Best Chest Shoulder Triceps Workout for Muscle Mass and Strength

Are you ready to take your upper body workout to a new level? Then you must train your chest, shoulders, and triceps in the same workout.

Why is a chest, shoulders, and triceps workout important? The trio of chest shoulder triceps workout increases your muscle strength and endurance in the upper body.

When it comes to building a strong upper body, the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles are all important and have been around for a long time. From the traditional bench press to a multitude of pressing exercises, these muscles play crucial roles in generating strength and defining your physique.

While the chest muscles serve as the primary movers during pressing movements, the shoulders and triceps act as crucial synergistic companions, working in harmony to maximize your performance.

This blog has detailed descriptions of the following topic:

Know Your Chest, Shoulder and Tricep Muscles

The chest, shoulder, and tricep muscles are integral components of the upper body, contributing to strength, stability, and aesthetics.

Understanding these muscles and their functions can help you design targeted workouts and achieve optimal results. Let’s delve into each of these muscle groups:

Chest Muscles

The chest muscles, or pectoralis major and minor, are located in the front of the upper body. It consists of two main portions:

  • The upper chest is referred to as the clavicular head because of its attachment to the clavicle.
  • The lower chest is referred to as the sternocostal head because of their attachment to the ribs.

They are responsible for various movements involving the arms, such as pushing and hugging motions.

Chest ( pectoralis) anatomy

Shoulder Anatomy

The shoulder muscles, specifically the deltoids, are responsible for the overall shape and stability of the shoulders. It consists of three separate sections or heads.

Shoulder Anatomy

Tricep Anatomy

The triceps is a large muscle on the back of the arm. It consists of 3 parts.

It begins just below the socket of the shoulder blade and at two distinct areas of the humerus. One of the tricep’s main responsibilities is extending the elbow joint, or simply straightening the arm. 

Triceps Anatomy

Why You Should Train Chest shoulder Triceps Together In the Same Workout

Training the chest, shoulders, and triceps together in the same workout offers several advantages that contribute to a well-rounded upper body development. The reasons for training those muscle groups together are very logical.

During a compound workout, many targeted muscles work together with other Synergistic and stabilizer muscles to function. The target of one muscle may not fully engage the 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.

1. Muscular Synergy

The chest, shoulders, and triceps work in synergy during many compound exercises, especially pushing movements.

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 triceps and the muscles in the shoulders.

2. Balanced Upper Body Development

Training them together can help you build muscles in a proportional way and prevent muscle imbalances. This balanced development not only enhances aesthetics, but also improves posture and overall upper body strength.

3. Time Efficiency

Combining chest, shoulder, and tricep exercises into a single workout saves time because you can train multiple muscle groups in one session. This can be particularly beneficial if you have a busy schedule or limited time for training.

4. Increased Training Frequency

It allows for higher training frequency. Since these muscle groups are frequently used in various upper body movements, targeting them together enables you to train them more frequently throughout the week.

How To Do Chest Shoulder Tricep Workout

To structure an effective chest shoulder and tricep workout to increase mass and strength, the number of reps and sets will vary based on your fitness level, weekly workout frequency, and strength training goals.

For strength gains, do 4 to 6 sets of 1 to 6 reps each exercise with a weight that is at least 85% of your one-repetition maximum (1RM) The fewer reps you perform, the closer to 100% of your 1RM you should strive for.

If your goal is hypertrophy (muscle growth), perform three sets of each exercise, using loads that are 70 to 85% of your 1RM for 8 to 12 reps.

When training for endurance, it is usually recommended to use higher reps (15 to 20 repetitions) and moderate loads, with a weight that is at least 50 to 70% of your 1RM.

Best Chest shoulder and Triceps Exercises

So, here’s a list of a few of the best chest, shoulder, and triceps workouts for you to build up a strong and healthy body and muscles.

1. Push-Ups

Push-ups can be performed, regardless of where you are and, best of all, they are completely free—no expensive equipment or annual gym fees required. There are different types of push-up variations to meet different needs.

The classic push-up has survived the test of time and is the single most efficient exercise to simultaneously strengthen the chest, arms, deltoidlower back, abs and glutes. 

Push-ups are one of the most basic but rewarding all-around exercises you will find, and everyone from teenagers to older adults can benefit from doing them regularly.

Different Push-Up For A Complete Chest, Shoulder Tricep Workout.

Push Ups

How To Do Standard Push-Ups

  1. Lay face down on the ground with your legs straight, and arms supporting your upper body.
  2. Keep your knees off the ground.
  3. Raise yourself off the ground, straightening your elbows and your arms.
  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.
  5. Raise until your elbows are locked, and pause for a moment at the top of the movement.

