This shoulder workout with dumbbells will build bigger arms

Improve strength and definition in your arms with this five move dumbbell workout

Woman workouts her shoulders and arms with dumbbells
(Image credit: Getty)

You won't build bigger arms from only ever isolating those muscles. A key way of improving muscle mass and definition in your arms is by training them with supporting muscle groups, such as your shoulders.

As well as working other parts of your upper body you will want to ensure you are helping your muscles to build and repair between workouts. A great way of doing this is by consuming a best protein powder as a protein shake or mixed into foods like yogurt or oats.

Next time you come to complete an upper body workout grab a pair of best adjustable dumbbells and give this five-move shoulder blast workout a go. 

Krissy Cela, founder of global fitness app Tone & Sculpt, has taken the online fitness world by storm over the past few years. She has built herself a social media following of over 2 million followers with her helpful home and gym workouts.

Krissy has provided demonstrations for all the moves in this shoulder and arm dumbbell workout making the routine easy to follow along with. 

Two of the five moves use a low-weighted fixed barbell however, a set of dumbells can be used for all of the exercises included in this workout.


Krissy writes in her caption for this post that "your shoulders will be absolutely on FIRE" after completing this weighted routine. Below are the exact exercises used in her workout:


  • NARROW SINGLE ARM PRESS: 20 reps total 4 sets. Kneeling down allows more control.
  • MILITARY COMPLEX: 12 reps 3 sets. Make sure your core is engaged all the way through and try not over arch your back.
  • LATERAL RAISE: 12-15 reps 4 sets leaning slightly forward so that you isolate your shoulders more.
  • PULL APARTS: 12 reps 4 sets. This move will help you engage your front and middle deltoids.
  • UPRIGHT ROW: 12 reps 3 sets. Try not to wobble and lose form when completing these.

Building muscle in your shoulders can make lifting weight in other workouts feel easier and like your body is ready to progressively overload in your resistance training.

When you next come to complete popular arm exercises like the bicep curl you should find yourself being able to move up weight quicker than if you only ever isolate your arm muscles when training.

Plus, research has discovered that strength training can be an extremely effective method for treating back pain. This study found that it can in some cases help to lower pain and discomfort for people suffering from chronic back pain.

Everyone is different and different types of training will suit others more. If you don't like working out with weights but still want to train your upper body then you can still get results from using calisthenic style exercises - why not use our guide on how to do a push up properly.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.