How to build upper body strength: best exercises for upper body muscles

Every man would have thought about doing physical exercises at home. To get it in the home, it is not possible to achieve impressive results, and here you have to keep yourself in shape or even add a kilogram of muscle.

build upper body strength

Home workout for men can not made from you Schwartzenegger, it is worthwhile to establish this before starting the lessons. Most men, due to a lack of knowledge, throw the idea of a home exercise even at the planning stage. Therefore, before starting the exercises, you need to familiarize yourself with the exercises and find the right training program.

General advice on upper body muscles workout

Any training should be started with a thorough warm-up. Even the home can be troubled and long to leave the speed. NEVER neglect your warm-up. It is necessary to work out all the muscles, and not only those which you are planning to train. Start the workout with gentle movements, gradually increasing the pace. Do not forget about the banner. Moderate stretching will help to quickly recover, which speeds up the process of muscle growth.

Taken regularly, you are determined to succeed. Optimum frequency of workouts is Weekly. When practicing one or two times a week, good results, in the form of a narrow waist or a shortened prescube, do not wait. TAKE EVERY DAY, ALSO NOT A VARIANT, MAY BE TRANSFERRED.

Upper Body hiit workout

The first two exercises of the upper body training program are the most difficult – they involve 3-4 sets with a small number of repetitions and long pauses for rest. The following two exercises are recommended to alternate from training to training.

The last two exercises that work out biceps and triceps are recommended in 1-2 sets with a high number of repetitions and short rest. The number of approaches you determine yourself, depending on fatigue. You can also vary and exercises to work out the muscles of the hands.

Before each strength exercise, 2-3 warm-up sets are performed that are not taken into account in the program table and in the training diary. Optionally, you can perform a warm-up on simulators, gradually learning to shift the mechanics of the exercises you know with the barbell to a different plane.


Training on blocks and machines is not so bad – they can be even more effective than training with free weights. It is enough to understand which of the basic exercises underlies the exercises on the simulator, as well as being able to consciously involve the key muscle group in the work.

The simulator’s advantage is both increased safety (you cannot “drop” the working weight on yourself), and the ability to train muscles from different angles. Unfortunately, most of the trainees are not able to use these advantages correctly – however, they are not doing the best with the barbell.

Why not a basic program?

The main disadvantage of the basic training program, on the principles of which the first weeks of the “Beginner’s Guide” were built, is that a low number of repetitions (only 5-7) and a high working weight significantly increase both the risk of injury and the chance of developing chronic overtraining.

The basic program is suitable either for those who train with a personal trainer who controls the technique of performing the exercises, or for those who work with working weights of not more than 70-80 kg. To achieve this milestone, for safety reasons, it is recommended to switch to more “gentle” training.

What to include in chest back workout

A full training course will never be designed for a month, to achieve the desired result, you should be engaged constantly. At an intense pace, you need to do 3-4 months, then you can repeat the program. If you have reached the desired forms, you need to practice to maintain the result. You can diversify the training by choosing a mobile hobby for yourself. This can be swimming, running, cycling, kickboxing, etc.

Training your upper chest is no different than training the rest of your pectoral muscles.

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All the same barbell presses, dumbbell presses, dilution-information of dumbbells through the sides in the supine position on the bench and, good old, push-ups on the uneven bars.

chest back workout

It is possible to bulk the upper chest almost effortlessly, because the top of the chest consists of those sections of the pectoral muscles that are practically not involved at all in everyday life, and therefore pumping up the top of the chest is not a particular problem.

All these exercises on the chest carry one common task – bulking the pectoral muscles. But for an accentuated effect on the upper chest, all these chest exercises should be performed not in a horizontal position of the body, but at an angle with the head up.

If the body is placed on a bench for bench presses, then the back of the bench should be at an angle of 30-60 degrees.

The higher the angle, the greater the load on the upper pectoral muscles, the lower the angle, the more the load goes on the middle pectoral muscles and, to some extent, on the lower pectoral muscles.

If the question relates to push-ups on wide bars, then it should be clearly understood that for the upper muscles of the chest, push-ups on the bars should be performed horizontally, with feet thrown on the bars.


Although this position of the body relative to the bars provides for pumping of all sections of the pectoral muscles, but if you fall below the bars so that your hands are under the armpits, then in this position and to a horizontal position, this part of the push-up trajectory actively works out the upper sections pectoral muscles!

