The bulking season is almost here and we all are ready with our own crazy bulking stacks and workout plans. I already have made plans on how to improve my weak areas and which all parts would be my priority. In this article, we will talk about the 5 best exercise for building upper body. A great upper body includes a broad V-shape back, wide shoulders, thick upper chest and narrow waist to create an illusion of complete V shape physique. Image Credits: crossfitlosgatos.com
Pro Tip:Make sure that you do not forget legs in any case. Working on your lower body including squats and stiffed legs deadlift will help you release more Growth Hormone, thus helping you build overall mass. You can adopt the push pull legs method, or make one of your one but do not ignore your lower body.
The following are my Top 6 Exercises for Upper Body in no specific order. You can either follow a complete upper-body schedule or add these exercises into your specific routines.
1) Incline Bench Press
Muscles Involved: Chest, Deltoids and Triceps.
How to Perform:
1) Load up the bar with the weight you want.
2) Lay on the ground with feet on ground. This is an important step as you have to take support of your legs too while performing this exercise.
3) Use a medium grip, slightly wider than shoulder grip.
4) Un-rack the bar and bring it down slowly to your upper chest and then bring it back to top, all slowly and controlled. Remember not to bounce the bar on your chest. Feel every rep on your upper chest for maximum mind-muscle connection. Image Credits: www.indianbodybuilding.co.in
It is one of the best upper body exercises to build muscle. Either performed with barbell or dumbbells, this exercise will help bring out your upper chest. The reason why most people have man boobs is because of their under-developed upper chest and more of lower chest. If you wish to even out on your chest muscles, then you need to focus more on your upper chest.
I always start my workout with Incline Barbell Press. A great chiseled chest is a great sign of stronger upper body. Incorporate Incline bench press in your workout and you will notice a great change in your upper body.
2) Overhead Press
Muscles Involved: Deltoids, Biceps and Triceps.
How to Perform:
1) There are many variations of this exercise. Start by using narrow grip barbell press.
2) Start by lifting a barbell over your head with slightly inner grip than shoulder grip and with appropriate weight.
3) Bring the barbell down till you upper chest slowly and take a pause.
4) Raise the barbell back above with slow and contracted motion. Image credit: mybodybuildingguide.com
Overhead presses which include military presses and dumbbell presses are great exercises for wider shoulder, thus giving you a great upper body. Overhead presses focus on entire shoulder part and can be performed with both barbell as well as dumbbells. If you wish to change, you can even perform it on a smith machine. While developing a wide upper body, the most important parts you should focus on are shoulders and back. Wider shoulders give an illusion of strength and V shape. Try to also include raises including side raise, lateral raise and front raise for bolder shoulders!
Muscles Involved: Back, Glutes, Hamstrings.
How to Perform:
1) Apart from being the king of mass builder exercises, deadlift is also one of the top exercises that would cause injuries. Deadlift takes a little time to master due to high level of balance and coordination needed. Always consult your trainer for proper technique.
2) Stand straight with feet little narrower than shoulder and keep the barbell on ground ahead of your feet.
3) Bend your knees and lower your back while maintaining a straight back. Do not let your back form an arch. Keep the back straight and tighten your shoulders.
4) Hold the barbell with shoulder grip and lift by pushing your feet and pulling the barbell at the same time. Lock the barbell at top for some time and bring it back down following the same steps above. Here’s an video showing how you should perform deadlift correctly: Image Credits: wwwmuscle.iuhu.org
Also known as the King of Upper Body Exercises, deadlift is one of my favorite upper body mass building exercise. Not only does it includes hundreds of muscle at the same time, but also helps body in releasing more Growth Hormone helping you build mass in your upper body. If you wish to develop a huge upper back and narrow lower back at the same time, you need to do more of deadlifts. Make sure that you follow a strict form and start with light weights to avoid back injuries.
Muscles Involved: Chest, Shoulders and Triceps.
How to Perform:
1) Start by grasping two parallel bars slightly wider than shoulder grip.
2) Raise your body up in the initial position by supporting the entire weight of your body.
3) Lower your body to final position by bending your elbows and coming down to the maximum you can while stretching your shoulders, and then raise your body up again.
4) If you wish to engage your chest rather than triceps, lean a little forward. Image Credits: www.pinterest.com
Dips will help you get a stronger upper body than any other exercise. Primarily focusing on chest and triceps, it is a great exercise for getting the burns in your chest. If performed with proper form, you are bound to see results in your upper body. There are many variations to this exercise including changing how much you lean forward. Once you master the technique, try doing it with weights for more strength and upper body development.
Muscles Involved: Upper Back, Shoulders and Biceps.
How to Perform:
1) Start by grasping a sturdy bar above head with an overhand grip , wider than your shoulder grip so that your hands form a V shape.
2) Pull your body up so that your chest is closer to the bar and chin above the bar.
3) Slowly come back to the original position, with controlled movement. Image Credits: www.pinterest.com
If you can do more than 12 pullups with controlled movement at a time, you already have a great upper back. One of the great exercise for developing lats and upper back, pullups take more than just strength to perform. Most beginners aren’t able to perform pullups with the right form and so they remove it from their routine. If you are one of them ,then you are missing on something big. Once mastered, pullups will help you build your lats much faster than any other exercise. It take time to master the technique, but its completely worth. The variations include underhand, overhand and using weights.
Muscles Involved: Chest, Shoulder and Triceps.
How To Perform:
1) Lower your body on the floor keeping palms under your shoulder wider than the shoulder grip. Keep your feet together and maintain a straight body just like a plank.
2) Lower your body keeping back straight until your chest touches the ground and keep a pause.
3) Raise your body up again to the starting position, all in a controlled motion. Image Credits:www.md-health.com
Pushups are great way to stimulate chest, triceps and shoulder muscles. One of the great exercise to build upper body. The advantage of this exercise is that you can perform it anywhere without the need of any physical equipment. There are hundreds of variations of this exercise and all of them come down to the same function- developing a great upper body. You could even use weights for performing this exercise once you master the technique.
7) Bent Over Barbell Rows
Muscle Involved: Upper and middle back, Biceps.
How to Perform:
1) Hold a barbell with palms facing down with a shoulder grip.
2) Bend your knees and slightly bend your back while keeping it straight until its almost parallel to the ground.
3) Now pull the barbell towards your abdominal slowly with your lats and pause.
4) After squeezing at the top, release and lower the barbell again the initial position. Image Credits:www.gympaws.com
I consider Bent-Over row as another great exercise for developing upper body. Arnold personally recommended this exercise for overall upper back development. The more developed upper back you have, the more closer you get to that V shape physique. It is very important to maintain the form while doing bent over rows in order to avoid injuries. Here’s an video showing how you should perform this exercise properly:
Here were the 7 best exercise for building upper body. If you wish to look fuller and muscle bulging out of your t-shirt, then incorporate these exercises into your workout routine. Let us know if you have any other exercises that helped you through the comment section below.