Upper and lower body symmetry is central to achieving complete physique balance and strength. To such degree, legs and shoulders workout is well designed to fit the needs.
Every bodybuilder or workout enthusiast like me has a particular set of muscles that enrage us the most.
However, it is universally agreed that leg and shoulder are comprised of some of the hardest-to-build muscles on the whole body.
There is something to be said about genetics too. Due to our unique genes, some people might find it difficult to build certain muscles and it can’t be helped.
It only means that you need to put more time and effort into it than other people.
SO, if either legs or shoulders are hard enough to train, why on earth should they be in the same workout session?
According to many fitness advisors, training your shoulders and legs together is rather more efficient than doing those separately, because you don’t have to sacrifice either your strength or energy levels.
Since legs and shoulders are of different non-competing muscle groups, you can train both areas with maximum intensity. These exercises are advised to be performed along with other workouts for other areas of your body.
For those who have complete these basics or who just want to focus on your legs, check out this advanced leg workout.
Legs And Shoulders Workout
This should be a blast.
For the shoulder portion of your workout, consider beginning with an overhead press variation. The compound overhead press exercise hits all three heads of your shoulder muscle and your triceps simultaneously.
For those who are new to weight training, a machine shoulder press might be the preferable option. Otherwise, you can choose between standing or seated overhead barbell/dumbbell presses.
Start off easy, choose your own alternative and complete your sets. My favorite shoulder slam workout is as following:
Perform this exercise with: 5x15,15,12,12,10*
(*5x15: use the 5kg dumbbells, repeat the exercise 15 times to finish a set).
This should be straight-forward enough.
- All you need is a couple of dumbbells.
The starting position is shown in this picture.
- Your torso must remains straight throughout the exercise
- The dumbbells should be lifted to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward
- Continue until you arms are parallel to the floor, then pause for a second at the top
- Inhale while you return the dumbbells to the starting position
This is very effective for shoulder building because it hits all heads of the deltoid. Here is how to do it step-by-step:
- Find a press bench or utility bench with back support. Sit down while holding the dumbbells; then place them upright on top of your thighs.
- The starting position: use your thighs to boost the dumbbells up into positions. Your feet should be your shoulder-width apart to help. Dumbbell in each hand raised at shoulder level with elbows bent.
- Breathing is the key: as you put the weight up overhead, exhale slowly.
- Inhale as you return to the starting pose.
- Repeat for these following repetitions: 35x15 | 50x15 | 65x15 | 80x10
1. Starting position: Hold a barbell, hands at a distance slightly less than your shoulder width apart. Keep your back straight, the bar should rest on top of your thighs, with your arms extend and elbows bend in slightly.
2. Exhale and use the sides of your shoulders to lift the bar. Keep the bar close to your body as you raise your elbows up and towards your chin. Elbows should be the main driver, and should always be higher than your forearms.
- Your torso should remain fixed and you’re recommended to pause for a second at the top of the movement.
3. Inhale as you slowly lower the bar to the starting position.
- Repeat to finish the following sets: 50x15 | 60x15 | 70x15 | 80x15 | 90x10 | 100x10
Bent Over Rear Dumbbell Flyes
5 sets of 15 reps with 30 lbs.
5 sets of reps with 30 lbs.
- If you can finish these exercises without breaking a sweat (not literally, of course), try this
(shoulder exercises then followed by leg exercise then resting, repeat the sequence):
Few things to keep in mind while doing these exercises:
- For every rep: you should start with your hands at shoulder height; finish with your arms fully extended overhead.
- Your back should remain straight throughout the exercises.
- These exercises should be enough for beginners. If you want more muscles or if you desire a V-shaped torso, consider adding in shoulder isolation moves to your workout routines. Lateral raise exercises are highly recommended for building up your shoulders.
And Now To Your Legs
Similar principles as shoulder’s, it’s best that you hit it with a compound exercise first. You should focus on squatting, leg press and lunges as their compound and isolation movements will help you get mass muscle. This is called proper progressive weight training.
Squatting is a must in leg building since it hits most of your leg muscles. In addition, there is also muscle activation in your core, glutes as well as calves.
There are many different squatting variations; for example, barbell back and front squat. You need to choose the variations that work best for you.
Squatting mainly works on the quads, therefore, compound hamstring exercises are needed to.
Now to squatting, you should do as following:
- Start standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart facing forward.
- Imagine you are about to sit, inhale, bend your knees while pushing your hips back.
- Exhale and push forward your hips to return to the starting position.
- Repeat to finish your desired sets.
- Some notes that can help with your exercises:
- While squatting, your knees shouldn’t move past your toes.
- The deeper you go, the more muscle activation applied.
If you want to learn more about squats, we here at Fitness Purity are have written quite a few articles about it. Check out:
Hack Squats Vs Normal Squats – Which should you be doing in 2018?
Should You Use Knee Sleeves for Squats? – We Review The Best 5 Options
It is advised to use heavier weight with the leg press to expand the building potential. Leg press exercises hit the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. If you want to learn more about the leg press, then click the link to read our detailed post on the topic.
The basic steps for leg press are as following:
- The starting position: sit in the leg press machine, both feet should be placed on the platform shoulder-width apart facing forward.
- Release the safety bars.
- Inhale while pushing through your heels to extend your legs. Remember not to lock out your knees.
- Exhale and slowly return the platform to its starting position.
- Repeat to finish your desired sets.
By the way, to track how much you are leg pressing, you need to add the weight of the plates to the weight of the leg press platform, or "sled". You can find out how much the sled at your gym weighs here.
Lunges will focus on each leg separately, as they hit the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and calves. You can choose to train with or without a barbell.
To do these exercises, you should:
- Start by standing straight and stepping roughly 2 feet forward with you right foot, while left foot remains stationary.
- Inhale while bending your knees to lower your body; make sure that your toes are not moving past your knees.
- Exhale as you use your right heel to return to the starting position.
- Repeat to finish your desired sets.
- Proper form is the key to avoid injuries and maximize the benefits of each exercise.
- Start with low weight or body weight, and then slowly increase weights by 5-10 pounds each time as you master these exercises.
- Perform this workout 2 or 3 times a week for maximum results.
- Alternate repetitive ranges while perform these exercise: heavier weight and lower reps for your compound moves, and vice versa for leg presses and calves.
So these are some exercises that helped me with my legs and shoulders workout and I hope they will be as helpful to you.
Remember, some of these exercises have many variations. Therefore, you need to try out in separate sets to find the ones that work best for you.
Nutrition also plays a vital role in building muscles. So you should eat well before and after each workout session for maximum muscle gain. Eating the right types of food at the right times of the day can sufficiently boost your exercise performance.
And if you have mastered these basics; let's take it to the next level with these advanced leg workouts.
As always, I’d love to hear feedback from the readers so please leave your thoughts in the comment section and share if you find this tutorial helpful.