2. Barbell Bench Press

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

The flat barbell press, also known as the bench press, is a popular compound exercise that targets the chest, triceps, and shoulders.

The Flat barbell chest 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 chest press always remains on the top of the list.

Barbell Bench Press Variations

Barbell Bench Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on a bench with your feet on the ground and your eyes directly underneath the barbell.
  2. Grab the barbell with a grip that is slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Lift the barbell off the rack and lower it towards your chest in a controlled manner.
  4. Press the barbell back up towards the starting position, until your arms are nearly locked out.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

3. Dumbbell Bench Press

The dumbbell chest press is a popular exercise for building upper body strength and developing the chest muscles. It is a compound exercise, which means it works multiple muscle groups at once.

The dumbbell bench press provides the extra range of motion at the top for complete chest development. Furthermore, dumbbells demand better coordination, forcing the stabilizing muscles to assist as well.

The studies suggest that for chest development, both barbell and dumbbell bench presses can be used interchangeably without reducing muscle activation or negative transfer effects.

Other Variations Of Dumbbell Chest Press:

Dumbbell Chest Press

How To Do

  1. Lie flat on the bench, keeping your feet on the floor for better balance, with a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Hold the Dumbbells straight overhead, palms facing forwards.
  3. Now, lower the weights to your outer chest, stretching the chest to the maximum at the bottom.
  4. Now, raise it until your arms are nearly locked out, keep dumbbells very close to each other.
  5. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.

4. Dumbbell Fly

The dumbbell fly is an isolation exercise that is usually performed after big compound lifts like the bench press and incline press.

It is considered to be the perfect finishing move and a great way to focus on your chest after many pressing exercises

The chest fly doesn’t require much equipment to perform. You can do dumbbell flyes while lying on the floor if you don’t have a bench.

The fly is often thought of as a classic body-building movement, as the goal of the exercise is to isolate the chest for aesthetic purposes.

Different Fly Exercises To Develop Your Chest

Dumbbell fly

How To Do Dumbbell Fly

  1. Lie on the flat bench with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Lift your arms straight up from your shoulders and the dumbbells directly over your upper chest.
  3. Slowly lower your arms out to your sides until your wrists come to about shoulder level or slightly above
  4. Bring your arms back toward the midline of your body, focusing on using your pec muscles to draw them back together.

5. Overhead Press

The Shoulder Press Exercise is the best exercise for building shoulder muscle mass and strength. It 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.

Note: Dumbbell Pres is also good for training the shoulder muscles. Research has shown that using dumbbells makes your muscles work harder, even if you can’t lift as much weight as compared to barbell press

There are several variations of the barbell press for shoulder development.

  • Dumbbell shoulder press (single-arm, alternating)
  • Standing military press
  • Smith machine shoulder press
  • Machine shoulder press
Barbell Shoulder Press

How To Do Barbell Overhead Press

  1. Sit on the bench with your feet flat on the floor and a slight bend in your knees.
  2. Grab the barbell with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Hold it at shoulder level, just above your upper chest, with your elbows bent and pointing forward.
  4. Press the barbell upward by extending your arms. As you push, focus on keeping the barbell balanced and moving in a straight line directly above your head.
  5. Pause for a moment and squeeze your shoulder muscles.
  6. Slowly lower the barbell back to the starting position.

6. Arnold Shoulder Press

The Arnold press is a great exercise for building shoulder muscles. It stands out from the crowd when it comes to the best exercise for shoulder muscles with the best range of motion.

It gives a wide range of motion as you lower the dumbbells well down in front, giving that maximum stretch other shoulder exercises lack.

A study found that the Arnold dumbbell press was more effective than the overhead dumbbell press at activating the anterior and medial deltoid muscles.

Arnold Press

How To Do Dumbbell Arnold Shoulder Press

  1. Stand straight, holding a dumbbell in each hand.
  2. Raise the dumbbells to shoulder position with palms facing you.
  3. Now press the dumbbells overhead just like dumbbell presses, but twisting them so that palms face forwards at the top of the movement.
  4. Now lower the dumbbells in a reverse movement.
  5. Repeat the desired number of reps.

7. Lateral Raise

The side lateral raise with dumbbells works the side of the shoulders, also called the lateral head. It is one of the best shoulder isolation exercises that primarily targets the lateral head of the shoulder. 

