Train upper body: Shoulders and abs workout

Are you looking to strengthen your upper body and improve your core stability? Look no further than this workout, designed to target your shoulders and abs.

Having strong shoulders and abs is essential for many reasons. For one, they can improve your posture and improve shoulder stability. Strong shoulders can also enhance your athletic performance and increase your upper body strength. 

woman standing next to cable machine for cable lat raises

Meanwhile, strong abs can support your core stability and balance.

Importance of strong shoulders

By Incorporating shoulder exercises into your fitness routine, you can achieve a more balanced and functional upper body, improving your overall health. Having strong shoulders is important for several reasons:

Enhances posture and reduces the risk of injury

The shoulders play a critical role in supporting the upper body and maintaining proper alignment. If your shoulders are weak, it can cause your posture to suffer and increase your risk of injury, especially in the neck, back and shoulders.

Improves athletic performance

Many sports, such as basketball, volleyball, and swimming, require strong and stable shoulders for optimal performance. Strong shoulders can also improve your ability to perform daily activities, such as carrying heavy objects or performing household chores.

Increases upper body strength

The shoulders are involved in many upper body movements, such as pushing and pulling, and having strong shoulders can improve your ability to perform these movements with greater ease and efficiency. Strength training can help improve shoulder stability by strengthening the muscles that surround the shoulder joint.

Importance of strong abs

The importance of having strong abs cannot be overstated. Strong core muscles play an important part of everyday activities and exercises.

one arm side plank

Supports core stability and balance

Abs, or abdominal muscles, are located in the core region of the body and play a critical role in supporting the spine and maintaining proper posture. Having strong abs can improve your balance, stability and overall physical performance.

Improves posture and reduces the risk of injury

Strong abs can also help prevent injuries, particularly in the lower back. By strengthening the muscles in the core, you can provide better support and stability for the spine, reducing the risk of injuries caused by poor posture or improper lifting techniques.

In addition to the physical benefits, strong abs can also improve your appearance and self-confidence. A toned and defined midsection is often considered a sign of fitness and can boost your self-esteem.

Enhances overall athletic performance

Several exercises can help strengthen the abs, such as planks, bicycle crunches, and Russian twists. By incorporating these exercises into your fitness routine, you can develop a stronger, more stable core, which can improve your overall health.

In summary, having strong abs is crucial for maintaining good posture, preventing injuries, and improving physical performance. Whether you’re an athlete or just looking to improve your overall fitness, incorporating ab exercises into your workout routine can help you achieve a stronger, healthier core.

Shoulder and Abs Workout

The shoulder and abs workout we have designed is specifically aimed at targeting both muscle groups in a comprehensive and effective manner. The workout includes a variety of exercises that engage the shoulders and abs simultaneously or in alternation, allowing for a full-body workout that challenges multiple muscle groups at once.

By combining these exercises, our shoulder and abs workout allows for a comprehensive full-body workout that targets both the shoulders and abs. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced fitness enthusiast, this workout is designed to challenge and improve your strength, endurance and overall fitness.

Shoulder Exercises

Arnold Press

Targets: the entire shoulder muscle group – anterior, lateral and posterior deltoid

woman sitting on bench in gym doing arnold press exercise in shoulder workout
woman sitting on bench in gym doing arnold press exercise in shoulder workout
  • Sit on a bench holding a set of dumbbells at shoulder height with arms tight to the body and palms facing in.
  • Rotate arms out to the sides. Palms face forward and continue to lift up into an overhead shoulder press. 
  • Pause and reverse to return to the start position with elbows in tight, palms face in at shoulder height. 

Cable lateral raises

Targets: Lateral deltoid

woman standing next to cable machine for cable lat raises
woman standing next to cable machine for cable lat raises
  • Start by attaching a handle attachment to the low end of a cable machine.
  • Stand shoulder-width apart next to the machine.
  • Grab the handle with your right hand and use the other arm to hold the pulley for support.
  • Your arm should be parallel to your side.
  • Raise your right arm out to the side up to shoulder level.
  • Your elbow should only have a slight bend in it to maintain good form
  • Keep your arms stationary as your shoulders do all the heavy lifting
  • Slowly lower to starting position.
  • Repeat.

