Here are some of my favorite bicep and shoulder workouts! I have listed each exercise with a suggested amount of reps. If you can't do that many reps, don't worry! Everyone starts somewhere. A good rule of thumb is if you are increasing your weight, aim for fewer reps and if you are using a lighter weight go for more reps. You can also use this to mix up your workout by doing one set with heavier weight and less reps and the next with lower weight and more reps.

Use these exercises to design your own workout. You can choose three of each and perform each set four or five times or work your way through all of them.

For this entire workout, you can either measure your reps by number or by time. For example, you can complete 20 reps, or curl for 30 seconds or a minute. I prefer to use reps instead of minutes, but timing yourself is a great way to mix up your workout so you don't feel you're doing the same thing every time. You can also push yourself by curling for an extra ten seconds past your set time (curling ten seconds past your one minute rep time).

1. Bicep Workout.

a) Reverse curls using a barbell (see photo).


Complete 15-20 reps.

b) Behind the back bicep curls.

Holding two dumbbells, curl with your right arm and then your left and then bring both weights behind your lower back. Bring the weights forward again to curl with each arm.

Complete 30 reps.

c) Count-up curls.

Holding a dumbbell in each hand curl with your right arm then your left. Then curl twice with your right and twice with your left, three with your right and three with your left and so on until you reach ten. Go with a lighter weight on this one, once you get up to seven and eight you really start to feel it! If you're really up for a challenge count up until ten and then work your way back down to one.

d) Curls with the barbell.

For this you can do wide grips, medium grip and close grip. Complete ten reps with your hands at the far ends of the barbell, ten with your hands at a normal grip in the middle and then ten with your hands close together in the center of the bar.

e) Concentrated curls.

Sit on the edge of a bench with your elbow against your knee and slowly curl a dumbbell. Aim for eight to ten reps and really focus on form and curling slowly.

2. Shoulder Workout.

a) Front raises.


You can do this with the weight horizontally in front of you (as pictured), or vertically in your hands. Remember do not swing your arms, but focus on using your shoulder muscles and not to raise the weight past your shoulders.

Complete 20 reps.

b) Side raises.

Complete 20 reps.

(Remember not two swing your arms, rather focus on your shoulders. Do not raise the weight past your shoulders. When raised, your arms should be straight out at your sides.)

c) Plate raises.

Sit on the edge of a bench holding a plate. Starting with the plate below your knees as your sitting (back straight) raise the plate up to about chest height using only your shoulder muscles. Do not swing the plate up. Keep your arms extended and work your way up slowly. Hold the plate at your chest for a moment and then slowly lower it back down.

Complete 10-15 reps. You can also complete this standing up which is a little more challenging.

d) Landmine shoulder press.


Set up a squat bar against a wall and add a weight of your choice to the end facing you. Lift the bar into the air holding it at chest height. Press upwards using either one or two hands to just above the head.

e) Shoulder circles.


Hold a plate in your hand (use either 2.5 lbs or 5 lbs) and with your arm out straight make small circles with your arm. Complete 15-20 (this is a good exercise to time yourself for too.) Then go the opposite direction with the same amount of reps. Then make larger circles going one direction for 15-20 reps and then go the opposite way. Switch arms.

f) Rope.

Using the rope, swing with each arm up and down. There are three variations for this exercise.


Make sure the rope is taut and you are slightly bent over the rope, almost in a squat position (photo 1). Time yourself for 20 to 30 seconds.

Next, hold the rope and swing it moving your arms in and out. (Photo 2). Time yourself for 20 to 30 seconds.

Finally hold the rope while doing jumping jacks.

(Photo 3). Either complete 20 jumping jacks or time yourself for 30 seconds.