With isolation exercises, you might need to use lighter weights as more load is placed on a specific part of the body.

You can use several lateral raise variations to build a bigger shoulder.

Lateral Raise

How To Do Dumbbell Lateral Raise

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold dumbbells in each hand with your palms facing inward.
  2. Lift your arms out to the sides, away from your body, while keeping them slightly angled forward.
  3. Continue raising your arms until they are parallel to the floor or slightly below shoulder level.
  4. Pause for a moment at the top, feeling the contraction in your side shoulder muscles (deltoids).
  5. Slowly lower the dumbbells back down to the starting position.

8. Rear Delt Fly

The dumbbell rear delt fly is a simple yet effective exercise that increases deltoid muscle definition and strength.

The rear delt dumbbell fly targets your upper back muscles and shoulder muscles, particularly the rear deltoids, (backside of your shoulders). It is one of the best to isolate and work specifically on For complete shoulder muscle development.

Lateral Bent over row

How To Do Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip (palms facing each other).
  2. Bend forward at the hips while keeping your back straight.
  3. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor.
  4. Keep your elbows slightly bent, and raise both arms out to the sides until the dumbbells are level with the height of your shoulders.
  5. Your body should resemble the letter ‘T’ at the top of the movement.
  6. Hold for a count of two.
  7. Then slowly lower the dumbbells to the starting position.

9. Triceps Pushdown

Triceps Push down, aka triceps Press down, is the best triceps exercise. The cable provides a uniform resistance throughout the movement, unlike barbell or dumbbell exercises, where the resistance varies during the lift.

  • Using the straight bar, a pronated grip (palms down) emphasizes the outer lateral head of the triceps,
  • Whereas a supinated grip (palms up) focuses effort on the inner long head.
  • An angled V-shaped bar switches the hands into a neutral grip (thumbs up), equally targeting all three triceps heads.

Here are some other ways to do tricep pushdowns:

  1. V-Bar Tricep Pushdown
  2. Rope Pushdown
  3. Single-Arm Tricep Pushdown
  4. Reverse GripTricep Pushdown
Triceps Pushdown

How To Do

  1. Stand facing a high-pulley cable with a short straight bar attached to it.
  2. Slight bend your knees and feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Grasp the Short bar with a pronated grip (palm down) and hold the bar at chest level with your elbows tight against your sides.
  4. Keeping your elbows stationary, straighten your arms until they are fully extended.
  5. Pause at full arm extension, flex your triceps, and slowly return the bar to the starting position.

10. Lying Triceps Extension

The lying tricep extension, also known as skull crushers, is a popular strength training exercise that primarily targets the triceps. It is an effective isolation exercise that helps build strength, size, and definition in the triceps.

Barbell lying tricep extension are a popular type of tricep extension among gym goers as well as bodybuilders. There are many other ways to do a lying extension to get the most muscle stimulation.

  • Dumbbell lying tricep extension
  • Cable lying tricep extension
  • Ez Bar lying tricep extension
Lying Triceps Extension

How To Do

  1. Lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor.
  2. Hold a barbell at full arm extension over your chest.
  3. Keeping your upper arms stationary, slowly lower your lower arms to bring the bar down to your forehead, then push it back up.
  4. Do not lock your elbows out, and repeat for desired reps.

11. Dumbbell Kick Back

The tricep dumbbell kickback is a versatile and effective exercise that targets the triceps muscles. The dumbbell kickback is an isolation exercise.

This means that unlike other exercises such as the push-up or bench press, the tricep kickback specifically targets the triceps muscle.

Dumbbell Kick Back

How To Do

  1. Place your right knee and palm on a flat bench so that your torso is parallel with the floor.
  2. Hold a dumbbell in the left hand and, keeping the left foot flat on the floor, press your left arm tight against your side with the upper arms parallel to the floor.
  3. Extend at the elbow until your arm is straight back and fully extended.
  4. Flex the triceps hard for a second, then return to the starting position.
  5. Complete all reps on the left arm and then repeat on the right arm.

12. Bench Dip

The bench dip is one of the most fundamental, best exercises to build triceps strength and bigger arms. The bench dip only requires a bench, or any other sturdy surface that you can find at the time.

The dip is an excellent triceps exercise for beginners if done properly, as both arms are supporting the bodyweight, giving you greater control of the movement.

