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Can You Do Shoulders After Back Day? (Solved!)

After a heavy workout that targets one of the big muscle groups, the chances are you’ll be feeling pretty fatigued, your muscles will be full of lactic acid, and your overall energy levels will be low.

When it comes to the next day, you’ll need to think carefully about which muscle group you’ll target next.

If you try to focus on the wrong muscle group, your workout will be much less effective, less enjoyable, and it could even result in an injury.

Well, in this article, we talk about whether you can do shoulders after back day.

We look at the pros and cons of doing so, as well as other useful points to keep in mind if you are thinking of training in this way.

Can You Do Shoulders After Back Day?

You can do shoulders after back day, but you’ll need to ensure you don’t overtrain your rear deltoids.

During many back exercises, your rear delts will activate and have to work pretty hard to help make the movements happen effectively.

By the end of back day, your rear delts will likely be in a highly worked state and will need a similar amount of time to recover as your back will.

However, you can still do shoulders after back day as your shoulder workout can focus on your front and lateral deltoids.

By focusing on the front and side of your shoulders, you can have a heavy shoulder workout without bringing in your already tired rear deltoids.

As your front and side deltoids weren’t activated on back day, they’ll be fresh enough for an effective shoulder workout.

Benefits of Doing Shoulders After Back Day

You Can Stick To A Push/Pull Training Plan

Many gym-goers use a PPL (push, pull, legs) training plan.

This means that they have a training cycle that sees them train their pushing muscles in one workout, their pulling muscles in the next, and their legs in the next.

They then repeat the cycle for several weeks.

If this is how you train, then doing shoulders after back day can keep you in this cycle if you like to train a different push or pull muscle in each session.

Your back is a pulling muscle and your shoulders are a pushing muscle.

With this in mind, you can implement your PPL training plan by doing shoulders after back day.

They Don’t Work Together Too Much

If you want to have an effective workout after back day, then you’ll want to target a muscle group that hasn’t had to activate too much during the back exercises you performed.

That’s why doing shoulders after back day can be a good idea.

With the exception of your rear delts that activate quite a lot during many back exercises, your shoulders won’t have had much of a role to play in most of your back day movements.

This should mean that your shoulders are in good training condition and ready to do a challenging workout the day after back day.

Drawbacks of Doing Shoulders After Back Day


After a heavy back workout, you’ll probably feel quite fatigued.

On back day, you’ll likely be lifting a lot of weight and that can take a big toll on your body as a whole.

Working out the next day, even with the focus on another part of your body, can be an extremely challenging thing to do.

Training when fatigued can lead to overtraining and injury, so you need to be careful and think about how you’re feeling after back day before deciding whether to do shoulders the next day or not.

Muscle Overlap

Your back and shoulders will always overlap in some way.

Many back movements rely on at least part of your shoulders coming into play to assist too.

You might also feel your back muscles activate slightly during some shoulder exercises.

As there’s some overlap in the two muscle groups, it might mean that your shoulders won’t be in prime condition after back day.

Even though your shoulders shouldn’t play too much of a role in back exercises, they can still play enough of a role to impact their training potential.

Should You Do Shoulders After Back Day?

You can do shoulders after back day but it might not be the most effective way of training.

If you do decide to train shoulders after back day, you’ll need to ensure your rear delts aren’t the focus as these would’ve worked hard during many back exercises.

If you’re unsure as to what condition your shoulders are in after back day, then it’s probably best to target another muscle group until they’re recovered.

Is It Safe To Do Shoulders After Back Day?

It can be safe to do shoulders after back day but there might be even safer options to choose from.

Usually, after back day, a rest day or leg day will follow.

This gives your upper body muscles a bit of time to recover before they have to work hard again in your next upper body workout.

Is It Better To Do Back After Shoulders Day?

As a general rule, its a better idea to do back before shoulders.

Large muscle groups tend to be trained before smaller ones.

This is because the smaller muscle groups tend to assist in the movements that target the larger muscles.

As your smaller muscle groups (like shoulders) will tire quicker than the larger ones, it makes sense that large muscle groups (like your back) should be trained first.


In summary, you can do shoulders after back day, although your rear delts may be a little fatigued. If you decide to train this way, then focus on lateral delts so that you don’t overtrain your rear delts.

That’s all for this article, but what about chest after shoulder day? Or what about back after leg day?

Hope this helped!