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You might be familiar with many different workout splits like push-pull-legs, upper-lower body splits, and many more.

But have you ever thought about training shoulders and triceps together?

When it comes to designing an efficient and effective workout routine, finding the perfect balance is crucial. Among the various muscle groups in the upper body, the triceps and shoulders are often prioritized for their role in pressing and pushing movements. However, many individuals question whether it is advisable to train triceps and shoulders together on the same day. In this comprehensive blog post, we will delve into the factors that influence this combination, explore the benefits and potential drawbacks, and provide recommendations to help you make an informed decision.

Understanding the Triceps and Shoulders

Before delving into the discussion on training strategies, it is essential to understand the anatomy and function of the triceps and shoulders.

  1. Triceps: The triceps brachii muscle, located on the back of the upper arm, consists of three heads: the lateral head, medial head, and long head. The main function of the tricep muscle is to extend the elbow joint. It plays a significant role in movements such as pushing, pressing, and extending the arms.
  2. Shoulders: The shoulders are a complex joint consisting of multiple muscles, with the deltoids being the primary movers. The deltoids have three heads: the anterior (front), lateral (middle), and posterior (rear) heads. They provide stability and mobility to the shoulder joint, allowing for a wide range of movements, including pressing, raising, and rotating the arms.

Factors to Consider

To determine whether training triceps and shoulders together is suitable for you, several factors should be taken into account:

  1. Training Experience: Beginners may find it more challenging to handle the workload of training two major muscle groups simultaneously, whereas advanced lifters may have developed the necessary strength and endurance.
  2. Recovery Ability: Adequate recovery is crucial for muscle growth and injury prevention. If your triceps or shoulders require more time to recover after a workout, it is advisable to avoid training them together to prevent overexertion and optimize recovery.
  3. Workout Volume and Intensity: The volume and intensity of your workouts play a significant role in determining the feasibility of training the triceps and shoulders together. High workout volume and intensity can lead to excessive strain and hinder recovery. Proper adjustment of the workload and exercise selection is essential.

Why You Should Train Shoulder and Triceps Together

Training triceps and shoulders together on the same day can provide several benefits, including:

Time Efficiency

Combining triceps and shoulder exercises into a single workout can save time, especially for individuals with limited availability for training. It allows you to target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, optimizing efficiency.

Similar Functions

Both the shoulder and triceps are responsible for pushing movements. So when you are training your shoulders, your triceps are also engaged. Since the triceps are already engaged during a shoulder workout, you can combine them together instead of training them separately.

Many exercises that primarily target the triceps, such as close-grip bench presses and triceps dips, also engage the shoulders to a significant degree. By training these muscle groups together, you can enhance muscle coordination and improve overall upper-body strength.


Since you are training both these pushing exercises together, it is easy to design a program that helps you in recovery. For example, if you have trained shoulder and triceps on Monday, the next day you can go back and biceps and then chest or legs on the other day. This way your muscles are getting enough time to recover from the previous workout.

Also, when you are training these muscle groups with similar functions, it is easy for your muscles to recover since you can train back or leg muscles, the next day. This way you are giving at least 48 hours for each muscle to recover.

Easy to Add To a Workout Program

Both shoulder and triceps are pushing movements and can be grouped. You can easily add this in a push-pull-leg split.

For example, you can train the chest, triceps, and shoulder together during a push day. Then, back and biceps on the other day. And then legs in the end. This is one way of adding these two muscle groups in a single workout.

Types of Shoulder and Tricep Training Split

There are two main ways to train your chest and back on the same day-

Training one body part first and then the other one

Here, you will train either the shoulder or the tricep completely at first and then train the other body part. You can train this way if you have enough time for the workout because it will take some time to complete the whole exercise.

For example, let’s say you are training your shoulder at the beginning, then you will do 4-5 exercises first, finish the shoulder workout, and then jump over to the tricep exercise. This way, you have completed your shoulder workout and then the tricep workout.

