When it comes to hitting goals and gaining maximum strength for the upper body, having the right exercise routine can make or break your results. Not only that, doing these chest and shoulder exercises can also help you strengthen muscle, ligament and tendons. This helps in that injury is less likely to occur throughout your workout experience.
But before we can truly dig into the exercises. Let’s focus on anatomy for just a second. Why? Because when doing a chest and shoulder workout, you want to make sure you know exactly what muscles you’re working and where you’ll feel it the most. By knowing what muscles are being worked in your chest and shoulder workout, you’ll know when something isn’t exactly right.
For example, say you’re doing an exercise that works your chest but you’re feeling it more in your back. By knowing the muscle groups, you’ll be able to adjust and get back to training the correct muscle groups.
Shoulder Muscle Anatomy
Let’s start with the shoulder muscles. There are several groups of muscle in the shoulder that you’ll want to include in your chest and shoulder workout. The first 5 include the trapezius (traps), deltoids (delts), and rhomboid major.
Your traps are the wide muscles that extend from the back part of your neck and shoulders. These muscles tend to go down your spine to around that halfway point. Why are they important? Because they are the muscle group tasked with the elevation of your shoulder blade when you’re doing arm abductions. What are arm abductions? It’s when you move your arms up and away from your body.
Next up for your chest and shoulder workout anatomy lesson are the deltoids, or delts for short. These muscles are a large triangular shaped muscle. They cover the glenohumeral joint, this is the joint where your upper arm inserts into your shoulder socket. The deltoid muscle group is in charge of the flexion as well as medial rotation for your arm. It’s the group of muscle that allows for abductions, extensions and even the lateral rotation of your arms.
Last but not least on this first group of muscles in your shoulders is the rhomboid major. The rhomboid major is a trapezoidal muscle in your back. This muscle is intertwined between the second, third, fourth and fifth vertebrae located in the shoulder blade. What is its primary function? The rhomboid major is the muscle group that keeps our shoulder blades attached to our rib cage. This is the muscle that gives you the ability to pull your shoulder blades back.
Next, you’ll want to focus on the muscles that make up your rotator cuff as this is the area of our shoulders that can most easily be injured from various causes. These muscles include your supraspinatus, infraspinatus, teres minor, and the subscapularis.
The supraspinatus is the muscle group that allows for the beginning of upward motion for your arms. However, it is only responsible for roughly the first 15 degrees. After that your traps and delts take over.
Next up is the infraspinatus. This muscle is triangular in shape and attaches to the back of the shoulder blade. Right below your supraspinatus. Its main function is to help the rotation of your arms to be away from the center of your body. Believe it or not, this is primarily the muscle group that gets injured the most in your shoulder.
The teres minor is next up on the docket. This muscle, unlike many of the other muscles we’ve covered thus far, is a narrow muscle group. It can be found on the underside of the upper arm and is the connection between the shoulder blade and upper arm. As for its function in the chest and shoulder workout realm, it is what is responsible for lateral rotation of your arm.
Last but not least is the subscapularis muscle. When it comes to this muscle group, its primary function is to stabilize the shoulder at the joint. This also allows it to rotate the arm so your arm can turn inwards toward your midline.
While there are a lot of different shoulder muscle groups to keep in mind when working on a chest and shoulder workout, the chest is much more straightforward. There are much less major groups you’ll want to know about for the chest.
In the most basic sense, there are three main groups of muscles to know about when looking at a chest and shoulder workout. Those muscles are the pectoralis major and minor, the serratus anterior, and the subclavius. That being said, let’s take a look at each, shall we.
Pectoralis Major & Minor
Rather than separate these two groups of muscles, it just makes more sense to explain them in tandem. So, for the pectoralis major it is a large fan-shaped muscle. This particular muscle stretches from your collar bone all the way to your middle of your chest. The pectoralis minor is actually a thin flat muscle that lays just under the pectoralis major. It’s in charge of connecting the third, fourth and fifth rib.
As for function, let’s start with the pectoralis major. In terms of the chest and shoulder workout as well as everyday life, the pectoralis major is responsible for medial rotation as well as arm abductions. The pectoralis minor is what allows you to lower your shoulders.
The serratus anterior is a muscle group that is connected at the side of the chest and runs from the first rib to the 8th rib. It’s also along the entirety of the scapula. Primarily the anterior length of the medial border. As for what it does, it’s what is in charge of pulling the scapula forward around the thorax.
The final muscle group to think about when working on a chest and shoulder workout is the subclavius. It is a small triangular muscle that is between your clavicle and first rib. The primary function of the subclavius muscle is to stabilize our sternoclavicular joint in addition to resisting elevations of the lateral end of our clavicle.
Okay, so now you have an idea of the different muscles to focus on and where they’re at, what’s next? Next, we go over 3 of the most popular chest and shoulder exercises to add to your chest and shoulder workout. These exercises will help you hit goals and increase gains.
Top 3 Chest and Shoulder Workout Exercises
Shoulder swings are a very simple exercise and don’t require any additional equipment. They are done by standing straight up with good posture. You then will cross your arms in front of you and sweep them out to your sides with your palms facing forward. Doing these will help stretch your chest as well as your scapular muscles. You’ll want to do a minimum of 15 repetitions and 3 sets of these for the best results.
Added Bonus: You can pair the shoulder swings with scapula circles to boost circulation.
While you may already know this, push ups are an essential part of any workout let alone a chest and shoulder workout. This is because they workout more muscle groups than just the chest and shoulders. Plus there are different variations that can be used to work all kinds of muscles and they can even be modified for those that have bad backs.
For a standard push up, you’ll lay down on your stomach to set up. You’ll then place your palms on the floor lifting yourself into a plank position. Keep in mind you’ll want to engage your core muscles in an effort not to strain your back muscles. You’ll then lower your body slowly until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle. And push back up into your full plank position. You have finished a single rep. It is recommended to do at least 3 sets of 10 when adding push ups to a chest and shoulder workout.
Healing When Injured
So you’ve got your extra chest and shoulder workout exercises to add to your regimen, now what? Now, we talk about two of the best products that promote healing and injury recovery. Those two are BPC-157 and TB-500. These two peptides work within your body naturally to boost the healing process and get you back on your feet that much faster. You can find both of them when you go to our peptides product page.