Upper Body Workout!
The arms, chest, and back are part of the upper body workout which is essential to conduct daily activities like pulling, pushing, lifting, reaching, and more. Having good upper body strength also means that you are more mobile and flexible and can perform a range of motion.
What is an Upper Body Workout?
The upper body workout or the arm, chest, and back workout works on the muscles of the hands, shoulder, upper arm, and forearms which are together termed as upper body muscles. There is only one thumb of the rule in the arm, chest, and back workout and that is to make sure that the exercises are targeted on the major movement patterns. For this, it helps to understand what muscles get worked with what movements.
Pushing movements in the upper body workout both vertical and horizontal work the chest muscles and the shoulder muscles.
Pulling movements work on the back of the body, on the lats, and upper back muscles. So include this motion in your upper body workout.
It is most effective to include all these movements along with reaching and lifting so that it becomes a full upper body workout. Also, include upper body exercise that is compound so that it works on all big muscle groups across many joints and not target only specific small muscles. Additionally, only targeting big muscles can also be counterproductive.
How Effectively Can We Do Upper Body Workout at Home?
The gym is not the only place where you can get the arm, chest, and back workout. The upper body workout at home can be equally effective. The upper body can be worked by doing exercises at home. Additionally, many people think that upper body strength heavy weights and training with equipment are essential to get the best results for the upper body muscles. The reality is that you can achieve great success using your body weight. That can be enough to burn fat and also build muscles. All you have to do is get an effective upper body workout at home plan in place and get your body moving.
Who can do Upper Body Workout at Home?
The arm, chest, and back workout also called the upper body exercise is essential for all those who are:
Looking to improve their posture so that it prevents issues like back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Upper body exercise is good for those looking to lose weight, especially in their upper body. Upper body bodyweight exercises can be done at home to burn fat and tone muscles.
To improve body balance and upper body strength.
To strengthen the back, arms, and shoulders.
Increases the muscle mass by doing an upper body workout which results in weight loss.
Looking to work on sculpting their upper body to get a leaner look and flatter stomach.
Who Should Avoid Upper Body Workout?
All types of exercise including upper body exercise helps a person to be physically active. The benefits of physical exercise outweigh the risk but there are certain signs that one should not ignore and should avoid upper body workout, like:
Irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath, or dizziness.
Pain or tenderness that does not go away even after rest.
Headache, chills, or blurred vision
Elevated heart rate after waking up in the morning.
Swelling or pain in the bones and joints.
Also, check with your healthcare provider if you can return to exercise after an injury or if you can do upper body exercises for women after pregnancy. Consult a doctor to check if there are certain exercises to avoid in case of medical conditions or illnesses.
List of Best Upper Body Workout Exercises
There are many exercises that can be included in the upper body workout. Some of them are:
Bent over row
Quadruped leg raises
The bench press has many undeniable benefits for the chest muscles and increases upper body strength. It is one of the best upper body strength exercises.
To begin with lie on a bench or a flat surface.
Hold the weights with both hands, it can be a barbell, dumbbell, or any other weight.
The weight should be held straight over the chest and palms facing outside.
Bend the elbows, lower the arms until the elbows are near the chest.
Now push it back up so that it is over the chest.
Repeat for a set number of times.
Reps: Do this upper body workout for 1 to 3 sets repeating it up to 16 times.
Benefits: It is a great upper body bodyweight workout as it promotes better upper body strength, bigger and stronger pec major and minor muscles, strong triceps, and also boosts bone health.
This is one of the best upper body bodyweight exercises as it benefits the upper body.
Lie on the floor on your stomach
Keep your hands shoulder-width apart and extend your legs and place your feet against the floor resting on toes.
Engage the core so that the body is in a straight line.
Lower the hips and the upper body simultaneously. The elbows should be close to the body,
Inhale and lower down and exhale.
Reps: Do this upper body workout for 1 to 3 sets with 8 to 16 reps.
Benefits: It works on the arm, chest, and back and builds upper body strength. When done correctly it can strengthen the core and the lower back. This is a great upper body bodyweight workout as it effectively builds strength.
If done in a standing position it works on all the large muscles of the upper body and thus among the best upper body exercises. When upright it also uses the abs and lower back muscles.
Start this upper body workout by Standing and holding weights with the feet hip apart.
Place the elbows at 90 degrees, palms should be facing outside and the arms should resemble a goal post.
Lift the weight over your head and do not lock the elbows.
The back should be straight and the core engaged.
Lower down the weight and repeat.
Reps: Perform this upper body workout for 8 to 16 repetitions of 1 to 3 sets.
Benefits: There are many benefits of doing this upper body exercise. It increases the size and strength of the shoulder, arms, abs, core, and lower back.
This is one of the best back exercises and should be a part of your upper body workout People do not consider strengthening their back until it gives out, hence it is essential to use this exercise as upper body strength training in your workout.
Start by bending over the hips at a 45-degree angle. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, the palm should face the body.
Breathe in, hold the back straight, and the core engaged.
