Most women would love to have firm, toned and sculpted arms. There's no magic potion for firm, toned and sculpted arms, but combination workouts might seem like it for your shoulders and biceps. Combination exercises enhance your workout by increasing muscle involvement, working more than one muscle group at a time. Combination exercises also burn more calories than isolation exercises. Combining exercises that work different muscle groups also save time so you can get more from your workout.
Staggered sets are an easy way to work your shoulders and biceps on days you do cardio or strength training. Do staggered sets with shoulder and biceps exercises immediately after completing a set for a different part of your body. For example, if you are doing your leg and ab exercises, do a few repetitions of biceps curls and then return to your lower body exercises. After the second set of leg and ab exercises, do a brief set of shoulder presses.
Compound exercises work more than one muscle group and group of joints at once. You can work your shoulders and biceps at the same time with one exercise or using one exercise machine. Bench presses, dumbbell rows and shoulder presses work your shoulders and biceps at the same time. Compound exercise machines include the bicep curl machine, shoulder press and cable row machine.
The pushup is a bodyweight exercise that works both your shoulders and your biceps at the same time. Try different hand positions on the floor when doing pushups. Place one hand forward and the other hand underneath your shoulder to focus your workout on one side then switch. Pullups are also effective compound bodyweight exercises that use your biceps and shoulders to pull your weight up against the force of gravity.
The seated row is a compound exercise that works your rotator cuff muscles, biceps and other muscles including your abs and upper back. A pair of dumbbells can be your best friend to tone and sculpt your biceps and shoulders. Dumbbell shrugs and presses can help you build up your shoulder strength while strengthening and toning your biceps. Dumbbell curls provide an intense workout for the biceps. Combine a dumbbell curl with a shoulder press to work your shoulders and biceps in one smooth motion.
- Fitness: Workouts for Your Arms and Shoulders
- Bodybuilding a Realistic Approach: How You Can Have a Great Body; Frank A. Melfa
- Certified Professional Trainers Network: Combination Exercises Workshop
- American Council on Exercise: Push-Up
- American Council on Exercise: Shoulders and Arms Workout
- American Council on Exercise: Seated Row
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.