Upper Body Circuit: Chest Exercise

The most important and basic exercise for the upper chest is the lying bench press at an angle with your head up. Use both wide to close grip. In any bench press exercise with a barbell, a wide grip of the neck pumps the outer sections of the pectoral muscles, a close grip helps to work out the inner sections of the pectoral muscles.

The bench press on an inclined bench can be replaced with a dumbbell bench press on an inclined bench. In the dumbbell presses, an additional load is obtained by the internal pectoral muscles, small pectoral muscles.

An effective exercise for the upper chest is dumbbell wiring. The correct name for the wiring sounds like lying dumbbell crossover on an inclined bench. Dumbbell dilutions work great on the outside of the pectoral muscles. Do not take on large weights, as this exercise serves to give a beautiful chest shape, and not to build up the mass of the pectoral muscles.

There are also chest exercises in the simulators. But I do not recommend using exercise machines to bulk the pectoral muscles.

But it can also be replaced by push-ups on the bars and with all the exercises for the pectoral muscles described above, performed head down on an inclined bench. But we already began to talk about training the muscles of the lower chest.

Include in your training program one of the described exercises for the top of the chest and nothing more will be required of you to form a convex upper chest!

Upper body muscles: the benefits of dumbbell exercises

1) Balance The use of dumbbells involves not only target muscles, but also synergist muscles or auxiliary muscles. Since more muscle groups are involved in working with dumbbells, you get the best result, and you don’t even have to take too much weight. But do not forget to carefully and regularly perform the warm-up to properly warm up the muscles, prepare for further training and reduce the risk of injury.

2) Perfect symmetry. Since hands work independently of each other during this workout, you will quickly find imbalance. Be prepared to train your weak parts to achieve perfect symmetry.

3) Greater range of motion. While lifting the bar or while working on a particular simulator, your hands just move up. But with dumbbells you are not limited to one plane. You can expand your range of motion and strengthen your muscles more effectively.

General training rules

From the first workouts it is very important to learn right technique

  • Each workout begins with a warm-up to prevent possible injuries and prepare the muscles for active work. For starters, a 10-15-minute walk uphill (5-6 km / h) on a treadmill is enough. Next – stretching the muscles and joints with slopes.
  • We must begin each strength exercise with 1-2 warm-up (lead-in) reps. In weighted exercises, the minimum weight (empty bar) is taken for this to work out the necessary amplitude and technique of movement, improve blood circulation and prepare the body for hard work.
  • After power loads, there is a leveling breath and a hitch, usually, like a warm-up, on a treadmill.
  • A mandatory final component of the training is a five-minute stretch to relax and speed up muscle recovery after a heavy load. We stretch those muscles that we trained. After the bench press, stretching the pectoral muscles and triceps. If pulled up – you need to stretch the biceps and the widest. Stretching, we make a smooth movement in the opposite direction from the direction of flexion (contraction) of the muscle, holding the muscle in an extended state for about fifteen seconds. Each worked muscle must be stretched 2 times.
  1. Pullups (and pulls up to chin)
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Pulling is an intermediate gymnastic movement that can pacify even the bravest men and women. However, after a certain time and a few workouts, you can overcome the crossbar and gain strong chest and back muscles.

Although there are some disagreements about the differences between pull-ups and pull-ups to the level of the chin, the end result essentially remains the same. The only difference is when pulling to the level of the chin, a reverse grip is used (with palms facing you on the crossbar) and biceps and pectoral muscles are more involved.

At first, it may seem impossible that, hanging on the bar, you need to lift the entire weight of your body with only arms and shoulders. While you are not able to perform this movement, it is best to perform lateral traction on the weight trainer as described below. Here is a program you can use to include pull-ups and pull-ups to the chin level in your regular workout.

  • Start by simply hanging on the bar in a controlled way, activating the shoulder muscles. This will help stretch any tense muscles in the upper body. Tense muscles can increase the risk of injury.
  • Increase the time on the bar to strengthen shoulder stability and grip strength. But don’t sacrifice your form. You can use gloves to protect your hands and improve grip.
  • Include lateral traction in your workout (as described below) to increase muscle strength for pull-ups. Do not try to do too much too fast so as not to increase the risk of injury.
  • Increasing strength on the weight trainer, continue to increase time on the horizontal bar, paying attention to technique.
  • Strengthening the force of traction, try climbing a rope – in this case you will need to keep the body motionless and hang on the rope, pushing upside down. To climb a rope efficiently, you just need to hold your body upright.
  • Consistently working on time on the horizontal bar and performing lateral rods, in a couple of weeks or a month you can start to pull yourself up on the bar.
  • Resist the temptation to use inertia to perform more pull-ups, because it dynamically loads the muscles of the shoulder, transfers more power to the muscles and increases the risk of injury.
  1. Lateral traction

Lateral traction is an exercise that is performed on a weight trainer, which helps to build strength in the muscles. It prepares you for pull-ups and can be done using the super slow training method to get the most out of the exercise. In fact, if you prefer a simulator for lateral traction, you do not need pull-ups.