Bring the weights towards the body so that they are in parallel with the shoulders.
Do not move your legs or your lower body or squat up and down.
Lower the weights to the start in a slow steady movement.
Reps: This upper body workout should be done for 8 to 16 reps for 1 to 3 sets.
Benefits: This is considered a weight training upper body workout that can work the back muscles. It is used for bodybuilding and also powerlifting. It is one of the best exercises for increasing the muscle straight and also mass.
It is part of the resistance training and is ideal for people who have a bad posture of slouching. It is effective on the shoulder and back muscles. If you are a beginner then start without weights and then slowly add more weight as you get comfortable. It is among the good upper body exercises for weight loss.
Hold dumbbells or any other weight on your hands.
Stand keeping your feet shoulder-width apart.
Move the hips back and the chest forward so that it is parallel to the floor.
Engage the core, keep the knees slightly bent and the back straight.
Now move the arms out to the side, pulling the shoulder blades to the spine.
Inhale and move back to the start.
Reps: Repeat this upper body workout for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.
Benefits: Apart from improving functional fitness, it helps in better posture, increases strength and stamina, reduces injury risk, boosts everyday activity performance.
It is one of the effective exercises for the arms especially the triceps and is thus part of the upper body strength exercises plan. Strong arms are essential for the upper body, especially for weight lifters, and thus part of the upper body workout for men looking to build their arms. It is also needed for everyday activities like pushing a door, stroller, or other such activities.
Place your right foot on a platform and rest the right arm on the thigh.
Hold a dumbbell or other such weight in the left hand and pull the elbow up to the abs level.
Keep the elbow there and extend the right arm focusing on the tricep.
Lower the forearm to 90 degrees and repeat.
Reps: Repeat this upper body workout for 1 to 3 sets of 8 to 16 reps.
Benefits: The kickbacks are an effective way to increase the upper body strength and also build the arm. Adding this to the upper body workout helps in doing other physical activities. It increases flexibility, balance training, and stretching.
What are the Benefits of doing Upper Body Exercises?
Sculpted abs, legs, and buttock is what everything aspires to have but is only a part of fitness. A well-rounded workout that includes upper body exercise that concentrates on the arms, chest and back has many benefits which include:
Better posture: A strong back means a better posture and hence training those muscles can not only prevent slouching but also lead to many other benefits.
Boosts heart health: Strenght training exercises with some resistance exercises can also boost heart health.
Reduces the risk of injury: Musculoskeletal injuries can happen to the upper body as it is commonly used muscles for most daily activities. By doing some resistance training it reduces the risk of injury and thus the arm, chest, and back workout is essential.
Protects the bones from bone diseases: As you age, the bones start to lose their strength and cause many aches and pains especially in the back. By doing upper body exercise, the bone density can be maintained and kept healthy.
Better results of the workout: A full upper body workout is essential for all other types of workouts and hence doing upper body exercises boost the results of the other exercises that you perform. For example, having strong arms and shoulders makes you a better swimmer than before.
What are the Disadvantages of doing Upper Body Exercises?
There are not many disadvantages of doing an arm, chest, and back workout if done properly. There can be injuries and soreness if the right set of exercises are not chosen or the proper technique is not followed. When you are doing an upper body workout at home follow the right technique and form.
Do’s and Dont’s of Upper Body Workout
Even the best upper body workout will not help if certain things are not done. To get the best possible results of the upper body workout that you perform at home or a gym, there are certain things that should be and shouldn’t be done. They are:
Warm-up with cardio exercises and cool-down exercises are a must before starting and after completing the arm, chest, and back workout.
Include upper body stretches as it increases motion and flexibility and reduces the risk of strain on the muscles.
Keep a water bottle close to you at all times during the upper body workout so that you are hydrated and the body temperature is stable throughout the session.
Find the right upper body workout that gives you results and mix and match simple and compound exercises.
If you are practising upper body workout for women after pregnancy you can perform kegel exercises.
Breathe properly during the upper body workout plan as that reduces the chances of dizziness. To learn the proper technique of breathing do Pranayam.
Increase stamina by including strengthening exercises especially if doing an upper body workout for women after pregnancy.
Do not exercise in hot and humid conditions as the best upper body workout will not give results.
Jerking around too much especially while doing weight exercises can lead to injury.
Do not lift heavy weights without increasing muscle strength or doing upper body stretches as that can result in injury.
Exercise until you reach exhaustion.
Consume energy drinks or bars while doing upper body workout as it is high in calories.
Continue doing an upper body workout if you feel dizziness or blurred vision.
Things Required to do this Workout
The foremost thing to do before starting on the upper body workout is to know how to increase stamina, strength training, how to motivate yourself, how to push yourself to the limits, how to look for the best upper body workout plan. Once these are sorted based on whether you are doing upper body exercises at home or at a gym these are some of the things required. It is essential to note that these are not mandatory and exercises can be done even without them.
Weighted jump ropes
Chest press machine
Bicep curl machine
Seated row machine
Lat pulldown machine