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6 Best Upper Body Workouts

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It can be easy to become stuck in a workout rut. Maybe your rut involves doing upper body work but failing to work the lower body. Or maybe you are great with cardio but always skip working the abdominal muscles. Or maybe you enjoy arm workouts and avoid working the back muscles. However, if you have a hard time being consistent in your upper body workouts, this article is for you. So read on!

What Are the Benefits of Upper Body Workouts?

Participating in upper body workouts does not mean you have to reach the level of a bodybuilder. While some might have the goal of bulging muscles, you might be someone who wants to increase strength and tone without excessive muscle. Whatever your goals are, there are several benefits to upper body workouts, including ease of overall daily tasks, better posture, improved endurance, increased calorie burn, increased safety, and overall physical strength. 

Your upper body is composed of several muscles, including pectoralis major and minor, rotator cuffs, deltoids, latissimus dorsi, trapezius, biceps, triceps, forearms, and other muscles in charge of stabilizing, such as the abdominals. Upper-body strength is referred to as the capacity of the body to have control over each range of motion while pressing, pushing, or pulling with the arms, shoulders, back, and chest in many directions. 

When starting, do not expect yourself to lift heavy weights immediately. Strength training takes time and patience. It is recommended to do upper body work several times a week and slowly ease into the exercises. For example, start with fewer repetitions and weight and slowly increase when your body feels capable of doing so. 

Tips for Upper Body Workouts

  1. Do not forget to stretch and warm-up! Going right into a workout without stretching and getting the muscles warm could lead to muscular injury. Dynamic stretching is a great way to warm up your body pre-workout.
  2. Do not forget to stretch and cool down! Just as with warming up, it is important to give your body time to slow down post-workout. Static stretching is a great way to relax and cool the muscles post-workout.
  3. Supply your body with the proper nutrients and fluids before and after working out. What you choose to eat for your pre-workout nutrition and post-workout nutrition can make a difference in how your body prepares for the exercises and recovers after that.
  4. Give yourself time and patience to build up to a stronger resistance in your upper body strength training. Find a balance in your routine- do not push yourself too hard to the point of injury and do not settle for always doing the bare minimum. Work up to stronger resistance, but only when you feel ready, and your body can handle it.   

Arm Exercises That Can Be Done Anywhere

Are you someone who thrives off of going to the gym and is good about making that part of your daily routine? Or do you prefer the comfort of your own home when working out? Whether you are a frequent gym visitor or you prefer working out at home, some simple upper body exercises can be done in any location. These can be accomplished with dumbbells or resistance bands but can also be done with water bottles if weights or bands are not easily accessible.

  • Dumbbell curls
  • Triceps kickbacks
  • Triceps dips
  • Resistance band pull apart
  • Two-arm dumbbell row
  • Wall angels
  • Chest press
  • Mountain climbers
  • Dumbbell front raises
  • Deltoid raises

What Are Some Upper Body Workouts I Can Do With The Ski-Row Air Machine?

  • Alternating arms
  • Butterfly
  • Reverse overhead triceps extension
  • Single leg triceps pulldown 
  • Wood chopper
  • Straight arm pulldown

Alternating Arms

This skiing technique was designed to work both the core and upper body and the steps can be seen here:  

  1. Position your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Grasp handles with arms relaxed.
  3. Position one hand at your side and the other somewhat above your head.
  4. Bend knees.
  5. Use abdominal muscles to pull on the raised handle with one arm, then pull with the other arm.
  6. Continue alternating arms with this pulling motion.

Butterfly

This exercise targets the back, chest, and arms and involves these steps:

  1. Position yourself, so your back is towards the machine.
  2. Grab the handles above your head with both hands.
  3. Lean forward while sweeping your arms downward in a large circular motion.
  4. The move is complete when the arms are straight in front of the body, and the knees are slightly bent.
  5. Repeat this move for as many reps as desired.

Reverse Overhead Triceps Extension

This exercise targets your triceps, core, and overall balance, and the correct steps for this exercise are seen below:

  1. Start with your back towards the machine.
  2. Cross cables and grasp with hands above your head.
  3. Step forward with one foot while leaving the other foot planted behind you.
  4. Slightly lean forward into the front foot.
  5. Extend both arms at the same time until handles are in front of your head and your arms are extended.
  6. Repeat with the opposite foot in front.

Wood Chopper

This exercise was designed to target the abdominal muscle but also works the rest of the upper body. The steps for this exercise are as follows:

  1. Position your body, so it is sideways to the machine.
  2. With arms extended, grasp both handles with each of your hands.
  3. Keep handles in close proximity and pull both arms across the body.
  4. Repeat in the other direction.

Single Leg Triceps Pulldown

This exercise not only works your triceps but also works your balance as well. The steps are as follows:

  1. Stand towards the rowing machine with one leg straight on the ground, and the other leg bent to the side.
  2. Grab both handles while keeping the upper arms and torso in line with one another.
  3. Pull the handle down to either side of your body (make sure your back remains straight during this exercise).
  4. Repeat on the opposite leg for as many reps as you feel capable of and increase reps as tolerated.

Straight Arm Pulldown

This exercise was designed to work the back and abdominal muscles. The steps for this exercise are shown here:

  1. Position arms so they are extended in front of you with your body upright.
  2. Grasp handles and pull them all the way down with arms extended.
  3. Repeat for as many reps as desired.

Summing It Up

Whether you choose to do your workouts in the gym or at home, with bodyweight or dumbbells, or with the Ski-Row Air machine through EnergyFit, your options for upper body workouts are endless. 

Explore your options and choose a variety of upper body exercises that fit your daily routine. Remember that this process takes time, and building up to higher resistance comes with patience and work. You can do it!       

 

Sources:

The Benefits of Upper-Body Strength

Upper Body Workout for Women: 10 Best Exercises 

Top Upper Body Workouts

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