  • Adjust the weight on the simulator as described in the super-slow workout above.
  • Sit facing the scales and adjust the knee pad to your height. It will stabilize you when you work out with weight.
  • Coverage will affect the muscles you will train. If you work your muscles to fatigue, as described above, you can change the grip every workout, alternating between wide, medium and close grip.

A wide grip should be wider than the shoulder width, but still comfortable, the average grip should be shoulder width and the close one should be less than shoulder width.

  • Grasp the bar with your palms away.
  • Holding onto the bar, tilt the body back 30 degrees and bend the lower back for stability.
  • Slowly lower the bar, touching the chest as you exhale. Only hands work.
  • As you inhale, slowly return your hands to their original position.
  • This is one repetition.
  1. Bench press
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The bench press is a classic strength exercise that primarily activates the pectoralis major muscle (chest muscle) and triceps. Secondary muscles involved include the posterior deltoids, rotators, and rhomboid muscles.

Your position during the bench press affects efficiency and the possibility of injury. In addition, the position of the hands also affects muscle work.

When doing the bench press, when the elbows are closer to the body, the pectoral muscles are less involved and the triceps is more involved. Too allotted elbows give a greater load on the shoulder capsule. When the elbows are at an angle of 45 degrees, this allows you to exert more force and reduce the load on the shoulder.

Using the bench press simulator helps you position your elbows correctly and reduce your risk of injury.

  • Select a weight based on the criteria described above.
  • Lie on a bench and place your hands on the panel.
  • Place your feet firmly on the floor. During this exercise, you will need to rest your feet on the floor.
  • Squeeze the shoulder blades together under the back and slowly lift the weight.
  • Do not straighten your elbows completely – when your elbows are bent 10-15 degrees, stop and return the weight to its original position.


  • Try not to keep your back straight – there should be a slight deflection.
  • Make sure that your feet are under the bench and rest on the floor
  • Shoulders should be brought down.
  • Try not to tear your hips off the bench – rest your feet on the floor. Do not push off the floor to raise weight – use the floor only to stabilize the body.
  1. Dumbbell Press 

The dumbbell press allows you to develop the latissimus dorsi, trapezius and rhomboid muscles to support your posture and stabilize your spine. Strengthening the back muscles, which are often overloaded due to improper posture, will help reduce pain in the upper back and increase the relief of these muscles.

Start with a weight with which you can do 10 reps.

  • Starting position: take dumbbells in each hand, feet shoulder width apart.
  • Tighten your buttocks and pull back, bending slightly in the lower back. So you protect the lower back.
  • Squat and lower your head to stretch your back muscles. Do not straighten your legs completely – let the knees be bent approximately 30-40 degrees.
  • Keep your hands in front of your knees and your weights parallel to the ground.
  • Raise your arms and head up, pulling the weight to the sides, and turn the hands with palms to the sides. Keep your shoulders back.
  • Inhale before stretching the weight, and exhale when lifting the weight up.
  1. Trims

This is another simple exercise that works out the shoulders and back muscles. The bar increases the flexibility of the hind muscle groups and strengthens the muscles necessary for the development of strong posture.

  • Keep your elbows directly under your shoulders and your wrists in line with your elbows.
  • Push the body from the upper back, pressing the chin to the neck (as if you were holding an egg between the chin and the neck).
  • In this position, prepare the abdominal muscles – squeeze them as if you were expecting a blow in the stomach, squeeze the buttocks (tailbone) and thigh muscles, while continuing to breathe normally.
  • Hold the bar for at least 20-30 seconds. (When using the right technique, more time is not needed.) Rest for about a minute and repeat the exercise three to five more times.
  • When you have mastered this technique, begin to perform the bar on your elbows and toes (do not be afraid to kneel if necessary) and rise to a high bar.

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