Additional lateral deltoid exercises you can add to your routine.

Front Raises

Targets: Anterior deltoid and upper chest. 

Beginning of shoulder and abs workout in the gym
woman doing a front raise in shoulder and abs workout
  • Sit at the end of the bench with the dumbbells down by your side.
  • With a soft bend in your elbows, lift the dumbbells to shoulder height in front of the body. 
  • Make sure they stay shoulder-width apart and your palms facing downward. 
  • Slowly lower the dumbbells in a controlled manner.
  • Repeat


Targets: Anterior deltoid, triceps and pectorals (chest)

woman doing push ups for a shoulder and abs workout
woman doing push ups for a shoulder and abs workout
  • Start in an all-fours position, with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders and knees on the ground. Keep your head in a neutral position.
  • Straighten your legs out and back, one at a time, keeping your feet a comfortable distance apart so that you’re in a high-plank position with your body forming a straight line parallel to the ground from top of head to heels. (The wider your feet, the more stability you will have.) OR you can do these on your knees.
  • Slowly bend your elbows, making a 45-degree angle with your upper body, lowering your chest until it almost touches the floor while keeping the muscles of your core tight and your back as flat as possible.
  • Pause for a moment, then push your body back up into a high-plank position, maintaining a flat back and engaging your core.

Rear delt fly

Targets: Posterior deltoid (rear delts) and lateral deltoid 

beginning of rear delt dumbbell exercise
rear delts in shoulder and abs workout
  • Take a standing position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Hinge at the waist until your back is nearly parallel to the yoga mat.
  • Bend your arms slightly and engage your rear deltoids to lift the adjustable dumbbells up and out to the sides of your body.
  • As you lift the weight, focus on lifting out and up to maximize muscle activation.
  • Your elbows should only reach about shoulder height. Refrain from retracting your shoulder blades.
  • Once you have completed the lift, slowly lower your arms to the starting position.
  • Maintain a tight core throughout the exercise and repeat the movement to complete the desired repetitions.

Additional rear delt exercises you can use in your routine

Abs Exercises

Side Plank

Targets: Obliques, transverse abdominis and rectus abdominis

one arm side plank
one arm side plank
  • Lie on the left side of your body with your left elbow resting on the floor directly beneath left shoulder, both legs extended out to right side, and feet stacked. Place right hand on left hip.
  • Engage core, grounding through the left elbow and side of left foot, and lift hips and knees off the floor. 
  • Look forward and maintain a straight line from head to heels.
  • You also can raise your right arm for a little more of a challenge.

Bicycle Crunches

Targets: rectus abdominis muscle (the upper abs)

one arm side plank
bicycle ab crunches
  • Lie on your back on the floor. Press your lower back into the floor and bend your knees while keeping your feet flat on the floor.
  • Place hands behind head, interlacing fingers if preferred. Keep elbows wide and gently cradle your head in your hands.
  • Bring your knees up, with shins parallel to the floor, as you lift your shoulder blades off the floor.
  • As you straighten your left leg out at about a 45-degree angle, turn your upper body to the right, bringing left elbow toward your right knee.
  • Return to center, with both knees bent and elbows wide.
  • Repeat on the other side: Straighten your right leg to a 45-degree angle and turn your upper body to the left, bringing the right elbow toward the left knee.

Cable Woodchop 

Targets: Transverse abdominis and obliques

woman standing next to cable machine for cable wood chop exercise
woman standing next to cable machine for cable wood chop exercise
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart next to a cable machine
  • Keeping your arms straight, pull the end of the cable machine diagonally downward motion across the front of your body until your torso rotates to the opposite side and your hands are at hip height
  • Then slowly reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
  • Repeat the number of repetitions for one side and then switch the exercise on your opposite side.
Arnold press
Push ups
Cable lateral raise
Cable wood chop
Front raise
Bicycle crunch
Rear delt fly
Side plank
30 seconds
Get ready to tone and strengthen your shoulders and abs with this workout. Our targeted exercises will challenge multiple muscle groups for a full-body workout.
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