and holds the handles of overhead pulleys on both sides.
  2. Bend slightly forwards and extend your arms, feeling a good stretch in your chest muscles.
  3. Now flex your arms with elbows slightly bent and get a good chest contraction.
  4. Unlike chest flies, you can crossover the center to get full Pec contraction.


  • Breathe in on the relaxation phase and breathe out when contracting, keeping your head up at all times.
  • Squeeze your chest at the end of the movement.

6. The Landmine Chest Press

The Landmine Press is not a popular exercise yet provides many benefits in regard to progressing your upper chest and shoulder.

It can be performed in a standing position, which increases core involvement and can improve core stability and strength of the abdominal muscles.

The Landmine Chest Press

How To Do

  1. Stand holding the weighted end of the barbell with both hands in front of your chest.
  2. Make sure the barbell is wedged securely in a landmine device or corner.
  3. Your feet should be level and shoulder-width apart.
  4. Press the weight up with both hands until your arms are extended, then bring it back down slowly.


  • Hold a neutral spine throughout the movement to prevent injury.
  • Exhale on pushing movement, inhale when returning to starting position.
  • Contract the chest muscle at the top of the movement.

6 Best Shoulder Exercises

1. Barbell Overhead Press

Shoulder Press Exercise is the best shoulder muscle mass builder exercise. The shoulder Press remains the grand-daddy of all shoulder exercises to build big, round shoulder muscles.

Seated shoulder press has been the favorite shoulder exercise with bodybuilders as it builds muscle fast and is a power move. Performing the exercise while seated upright is a stricter version than standing and prevents cheating the weight upward using momentum generated by the legs.

Barbell Shoulder Press

How To Do

  1. Sit on an exercise bench and grab a bar with an overhand grip.
  2. Bring the bar over and in front of your head, under your chin, and just above your upper chest.
  3. Now Press the bar straight up overhead until your arms are fully extended but not locked out.
  4. Slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.


  • Perform a warm-up with 50% weight for 1-2 sets.
  • Always perform the Shoulder Exercises before you perform triceps.

2. Pike Push-Ups

Pike Push-ups aka shoulder push-up is a variation of the push-up that increases strength and stability in the shoulders and triceps. Performing the exercise in a more upright position will target the shoulders more than the chest.

The pike push-up looks like a mash-up of Downward-Facing Dog and Dolphin Pose, and this move can build major strength.

Pike Push Up

How To Do

  1. Start in a standard push-up position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and elbows completely locked out.
  2. Lift the hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Keep arms and legs as straight as possible.
  3. Slowly lower the top of your head towards the ground. Once your head is about to make contact with the ground, pause for a second.
  4. Then slowly push back until your arms are straight, until you’re in the inverted V position.


  • Make sure you maintain control throughout the movement.

3. Machine Presses

Shoulder Machine Press is an excellent exercise to build the front deltoid and the side deltoid muscles.

Machine Presses have advantages over free weight presses. Machines provide better stability and safety and also offer a choice of handgrips. A neutral grip (palms facing together) targets the anterior deltoid better than a pronated grip (palms forward).  

This exercise demands a very strict movement as the bar is fixed to the rack and also allows the weights to go much lower, providing a good stretch to front deltoid muscles.  

Machine Press

How To Do

  1. Grasp the bar on the shoulder machine at shoulder levels.
  2. Now press the bar overhead until your arms are nearly locked out.
  3. Lower the bar back to the starting position under controlled motion.


  • Exhale while you exert
  • Keep motion-controlled.

4. Lateral Raise

Lateral Raise is the best exercise to build side deltoids. To build the middle head of the deltoid muscle, make lateral raises a regular part of your shoulder workout. It’s a must-do exercise.

Lateral Raise

How To Do

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and bring the weights together in front of you. The palms should be facing each other.
  2. Now bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells to your sides.
  3. Lift them to a point slightly higher than your shoulders.
  4. Now lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner back to the starting position.


  • Don’t just swing your arms. Keep motion-controlled throughout the exercise.
  • Perform a warm-up with 50% weight for 1-2 sets.
  • Always use weights that you can handle comfortably.

