After the cold winter season, spring is the perfect time for me to finally enjoy warmer weather and get outside. If you’re planning on getting into fitness, now is the best time to do so. Upper body exercises are essential if you want to develop strong, defined muscles in your biceps and chest, especially if you want to give yourself the confidence to show yourself off this coming summer.
But developing upper body strength is more than just appearance; it also improves your range of motion and flexibility. So, start working on those muscles and feel the benefits in every aspect of your life.
Why Is Warm-Up Exercise Essential?
Working out means putting your body under stress with the goal of either burning calories or building muscles. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that preparation is essential if you want to achieve the best outcome. So before you start working for a stronger and toned upper-body, take the time to do some stretching exercises to ensure that your muscles are ready.
- Find a bench to sit on and place your hands on both sides for support.
- Lift your butt and slide forward off the bench, straightening your legs as if sitting on an invisible bench.
- Bend your elbows while keeping your triceps engaged and lower your body until your arms reach a 90-degree angle.
- Push through your palms to lift your body back to the starting position.
- Bench dips target and strengthen upper-body muscles, including the arms, shoulders, and chest.
- This exercise primarily engages the triceps and anterior deltoid muscles, which contribute to bigger arms.
- Bench dips can also improve core strength and stabilisation.
- Aim to perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
- Avoid flaring out your elbows to prevent shoulder tension.
- Keep your elbows tucked in to avoid shoulder injury.
- Execute bench dips slowly and with control.
Bench Incline Push-Up
- Stand facing the bench with hands placed on top about shoulder-width apart. Ensure that they are straight, but don’t lock your elbow.
- Step your legs back into a plank position, align your head with your spine so that your lower back isn’t sagging.
- Bend your elbows to lower your chest to the edge of the bench. Remember to inhale during this step.
- Push your body back until your elbows are extended but not locked. Exhale as you do this step.
- Targets pectoralis major and minor, shoulders, arms, abs, back, hips, and legs.
- Perfect for beginners who find standard push-ups too difficult or have trouble getting down to the floor.
- Repeat 10 times for 3 sets. Modify your routine according to your needs.
- Use any sturdy object with a flat surface like a box, bed, or table.
- Slow and deliberate motion engages your core muscles.
- Keep hands shoulder-width apart.
- Work on your abdominal and core muscles for a straight line from your head to toe.
- Use a wall or a higher bench if you can’t bend your arms fully.
Bench Decline Push-Up
(Image Source: Healthline)
- Kneel with your back to the bench. Place your hands on the floor. Ensure that your shoulders are over your wrists and elbows at a 45-degree angle.
- Place your feet on top of the bench and brace your core, glutes, and quads.
- Slowly bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor. Remember to keep your back and neck straight.
- Push your body back to return to starting position.
- Targets chest, shoulders, back, and arms.
- Improves overall upper-body strength, essential for daily activities like carrying a backpack or groceries.
- Complete 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 20 repetitions.
- Keep your hands under your shoulders to avoid putting unnecessary strain on your joints.
- Keep your back straight throughout the entire exercise. Engage your core and glutes to stabilise your spine.
- Look down instead of up to maintain a neutral neck position.
(Image Source: Hussle)
- Begin on all fours with your knees and toes flexed and in contact with the floor. Your hips should be over your knees and your hands should be a bit narrower than shoulder-width.
- Using your thumbs and index fingers, connect them to form a diamond shape.
- Rotate your shoulders outward to engage your lats.
- Straighten your legs and lift your knees off the ground until you end up in a push-up position.
- Bend your elbows slowly until your upper arms are alongside your rib cage. Hold this position for a second.
- Lift yourself by straightening your elbows until you return to your starting position.
- Diamond push-ups target your triceps, pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and quadriceps.
- It is an excellent exercise to prepare you for other similar activities like the bench press or pull-up.
- It also increases core stability and strength.
- Complete 2-3 sets of 8-15 repetitions.
- Keep your legs hip-width apart.
- Squeeze your quads and glutes to achieve better results.
- Adjust your sets and repetitions according to your current abilities.
(Image Source: Fitness Drum)
- Start in a plank position. Ensure that your hands are firmly on the floor and right under your shoulders. Press your toes firmly into the floor as well.
- Tighten your core and engage your glutes and hamstrings. Keep your body neutral and straight.
- Lift your hips up and back until your body forms an inverted V shape. Ensure that your arms and legs are straight.
- Slowly bend your elbows and lower body toward the floor. Hold your position for a moment.
- Slowly push back up until you return to the inverted V position.
- Pike hold targets your anterior deltoids, triceps, pectoralis major, trapezius, and serratus anterior.
- It improves your vertical pushing power and is great for building the strength needed for more advanced skills like handstands.
- It also builds shoulder strength and enhances your balance.
- Complete 2-3 sets of 5-8 reps depending on your abilities. Feel free to add more as you build up strength.
- Don’t let your head touch the floor but do try to get as close as possible.
- Keep your hands shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your legs and arms straight.
Developing your upper body muscles is essential if you want to achieve your dream beach bod when summer comes. Of course, it’s best to start as early as spring to exercise to give yourself enough time to gain huge biceps and a bulging chest. So what are you waiting for? Get your fitness outfit and start doing these 5 exercises.
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