  • If you want to make bench dips easier, then do them with Knees Bent
  • The next level up in difficulty is to extend the legs out straight with the heels on the floor.
  • To make bench dips more challenging, you can increase the number of sets and perform weighted dips.
Bench Dip

How To Do

  1. Place your hands on the side of a flat bench so that your body is perpendicular to the bench when you place your feet out in front of you.
  2. Only your heels should be on the floor and your legs should be straight. Keep your knees and hips bent.
  3. Your arms should be fully extended with just your palms on the bench.
  4. Bend your elbows to lower your body down until your elbows reach 90 degrees.
  5. Now extend your arms to lift your body back to the starting position, flexing your triceps hard at the top.

Set, Reps For Chest Shoulder Tricep Workout

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

Sets

According to the latest scientific evidence, 12–20 weekly sets per muscle group may optimize muscle growth.

  • 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. 

Reps

The best rep ranges and loads to work with.

  • For muscle endurance: Aim for 15-20+ reps, with a moderate amount of resistance.
  • For muscle strength: 6-10 reps, with a heavier amount of resistance.
  • For muscle hypertrophy (increased muscle size): Aim for 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps, with a moderate to heavy amount of resistance.

It is always best to start with a lower number of reps and sets, and then gradually increase as your strength improves.

Sample Workout Routine To Train Chest Shoulder and Tricep

Beginner Routine

ExerciseSetsReps
Push-Ups3-410-12
Dumbbell Shoulder Press3-410-12
Tricep Dips38-10
Dumbbell Chest Flyes38-10
Lateral Raises310-12
Tricep Pushdowns38-12

Intermediate Routine

ExerciseSetsReps
Barbell Bench Press36-8
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press38-10
Close-Grip Bench Press3-48-10
Incline Dumbbell Press48-10
Bent-Over Dumbbell Lateral Raises410-12
Skull Crushers38-10

Advanced Routine

ExerciseSetsReps
Barbell Bench Press46-8
Military Press46-8
Weighted Dips48-10
Incline Barbell Bench Press510-12
Cable Lateral Raises510-12
Skull crusher510-12

Chest Shoulder Tricep Trio Workout Routine

Trio Set 1

Perform three exercises back-to-back with minimal rest between exercises. After completing all three exercises, take a short rest before starting the next trio set.

  1. Dumbbell Bench Press – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  2. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  3. Tricep Pushdowns – 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Trio Set 2

  1. Incline Dumbbell Press – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  2. Lateral Raises – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  3. Close-Grip Bench Press – 3 sets x 12-15 reps

Trio Set 3

  1. Chest Dips – 3 sets x 8-10 reps
  2. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press – 3 sets x 10-12 reps
  3. Overhead Tricep Extensions – 3 sets x 12-15 reps

FAQ

Can you train chest shoulder and Triceps together?

Yes, you can train chest shoulder, and triceps 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 and triceps when doing chest.

How Many Sets and Reps Should I Do?

For just about every exercise of the chest or shoulder or tricep, 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.

Should you do chest shoulder or triceps first?

You should start with exercises that target larger muscle groups, such as the chest or shoulders, before moving on to tricep-specific exercises. As compound exercises often require more strength and coordination, this sequencing allows you to perform them with maximum energy and focus.

I hope you liked our chest, shoulder and triceps workout.

Conclusion

Congratulations, you’ve completed a full chest, shoulder, and tricep workout. If you do these exercises every day and do them correctly, you can make your upper body stronger and more defined.

Remember to use the workout routines provided as a starting point and change the number of sets, reps, and weight depending on how fit you are, what you want to achieve.

References

  1. J Hum Kinet. 2022 Feb 10;81:199-210. A Systematic Review of The Effects of Different Resistance Training Volumes on Muscle Hypertrophy.
  2. Hackett D.A., Johnson N.A., Chow C.M. Training Practices and Ergogenic Aids Used by Male Bodybuilders. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2013;27:1609–1617. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318271272a.
  3. Eur J Sport Sci. 2017 Sep;17(8):983-993. The effects of short versus long inter-set rest intervals in resistance training on measures of muscle hypertrophy: A systematic review.
  4. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(19), 7339. Effect of Five Bench Inclinations on the Electromyographic Activity of the Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, and Triceps Brachii during the Bench Press Exercise.
  5. J Hum Kinet. 2020 Oct; 75: 5–14. Different Shoulder Exercises Affect the Activation of Deltoid Portions in Resistance-Trained Individuals.
  6. Int J Exerc Sci. 2020 Aug 1;13(6):859-872. Effects of Horizontal and Incline Bench Press on Neuromuscular Adaptations in Untrained Young Men.

Bodyweight Chest, Shoulder and Tricep Workout

Chest Shoulder and Tricep Workout Routine

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