Training Both Shoulder and Triceps Alternatively

This is another excellent way to design your workout program. Here, you will complete one shoulder exercise and then the triceps and vice versa. This way, you are giving enough recovery time for each muscle.

For example, doing 1 set of military press and then super setting with skull crushers is a good example of this kind of workout. Supersets are good for creating a metabolic demand which is good for muscle building.

You can also complete the whole three sets of military press first and then you can do skull crushers. This is good for those who lift heavy weights and need some rest in between each set to recover.

Mixing both these types

This is another good option! You can start with heavy compound movements like a close grip bench press or military press at the beginning. Train both muscles individually for building more strength and then end with some supersets like tricep pushdowns and lateral raises. This will allow you to focus on both strength and muscle hypertrophy. This is another great strategy people use to build both muscle and strength.

Drawbacks of Training Triceps and Shoulders Together

While training triceps and shoulders together offer benefits, it is essential to be aware of potential drawbacks:

  1. Fatigue and Performance: Combining two major muscle groups in a single workout can lead to accumulated fatigue. If your triceps and shoulders become exhausted early in the session, it may hinder your performance and limit the effectiveness of subsequent exercises. So you should consider your goals and training experience.
  2. Recovery Challenges: Training triceps and shoulders together can place significant demands on these muscle groups. Proper recovery is crucial for muscle growth and avoiding injuries. Overworking the triceps and shoulders without adequate recovery can impede progress and increase the risk of overuse injuries. For example, doing too many compound movements for both shoulders and triceps without proper exercise sequencing and volume adjustment can lead to overtraining.
  3. Exercise Selection and Technique: Some triceps exercises, such as triceps dips and overhead extensions, also place considerable stress on the shoulders. Combining them with additional shoulder exercises might increase the risk of overloading the shoulders and potentially lead to injury if exercises are not performed with the proper technique and form. For example, some beginners might not require too much exercise. They just need basic shoulder exercises like shoulder press along with 1-2 tricep exercises. But many a time, beginners end up doing more exercise than required.

Key Things to Consider

Design Your Program Wisely

When you design your workout program, ensure you are not training your chest the next day after your shoulder and triceps workout. This is because your triceps will be engaged a lot during a chest workout and you need to give at least 48 hours of rest in between each set before training the same muscle again. You need to give enough rest to the muscles so that it is fully recovered for the next workout.

For example, let’s say if you train your shoulder and triceps on Monday, then on the next day, you can either train your legs or back. This way, you are giving enough time for your muscles to get recovered.

Avoid Overtraining

Many people try to do more and eventually overtrain to a level where they start feeling fatigued and weak. This usually happens when the intensity, volume, and frequency are high. When you train these muscles together, then there is a chance of overtraining.

So make sure that if you have done military press and other shoulder press exercises already, then you don’t need to do too many tricep exercises. 3-4 tricep exercises are enough since your triceps were already getting trained during a shoulder workout.

Also, 6-8 exercises are enough if you are at an intermediate level. Mostly, training for 4-5 days a week is recommended. So knowing your current fitness level is essential before designing a workout program.

Adjust Volume and Intensity

Pay close attention to the volume and intensity of your workouts. If you notice signs of overtraining, such as persistent fatigue or a decline in performance, adjust your training program accordingly. Reduce the number of exercises, sets, or intensity to ensure adequate recovery and prevent overexertion.

Exercise Order and Technique

Structure your workouts strategically to optimize performance and minimize fatigue. Begin with compound exercises that engage multiple muscle groups, such as overhead presses, followed by isolation exercises targeting specific areas. Focus on maintaining proper exercise technique and form to reduce the risk of injury.

Final Words

In conclusion, training triceps and shoulders together on the same day can be an effective approach, provided you consider your training experience, recovery ability, and exercise selection. By balancing volume, intensity, and adequate recovery, you can optimize your upper body training routine. Remember, individual differences play a significant role in determining the feasibility of combining these muscle groups. Listening to your body and making appropriate adjustments will help you design a workout routine that supports your goals while minimizing the risk of overtraining or injury.

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