If you have never really embarked on a fitness program before, creating a well-rounded upper body workout routine is important. Men and women may want different things out of their exercise plan but both will benefit from an effective workout for the chest, arms, shoulders and back. Fat burning and toning or sculpting muscle in the upper body will help clothes fit better and create better posture, two elements that really boost confidence in appearances.
Things To Keep In Mind Before You Start
Resistance in the form of dumbbells will help you perform an upper body workout routine more effectively. Without weights, you cannot adequately challenge your muscles. As a beginner, it is important to choose dumbbells with just enough weight that will allow you to complete exercises as an entire set, which is typically 10-16 repetitions of a movement.
Another thing to think about is a proper warm-up. You should never lift weights or exercise without warming up your muscles. Five to ten minutes of light cardio such as walking, marching in place or jumping jacks will warm up your muscles. When you start your fitness routine for your upper body, you should perform one set of an exercise at a time before moving to the next exercise. Completing one set of each exercise is called a circuit and if you are a beginner, you may be able to complete only one circuit. As you progress, you can add more circuits.
Typical Upper Body Exercises
Push-ups are one of the most versatile exercises and should be included in your upper body workout routine. You can perform these on the floor, against a wall or stationary surface or even an exercise ball. Not only will push-ups work your upper arms and shoulders, they also engage your ab muscles.
A chest or bench press requires dumbbells and will work whether you lie on the floor, an exercise bench or even a Swiss ball. To perform this move, you need to lie on your back, holding the weights over the chest with arms extended. Bend your elbows until they form the shape of a goal post, hold a moment and then extend your arms back up to complete one repetition.
Strengthening your back requires an exercise like the barbell row. This move requires you to bend your knees, tilting your torso about 45 degrees while engaging the abdominal muscles and holding the dumbbells in front of your thighs. Next, pull up the weights while keeping your arms near your body, bringing your elbows back while squeezing your shoulder blades together, and then lower them back down to complete one repetition.
There are a number of additional exercises to add to your upper body workout routine that will thoroughly manipulate each muscle. Bicep curls, front dumbbell raises, the overhead press, chest flies, wrist curls and kickbacks are just a few others that you can add to your fitness repertoire. In order to maximise your results, try to rotate new upper body exercises every so often so your body does not get accustomed to your workout routine.