Take a load off your chest—and shoulders

A chest and shoulder workout that will tone your upper body

This workout uses dumbbells, machines, and a Bosu ball.

Many who go to the gym consistently have a favourite area of their body they target most. Unfortunately for the chest and shoulders, they’re not everybody’s favourite muscles.

Luckily, here’s a quick workout set that will make targeting your chest and shoulders easier on the days you’re sick of hitting legs and glutes or back and bis.

*Note: Each workout involves 4 sets of 10 reps.

DB incline press

A dumbbell incline press workout targets the pectoral muscles in your chest and the anterior deltoid muscles in your shoulders. Not only does it tone your upper body, but the exercise itself is straightforward.

Adjust the bench to be on a 30-to-45-degree angle. Sit down, with your back against the angled bench. Grab a dumbbell in each hand and lift them so you’re holding them up above your shoulders. Your arms should be in the shape of Ls, with your elbows on either side of you, rather than in front of your body. Your forearms should face away from you.

Press the weights above your head so they almost touch at the top. When you lower the weights back down again, don’t lower them too low. Stop when your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Repeat this movement.

Inward press

This exercise is very similar to the DB incline press. However, it targets the inner chest more than the outward pectoral muscles.

You can remain sitting in the same position as DB incline press. Instead of having your elbows faced outward, bring the weights together in front of your body so your forearms face each other. Lift the weights straight above you and, with control, slowly lower them back down to your chest. Repeat this movement.

Chest flys

Head toward the chest fly machine and sit down. Adjust the seat so the chest handles are at chest height. Pick a weight on the machine. Sit down and extend your arms to reach the handles on either side of you, with your palms facing outward. Your wrist and elbows should be in line with your shoulders. Bring your arms together in front of your chest, with a slight bend in your elbows.

Think about the movement like giving someone a hug. With control, bring the weights back down by separating your arms again. Repeat this movement.

DB lateral raise

Dumbbell lateral raises target the medial deltoid muscle in your shoulders. Unlike the others, this workout focuses on your shoulders rather than your chest.

Grab a dumbbell in both hands and hold them at your side, with your forearms facing the side of your body. Simultaneously lift the weights so your arms are in line with your shoulders. Your arms should be straight the entire time, with your palms facing down at the end of the movement. Lower the weights back down to the side of your body and repeat. 

Bosu ball push up

This exercise differs from the others in that you won’t be using a machine or a dumbbell weight. Rather, this exercise is a bodyweight exercise. You’ll engage your core as you try to balance while doing the push-up, which also targets your chest.

Grab a Bosu ball. Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the bosu and do a push-up. If this is too challenging or you’re wobbling too much, affecting your form, put your knees on the ground while doing the push-up.


While chest and shoulder sets may not be the first pick workout of the bunch, they’re still great for strengthening your muscles and toning your upper body. Hopefully, this workout set makes it a bit easier to expand your workout horizons away from the leg, back, glute, and bicep sets.

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