Strength Training 101: Work Your Upper Body

In our first Strength Training 101 post on working your lower body, we touched on the many reasons why strength training is an important practice to incorporate into your weekly exercise. In this second post, we will dive into exercises for your upper body, specifically your chest, arms and shoulders, and back. These muscle groups are important for daily movements like lifting, reaching, pulling, and pushing. By training these muscles, you can improve your mobility, flexibility, and posture. For a balanced upper body workout, choose one or two exercises per muscle group and get moving!

ACSM-guide

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Chest (Pectoralis Muscles)

1chest

Bodyweight Exercises

Pushups (bent knee) or Pushups (straight leg)

Inchworms

Resistance Band/Cable Tower Exercises

Standing Chest Press/Fly (cable tower)

Dumbbell Exercises

Chest Press

Chest Fly

Stretches

Standing Chest Stretch

Doorway Chest Stretch

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Back (Rhomboids, Trapezius, Erector Spinae)

2back

Bodyweight Exercises

Supermans

Bird-Dogs

Resistance Band Exercises

Exercise Band Row

Partner Standing Row with Resistance Band

Dumbbell Exercises

Bent-Over Row
*Can be done without a bench in a standing bent-over squat or lunge position

Bent-Over Fly
*Can be done without a bench in a standing bent-over squat or lunge position

Standing Shrug

Stretches

90 Degree Back Stretch

Hugging Stretch

Child’s Pose

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Arms & Shoulders (Biceps, Triceps, Deltoids)

3arms

Bodyweight Exercises

Pushups (bent knee) or Pushups (straight leg)

Resistance Band Exercises

Bicep Curls

Tricep Extensions

Shoulder Band Exercises

Dumbbell Exercises

Bicep Curls or Hammer Curls

Tricep Kickbacks or Tricep Extensions

Lateral Raise and Frontal Raise

Overhead Press

Stretches

Overhead Triceps Stretch

Seated Bicep Stretch

Front Shoulder Stretch or Posterior Shoulder Stretch

 


Melissa is a Digital Health Coach who currently resides in Rochester Hills, MI. She holds a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology, a Bachelor’s Degree in Movement Science, and is a certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS), Group Fitness Instructor (AFAA), and Registered Yoga Instructor (RYT-200). In her spare time, she enjoys teaching fitness classes, training for running events, and traveling around the states to visit friends and see new places.