A good upper body workout routine targets all of the muscles north of the abdominals. This is a diverse group of muscles that pulls, pushes, and lifts. To properly exercise each one in depth is an undertaking only for an extremely devoted individual, however, a well crafted upper body workout routine will utilize compound exercises to target multiple groups at once.
Any upper body workout routine worth its salt will address the following areas:
- The neck. Often overlooked, it can be injured during other exercise if not properly conditioned.
- Traps. Right below the neck, these can be exercised via barbell or dumbbell shrugs
- Shoulders (deltoids). A diverse group with “three heads”, it can be targeted with arm circles, Arnold dumbbell presses, and military presses.
- Chest. While bench presses are the most well known, pushups can be equally is good with less equipment necessary.
- Biceps can be targeted via curls (focus curls, hammer curls, outward curls) and pull-ups.
- Triceps. Tricep kickbacks are excellent exercises, as are military pushups.
- Lats can be exercised via chin-ups, bent arm barbell pullovers, and pull downs.
- Forearms are often worked out as a secondary group during many curls, pushups, and lifts, but can be specifically targeted with wrist curls, plate pinches, and rickshaw carries.
Any person undertaking an upper body workout routine should remember two things:
When the goal is to build muscle mass, use a weight that you can do 6-8 reps with. Once you can comfortably do 12, increase the resistance. 2) An upper body workout routine will occasionally produce soreness. Soreness is often a good sign, but excessive soreness is not. Do not over train. Take breaks and days off when necessary. An injury can keep you from working out for weeks, or worse. All in all, an upper body workout routine is a great start for an individual looking to improve their health or lifestyle.