Your upper body and chest in particular are one of the most important parts of your physique. No matter how well your legs and back look, you still won't feel complete unless your upper body is in shape. So go ahead, take a look at these tips. As always, if you have any questions about strength training or about how to obtain great abs, just drop us a line. We're always happy to help.
An effective upper body workout program is one of the best things you can do to add definition to your body, boost your metabolism, and build a stronger physique. It's important to do upper body training in conjunction with lower body training and core training.
Maintaining a rock-hard upper body requires consistency, dedication, and hard work. You need to lift heavy and first use a workout plan that works for your needs.
Warm up your delts with a set of light side raises.
Warm up your delts with a set of light side raises. You can use dumbbells or cables for this exercise. You don't need to go really heavy, just work on getting the blood flowing. Do a few sets of 10 reps per arm.
To hit the middle and rear delts, use an overhead press with either dumbbells or barbells. This will also work your triceps and traps.
If you don't have any weights, you can try Flybird adjustable dumbbells, you can choose the best weights for you from 25lb and 55lb.
Get Bigger With Your Chest Workouts
The best way to get bigger is to be consistent with your workout routine, but there's more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. For example, if you tend to be hard on yourself and like to train at a high volume, going easy on yourself every once in a while can boost your strength gains.
If you have a hard time walking away from heavy chest training, try this method: Break down each muscle group into two sessions per week. You can still get plenty of work in on chest day with two full workouts, so consider lightening the mood by dropping the weight by 20 percent during one of those sessions. This will allow for more reps and sets overall, which will keep your muscles under tension for longer periods of time. This is important because it stimulates muscle growth.
Don't underestimate the basic dumbbell curl.
The dumbbell curl is one of the best exercises you can do to really isolate and stimulate those biceps. It's important to keep your elbows close to your sides in order for it to be effective, and don't swing them up or back as you raise the dumbbells — not only do you risk injuring yourself, but you also lessen the effort being placed on your biceps.
Use a variety of rep ranges. Lots of people think that doing high sets of 15-20 reps is the only way to build muscle in their arms, but this isn't true. You can build just as much muscle by doing 3 sets of 10-12 reps with heavy weights as you can with 20 reps and very light weights. Focus on quality over quantity when it comes to reps.
Take it to the bench with incline flyes and press work.
Doing chest exercises in an inclined position works your pecs from a slightly different angle and also helps to build your upper-chest muscles, which sit higher on your torso and are often neglected by standard flat-bench exercises.
Incline flyes can either be performed on a flat weight bench or a specialized incline bench that's designed for flies. The latter is preferable, as it will give you more range of motion and better support. Sit at the end of the weight bench with your back flat against the pad and both feet firmly on the ground. Grab a pair of dumbbells, holding them directly above your shoulders so that your arms are extended straight up into the air.
Open up your chest and lower the weights out to each side until they're at shoulder level, being careful not to let them go any lower. Hold for a moment at the bottom of this position, then return to the starting position by bringing them back together into alignment over your chest once again.
If you're looking to build big muscles, do these first in your workout when you have more energy.
Don't forget to hit the backside of your arms.
The biceps are the most beloved show muscles of both men and women. But if you're going for size, they aren't actually all that important. Your lats and triceps play a much bigger role in making your upper body look big, so don't forget to train them.
The lats are the biggest muscles of the upper body and contribute significantly to the V-taper — that broad-shouldered, tapered look that's so coveted by lifters. They also extend from the lower back all the way up to the arms at the back of your shoulders. So when your lats get bigger, they can make your waistline appear smaller.
The triceps account for two thirds of your arm size — more than your biceps muscle — but they're often neglected in favor of training biceps because they're out of sight and thus out of mind. If you want those "horseshoe" triceps, you have to work them just as hard as you do your biceps.
Get Plenty Of Sleep & Manage Stress
If you're constantly feeling stressed out about work or life in general, it can affect more than just your mental health; it can actually have a negative impact on your physique as well. Just like lack of sleep, high-stress levels can lead to lower testosterone levels, which can slow down muscle growth.
Sleep is more important than you think for building muscle and burning fat — if you're not getting at least 7-8 hours per night, it's time to start prioritizing your rest. Not only is sleep a great way to let your muscles recover from workouts, but it also helps regulate hormones and boost testosterone levels, both of which help increase muscle growth.
Work in a little cardio, even if you're in PUMP mode.
If you're trying to build muscle, doing cardio right after lifting may be counterproductive. However, warming up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio before lifting is a good way to get the blood pumping and improve your range of motion. To make sure you don't fatigue yourself too much, do a couple of light sets of any exercise before going all out on your heaviest set. This will help prevent injuries and also teach you how to pace yourself for the remainder of your workout.
Are you ready to put these tips into action? If so, I hope they help you get a rock-hard upper body. If there's any advice that you can absorb and use to your advantage, I'm sure of it. Keep these tips in mind when you hit the weights, and remember that there are always new ways to make any workout better. When all is said and done, your hard work will pay off if you're willing to make what might be small changes for big gains.