Training legs and shoulders together are uncanny, but you can train more effectively by targeting both muscle groups together. Plus, you can add variety to traditional workout splits like push, pull, and legs. Today, we’re going to look at the best legs and shoulder workout to try next time you hit the gym. Let’s get started!
Can You Train Legs and Shoulders on the Same Day?
Yes, you can train legs and shoulders on the same day because these muscle groups are non-competing. This means that working in one group will not affect the performance of the other group during your workout.
When it comes to planning your workout split, it's important to consider your personal goals and preferences. If you have limited time to spend in the gym, combining leg and shoulder exercises can be a great way to maximize your efforts.
However, it's important to maintain proper form and technique during your exercises to avoid injury and ensure that you're targeting the right muscles. With the right approach, training legs, and shoulders on the same day can give you an immersive full-body workout.
Is Training Legs and Shoulders on the Same Day Effective?
Training legs and shoulders together can save you some precious time at the gym, but its effectiveness depends on your overall goals and work capacity.
Let's start with the time-saving aspect. Who doesn't want to finish their workout in a timely manner? Legs and shoulders are big muscle groups that require a lot of attention and effort so training them separately can take a long time.
By training your legs and shoulders together, you'll be hitting your lower body and upper body in one session. This can help challenge your body in new ways, all while building overall strength and endurance. But here's the thing: if you're not used to training both muscle groups on the same day, you might find yourself struggling to complete all the exercises. And if you're not giving each muscle group enough attention, you could be sacrificing gains for the sake of convenience.
Training legs and shoulders on the same day can be effective, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re short on time and have a great work capacity, then it’s a great day. But if you’re new to lifting and prefer longer workouts, stick to training these muscle groups separately.
Benefits of Leg and Shoulder Workouts
As we’ve mentioned above, training your legs and shoulders together isn’t for everyone. If you’re not sure whether or not to combine these two muscle groups into one session, here are some benefits that come with doing leg and shoulder workouts.
If you're looking to maximize your gym time, training two muscle groups together is a tried and tested way to train your whole body more efficiently. One way to do this is by using supersets to cut the time you sit scrolling through your phone between sets. For example, performing a set of squats straight into a set of shoulder presses will cut down on rest time and add extra tension to the muscle being worked.
Supersets are difficult to sustain when training only one muscle group but by alternating between legs and shoulders, you’re allowing your legs to rest as the other muscle group (your shoulders) are working.
Improves Work Capacity
Think of work capacity as the ability to tolerate workload and to recover quickly. A strong work capacity requires your cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, and central nervous systems to work together efficiently.
By using supersets, you’ll maintain constant movement throughout your workout, thus helping to develop your endurance due to the little/no rest between sets.
Helps Build Lagging Muscle Groups
If you're looking to build muscle and improve your physique, it's important not to neglect any muscle group. When time and energy are limited it can be tempting to focus on larger muscle groups. How often do you start the week by exercising your chest/back, working your legs, and then realizing you haven’t touched your shoulders at all?
Leg and shoulder workouts can be incredibly beneficial in building lagging muscle groups. Even with fatigued legs, your upper body will be fresh, allowing you to maintain proper form for your shoulder workout. This maximizes results whilst minimizing the risk of injury.
What to Consider for Shoulder and Legs Workouts
Exercising shoulders and legs together does have its benefits, but there are things that you’ll need to consider if you want to target these muscle groups together.
One thing to consider during shoulder and leg workouts is a weaker muscle group. You might have skipped leg day during the week. As a result, you can pair it whenever working your shoulders.
Similarly, if you have an injury like calf pain after running, then you’ll probably need to keep your leg day short. You can spend the extra time working on building your shoulder muscles.
When it comes to training, time can be a constraint for many of us. But don't let that discourage you from achieving your fitness goals. Instead, try to work with the time you have. If you find that you have more time to dedicate to your workouts, start with heavy leg work and take ample rest breaks between sets. This ensures that you have enough energy and focus to complete the exercises with proper form. Once you're done, switch to lighter shoulder exercises.
On the other hand, if you have a small window of time, opting for supersets, as mentioned above, will be the best plan of action for you. Remember, any change you make to your workout should accommodate the time you have available to train. Keep pushing yourself and you'll soon see the results you desire!
Being realistic about how frequently you can train is the key to a successful workout program. If you can only train three days a week, then isolating muscle groups won’t allow you to fully build your body. By combining your leg and shoulder workout, you’ll have a fuller, more complete physique compared to just hitting your legs if that’s all your schedule allows.
Best Exercises to Include in Your Legs and Shoulder Workout Routine
There are hundreds of exercises that you can do to target your legs and shoulders. Because of the wide variety, we’ll give you only the best exercises to include in your workout. The exercises will incorporate a number of leg machines, dumbbells, barbells, and more!
How to Program Your Legs and Shoulder Workout
You should program your legs and shoulder workout based on your goals. Below, we’ve created five different workouts based on five different goals that you might have when hitting the gym.
Weak Shoulders - Training Shoulders First
This workout prioritizes your shoulders, focusing on building strength and incorporating legs with two compound exercises. Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets with 60-90s rest between sets:
- Dumbbell overhead press
- Lateral Raise
- Frontal raise
- Reverse fly
- One-arm dumbbell push press
- Squat with twisting overhead press
- Deadlift to upright row
Weak Legs - Training Legs First
For this workout, we’ll prioritize legs by working them first whilst you have the most energy. Then, we’ll finish the workout with a superset to incorporate shoulders and give your legs extra recovery. Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets with 60-90s rest between sets:
- Goblet squat
- Superset: Split squat - Seated military press
- Superset: Leg extension - Lateral raise
- Superset: Hamstring curl - Frontal raise
You can also replace the goblet squat and split squat with other dumbbell quad exercises.
This is a strength-focused workout that allows you to fully exhaust the leg muscles before switching the focus to reaching muscular failure in the shoulders. Complete 6-8 reps for 4 sets with at least 2 minutes of rest between sets:
- Barbell squat
- Leg press
- Barbell Deadlift
- Bulgarian split squat
- Smith machine overhead press
- Seated military press
- Cable lateral raise
- Dumbbell shoulder shrugs
- Bent over rear delt flies
This workout utilizes supersets for a hypertrophy focus. With this workout, you’re trying to build strength and improve muscular endurance. Complete 10-12 reps in 3 sets with minimal/no rest between exercises. Take 60s rest between sets:
- Goblet squat into a seated shoulder press
- Romanian Deadlift into lateral raises
- Alternating lunges into the front raises
- Bulgarian split squat into bent over rear delt flyes
If you have no preference between the two muscle groups but are short on time, this is the workout to do. Try an alternating workout to increase work capacity and build both muscles at an equal pace. Complete 10-12 reps for 3 sets with 60s rest between sets:
- Barbell Squat
- Standing barbell shoulder press
- Leg press
- Seated dumbbell Arnold press
- Lateral raises
- Hamstring curl
- Frontal raises
Get other workouts like the ones above on the TRX Training Club app. We offer hundreds of classes from certified trainers. Start your free trial today.
Exercising your legs and shoulders together is not common, but it can be very effective. It saves time, improves your work capacity, and fixes any muscle imbalances. Moreover, you train a larger number of muscle groups. Try one of our workouts today and let us know how it goes!
Dankel SJ;Mattocks KT;Jessee MB;Buckner SL;Mouser JG;Counts BR;Laurentino GC;Loenneke JP; (n.d.). Frequency: The overlooked resistance training variable for inducing muscle hypertrophy?. Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.). https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27752983/