No matter your fitness goals, having strong upper body muscles is essential. Not only will it help you perform better in your chosen sport or activity, but it can also help prevent injuries.
There are many different ways to achieve upper body strength. Still, in this article, we’ll focus on 4 specific workouts that you can do to target different muscle groups.
The importance of upper body strength
Upper body strength is important for many activities, both everyday and athletic. Good upper body strength can help you with tasks such as carrying groceries, lifting heavy objects, and even getting out of a chair. Strong arms and shoulders can also help to improve your posture.
In addition to the everyday benefits of good upper body strength, it can also benefit athletes. If you play a sport that involves throwing or hitting, strong arms and shoulders will help you to throw or hit with more power. Good upper body strength can also help to prevent injuries by making your muscles and joints stronger.
Workout 1: Push-ups
- Start in a high plank position with your hands directly underneath your shoulders and your feet hip-width apart.
- Lower your body down to the ground, keeping your core engaged and your back flat.
- Push back up to the starting position and repeat.
You can try modified push-ups on your knees if regular push-ups are too complicated. You can also make the exercise easier by doing them against a wall or using an elevated surface like a countertop.
As you get stronger, you can increase the number of repetitions or add additional sets. You can also make the exercise more challenging by doing them with one arm or adding weight to your body.
Workout 2: Dumbbell chest press
The dumbbell chest press is a great exercise for developing upper body strength.
- Start by lying on a flat bench with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Position the weights so that they are level with your chest.
- Slowly press the weights up until your arms are extended.
- Pause for a moment and lower the weights back to the starting position.
- Repeat this exercise 8-12 times for 2-3 sets.
If you are looking for a more challenging workout, you can try adding a weight plate or barbell to the exercise.
Workout 3: Seated dumbbell shoulder press
- Start by sitting on a bench or chair with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Make sure that your back is straight and your core is engaged.
- Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height, then press them overhead.
- Be sure to keep your elbows close to your ears as you press.
- Lower the dumbbells back to shoulder height, then repeat for 8-12 repetitions.
Workout 4: Bent-over row
This is an excellent move for targeting the muscles in your back.
- Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand and bend your knees slightly.
- Bend forward at the hips and lower your torso until it’s almost parallel to the floor.
- Keeping your back straight, allow the dumbbells to hang down at arm’s length.
- From this position, bend your elbows and row the dumbbells up to the side of your chest.
- Pause for a moment and then lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- Repeat for 8-12 reps.
You can also do this exercise with a barbell instead of dumbbells. Simply hold the barbell with an overhand grip and perform the same movement.
How to know when you’re getting stronger
There are several ways to tell if you’re progressing with your upper body strength workouts. First, you should see an increase in the amount of weight you can lift over time. You’re likely not getting stronger if you’re consistently lifting the same weight without increasing.
Another way to tell if you’re getting stronger is by paying attention to your form. As you get stronger, your form should improve. You should be able to execute the exercises with better technique and control. If your form deteriorates, it’s a sign that you need to back off on the intensity of your workouts.
Finally, you should feel like you have more energy and stamina when you work out. If you find yourself getting tired more easily or taking more breaks than usual, it’s a sign that your body isn’t adapting to the workouts as well as it should be.
What to avoid when working out your upper body
There are a few things you should avoid when working out your upper body:
- Don’t overdo it. Don’t lift too much weight or do too many reps. This can lead to injury.
- Don’t focus on just one muscle group. You should work all of the muscles in your upper body, not just your biceps or triceps.
- Don’t neglect your form.
Make sure you are using the proper form when lifting weights. This will help prevent injuries and ensure you get the most out of your workout.
These tips will help you have a safe and effective upper body workout.
Upper body strength is important for many activities, including lifting objects and maintaining good posture. There are various ways to improve upper body strength, and these four workouts are a great place to start. With consistent effort, you’ll see results in no time. So what are you waiting for? Get started today and enjoy the benefits of a stronger upper body tomorrow.