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Arm and Shoulder Exercises

Why should I train my arms and shoulders?

If your goal is to improve muscle tone or strength in your arms and shoulders, there are a number of exercises you can do to work this area and reap the following benefits:
 

  • Stronger arms make it easier to perform everyday tasks. Whether you're driving, carrying shopping bags, picking up kids, or even doing the laundry, daily living is that little bit easier when you've got powerful arms.
  • Increased arm strength will increase results in any workouts - even exercises that focus on other body parts. From swimming and running to tennis and yoga, strong arms provide the balance and foundation to propel your results from good to great.
  • Muscle burns more calories than fat so having strong, toned arms can help you to manage your weight. Arm exercises are also a fantastic way to strengthen and tone your core as your abdominal muscles engage when you perform the repetitions. 
  • Keeping your arms pumped up will also give you a healthy heart, according to the American Heart Association. Plus, strength training can boost bone density and keep your bones healthy - which is particularly important as you get older.
  • Arm exercises are one of the most flexible types of training as you can tone your arms with little or no equipment whether you're at home, at the gym or even on holiday. Toned arms can also boost your confidence and encourage your to wear tops that show off your muscle definition. 

There are four main muscles in your arms - biceps, triceps, deltoids and brachioradialis. The following exercises combined will target all of those muscles leaving you with toned, sculpted, stronger arms.

Want to get started? Then select each exercise below for video guides, step-by-step instructions and top tips from our fitness team.

 

How to do front raises

Build up your shoulder strength, size and mobility with front raises.

Main muscles worked:

  • Anterior delts
  • Lateral delts
  • Pectorals
  • Traps
 See All Front Raise Variations
How to do rear delt flyes

Rear delt exercises help to strengthen the shoulders and correct your posture.

Main muscles worked:

  • Posterior delts
  • Traps
  • Rhomboids
 See All Rear Delt Exercises
How to do lateral raises

Strengthen and stabilise your shoulders and upper back with lateral raises

Main muscles worked:

  • Lateral delts
  • Traps
 See All Lat Raise Variations
How to do upright rows

Upright rows can be a great way to work the shoulders and upper back.

Main muscles worked:

  • Delts
  • Trapz
  • Rhomboids
  • Biceps
 See All Upright Row Variations
How to do a shoulder press

The shoulder press is a fantastic upper body compound exercise.

Main muscles worked:

  • Shoulders
  • Triceps
  • Traps
  • Lats
 See all shoulder press variations
How to do bicep curls

Bicep curls are a stable isolation exercise for anyone who wants toned arms.

Main muscles worked:

  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Wrist extensor
 See all bicep curl variations
How to do tricep exercises

Your triceps are the biggest muscle in your arms. Hit them hard with tricep extensions

Main muscles worked:

  • Triceps
  • Chest
  • Forearms
  • Lats
 See all tricep extension variations

There are more reasons to train your upper body than just to look good on the beach. Upper body strength is useful for lifting everyday items, can improve our posture, reduces the risk of injuries and enhances sporting performance. A good upper body program should include pushing and pulling exercises in all directions.

Chris Lyons
Personal Trainer, London Marylebone
Chris Lyons

   

If you’re not sure whether a work out is suitable for you, please consult your doctor before you start it. If you're unsure of how to perform any of the above exercises, please ask help from a PT at your gym.