Upper Body WorkoutThe Basics for Upper Body Workout

Those who are new to strength training need to know the basics of an upper body workout plan. An essential part of any exercise program includes training every part of your body, and upper body workouts will get your chest, back and arms in prime condition. The upper body is almost always the first thing noticed. There are several good basic exercises you can do.

The Chest Press is one of the most basic moves you will need to master your upper body workout.  You can use a bench, or balance on an exercise ball.  Contract your abs, and hold weights straight over your chest with slightly bent elbows.  Bend your elbows and lower your arms to just under your shoulders. Contract your chest muscles as you lift the weights up,  squeezing once you reach center.

Bent over barbell rows are another good strength training exercise.  You hold weights or a bar in front of your thighs, then bend your knees and bring your torso to a 45-degree angle. Take the weight out, then squeeze your back while you draw the weight towards you. (Not recommended for those with back problems).

Dips are another easy exercise to do as part of your upper body workout.  You need to prop yourself up on 2 parallel objects, preferably bars.  Use your arms to balance you, and move yourself in front of the incline. This can be modified with straight legs to make it more difficult or bent for a beginner.  Keep the shoulders down, with elbows parallel.  You will bring your body down and push back to the original position and repeat.  12 Reps are preferred here.  If they are easy, you can increase resistance by using a weight belt.

Front and side laterals for shoulders.  Using dumbbells, put your arms, palms in towards your sides.  With your back, straight lift the dumbbells up from the sides in line with your shoulder blades.  Raise your arms slightly above your shoulders and repeat this for approximately 12 reps.  This will hit the lateral heads of your shoulders.   To hit the front heads of the shoulders, start in the same position, however your palms will face to the rear with the weights.  Raise the weight slightly above shoulder height and repeat for 12 sets.  Do a weight heavy enough that your last rep is strenuous.

Straight bar bicep curls.  This is the core bicep strengthening and size gaining workout.  With the bar in front of you, position your grip on the bar to the outer sides of your hips.  Keeping your upper arms parallel to your body, proceed to lift the weight up focusing on your biceps to do all the work.   Do not use a weight to heavy that it will take you out of this position.  Bad form will cause you to make gains less rapidly.

There are many other great exercise moves you can use in upper body workouts, but whatever program you choose, follow these guidelines: A beginner should do 2-4 sets with up to 12 reps of each exercise.  Intermediate to advance perform 4-12 sets with 12 reps, and any weight should be limited to what you can complete the reps with.Always warm up prior to a workout, and get rest to allow your muscles proper recovery time.

Work at it hard and you will create the upper body most strive for.


This upper body workout is designed to get you in great shape, but it can also lead to serious injuries if you aren’t careful. Your upper body is supported by your back and legs, so it will only be as strong as your core and legs. Make sure to do exercises that focus on your back, stomach, and legs, as that will ensure that your entire body is strengthened. If you only work out the top half of your body, you could end up injuring yourself seriously if you lift weights that strain your lower back or joints.

Disclaimer: If your back is not strong enough, try wearing a back brace to help avoid injuries. It is the upper body workout exercises that usually end up straining and injuring your back, so it is important to take precautions to avoid them. These exercises have proven to be effective, but there is nothing that guarantees that they will be the most effective for you. Alternate between exercises to determine which will be the best for you.