Upper body resistance training is a must in any fitness routine. Men and Ladies should both be performing these exercises. A complete upper body workout routine will improve posture, stability, strength, balance, and more. Plus, a proper upper body workout routine will help to decrease pain especially in your neck, shoulders, upper back, and lower back.
So many people come up to me asking me what new exercise do I have going on this week. Here’s the thing, folks, you don’t need a new or innovative exercise. You simply don’t. What you need is a routine that you can stick with and BE CONSISTENT. It really is that simple. Now, if you’re going for specific health concerns or health challenges and wanting ways to work with them to have the most success, then, as I say every time, seek out a professional. If you want to work with me, then contact me here.
I’ve put together a list of top upper body exercises for you. Most can be done with little equipment if necessary! You have NO EXCUSES! Right?
An Overview of Upper Body Exercises
- Push up: This is best to improve your core strength which helps to support your spine and posture. This also builds your upper body and chest strength.
- Beginner: Knees on the ground. Or you can do these on the wall.
- Intermediate: Standard plank push up on the ground. Use this to help.
- Advanced: Weighted. Or you can do them with feet elevated on a bench.
- Pull up: This will help to improve your core strength with focus on your lats, which help to maintain proper spine position. Want to do these in your home? Get this!
- Beginner: Jumping pull ups.
- Intermediate: Standard strict pull ups, no kipping! Can use these bands to progress.
- Advanced: Weighted. Or you can pull up, hold, then slowly lower yourself back down.
- Biceps: Building strength in your arms.
- Hammer Curls and Cross Body Curls
- E-Z Bar Curls. Use this.
- Triceps: Building strength in your arms.
- Beginner: Do these with feet your on the floor. Or you can use a dip-assist machine. Get this to help.
- Intermediate: Standard dips on a dip bar.
- Advanced: Weighted. Or you can dip down slowly, hold, then press back up.
- Tricep Extension
- Cable Press Down
- Lying Tricep Extension (aka: Skull Crushers … it’s called that for a reason so be careful!). These can be done with the E-Z Bar (my preference) or with Dumbbells.
- Bench Press: Similar to the pushup, these exercise emphasize the strength for your chest and shoulders.
- Overhead Press: Building strength for your shoulders. This will also support a strong upper back and neck, possibly reducing pain.
- Banded presses with these bands
- Row: These exercises support a strong upper back which helps to support your spine and maintain upright posture.
- Banded rows with these bands
- Barbell bent over row
- Single arm row
- Seated row, with cable machine
What Not To Do
So many times I’m in the gym myself and I’m watching someone try to do some of these exercises and I’m cringing inside. Most of the time I can’t help myself so I have to say something. So, my key advice is to not do this alone. At least not until you’ve been told by a professional that you have the core movements down pat! Why? Because if you don’t have the foundation movements in place then you will injure yourself. Maybe not right away but over time with repetitive poor movement you will cause a repetitive injury. It’s difficult to correct poor movement patterns. You’ve been moving in a particular way since birth. It doesn’t mean it’s the best way for you to move, and it doesn’t mean that it can’t be corrected or modified with proper interventions. So, again, don’t do this on your own … at least not in the beginning.
Holistic Health Coaching
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I am excited to help you on your journey!
Have an Abundantly Healthy day!
Dr. Cori Campbell
Your Holistic Health Coach