5. Machine Rear Deltoid Fly

Machine Rear Deltoid Fly is an excellent exercise for the rear deltoid. The rear deltoid fly machine provides a uniform resistance throughout the range of motion.

This machine also offers several technical adjustments to grip. Trajectory and range of motion are used to isolate the rear deltoid.

reverse pec deck fly

How To Do

  1. Sit facing the rear deltoid machine with your chest against the backrest, and grasp the handles directly in front with arms outstretched at shoulder level.
  2. Pull the handles back in an arc as far as possible, keeping your elbows high and arms parallel to the floor.
  3. Return the handles to the start position directly in front.


  • Do not use very heavyweight for this exercise.
  • Maintain tension on the rear deltoids.

6. Face Pull

Face pull is a cable machine exercise that primarily targets the rear deltoid and to a lesser degree also targets the biceps, triceps, and traps.

This exercise prevents muscular imbalance and builds overall shoulder strength. However, there are many faces pull variations that you can try out that may require different types of equipment and setup.

Face Pull

How To Do

  1. Grab the ends of the rope attachment using a neutral grip (palms facing each other) and slightly lean back.
  2. Pull the rope toward your face as you spread the ends of the rope, so they end up on the sides of your ears just above your shoulders in the finish position.
  3. Hold this position for a second as you squeeze your shoulder blades together, contracting rear delts and middle traps as hard as possible.
  4. Then slowly return the rope to the start position and repeat for reps.


  • Stand straight with feet in a comfortable, balanced stance.
  • Think about trying to pinch your shoulder blades as tight as possible when pulling weight toward your face.
  • Your upper arms should be straight out to your sides with elbows bent.

Training Volume (Sets And Reps) For Chest and Shoulder Muscles

Of course, the number of sets and reps will be determined based on your fitness journey, but here is a great starting point:


  • Beginners: ~10 sets per week.
  • Intermediate: ~15 sets per week.
  • Advanced: ~20 sets per week.

When a certain amount of volume stops being effective and your progress stalls, you can add sets to increase volume and use that as a driver of renewed progress. 


The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • 6-8 reps with heavy load
  • 8-15 reps with moderate load
  • 15-20+ with light load

The load should bring your to or near failure within the given rep ranges to be effective. 

Chest and Shoulder Workout Routine

Workout Plan #1

  1. Push-Ups: 4 sets of 8-15 reps.
  2. Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  3. Decline Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.
  4. Pike Push-Ups: 4 sets of 8-15 reps.
  5. Barbell Overhead Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  6. Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 8-10 reps.

Workout Plan #2

  1. Incline Bench Press: 4 sets of 8-12 reps.
  2. Barbell Overhead Press : 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
  3. Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps.
  4. Machine Presses : 3 sets of 6-8 reps.
  5. The Landmine Chest Press: 3 sets of 10-15 reps.
  6. Face Pull: 3 sets of 8-12 reps.

Chest and shoulder superset workout

  1. Bench Press Superset with
    • Barbell Overhead Press
  2. Push-ups Superset with
    • Pike Push-Ups
  3. Decline bench press Superset with
    • Machine Press
  4. Incline Bench press Superset with
    • lateral raise
  5. Cable crossover Superset with
    • Machine Rear Deltoid Fly
  6. The Landmine Chest Press Superset with
    • Face Pull.

The best superset is that you can simply and effectively implement it in your workout. Try this workout routine, which involves doing two different exercises without rest in between.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you train the chest and shoulder together?

Yes, you can train chest and shoulder together in your workout regime. It’s actually preferred by many fitness gurus and bodybuilders to train them together, since you are already working the shoulder when doing chest.

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do?

For just about every exercise of the chest or shoulder, 3–4 work sets (the real work you do, not warm-up sets) is a good choice. But rep ranges fluctuate. You can go as low as 5 reps on heavy presses, and up to 15–30 reps for accessory work.


You now have a comprehensive understanding of the chest and shoulder muscles, and, more importantly, you have two muscle-building workouts designed for serious gains..

This chest and shoulder workout is great for beginners, but it’s also excellent for experienced gym-goers.

I hope you liked our chest and shoulder workout.

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