Upper body exercise are mainly known as “Any major physical movement in the upper body that targets the muscles in that region”. The Core, Chest, Arms, Back, & Shoulders are included in the upper body category which is kept in shape with the help of various physical activities and exercises.
Here in this article, we are going to look at the 25 major upper body exercises for beginners as well as professionals in this field. Such activities are major alternatives for lower body exercise and can be much more effective for the human body.
So now that we have your attention, let’s get started!
25 Major Upper Body Exercise that you must Try:
Before we begin with this list of upper body exercises, we must inform you that these are safe activities. Moreover, you can try them on your own, but it would be best to try them under the influence of an expert.
Since you seem to be interested in learning multiple exercises and their effects on the human body. Make sure to read our post-related article on the 30 Best Functional exercises with their techniques, Benefits, and Variations. As a result, you’ll get more accurate and proper knowledge about such exercises.
1. Bench Press
When it comes to upper body exercise at home, the bench press is one of the most common exercises that primarily targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps. Hold the barbell at a slight distance from your shoulders while lying flat on a bench with your feet firmly planted on the floor.
When lifting the bar, exhale as you lower it to your chest, then press it back up to the starting position. This will increase the accuracy of the results. In addition, while performing this exercise, make sure that your elbows remain close to your sides and that you maintain a tight squeeze between your shoulder blades.
One of the most common upper-body exercise, Push-ups, targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps in addition to the other main exercises on this list. As you begin, place your hands slightly wider apart than your shoulders.
To perform a pushup, lower your chest down to the ground, then press back up to the starting position, exhaling as you lift. Be sure to engage your core while performing the exercise.
3. Dumbbell Chest Fly
If you want to explore the upper body exercise Gym category, then you must know that Dumbbell chest flys target the chest muscles. In each hand, hold a dumbbell flat against your palms while lying on a bench.
You can use them by lowering the dumbbells out to the sides until they are even with your chest, then bring them back together over your chest, squeezing your chest muscles at the top of the movement.
4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press
This exercise is another major source of shoulder exercises as the Dumbbell shoulder presses target the shoulders. The dumbbells should be held in each hand with the palms facing forward while seated on a bench.
Now, Lift the dumbbells to your shoulders, then press them up overhead, exhaling as you lift. However, Be sure to keep your elbows tucked in close to your sides throughout the exercise or else you’ll lose your balance once and for all.
Well, how can we forget about all the mighty Pull-ups? You can target your back and biceps with pull-ups. Pull-ups are performed by grasping a pull-up bar with an overhand grip. Hands should be slightly wider than shoulder-width apart during this exercise.
Now, Pull your chest up towards the bar, then lower back down to the starting position, inhaling as you lower. Moreover, try to keep your breathing rate normal, or else you’ll get exhausted in no time.
As a major part of cardio exercises, Rows are a great exercise for building a strong back, biceps, and shoulders. They can be done with dumbbells or a barbell, and can also be performed using resistance bands or a cable machine.
You should begin by placing your feet shoulder-width apart, hinge at the hips, then grasp the weight with overhand grips. When you reach your chest with the weight, keep your elbows close to your body and slowly lower it back down.
These exercises are said to be the best upper body exercises for women, as Chin-ups target the biceps and back muscles. Grasp a pull-up bar with an underhand grip, hands shoulder-width apart.
So, Pull your chest up towards the bar, then lower back down to the starting position, inhaling as you lower. Similar to the upper headings, you have to maintain your breathing rate to a good level in such exercises.
8. Dumbbell Bicep Curls
Dumbbell bicep curls are a classic arm exercise that targets the bicep muscles. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and grasp the weights with an underhand grip.
To perform such exercises, hold the weights close to your body and curl them up to your shoulders before lowering them back down. It is a complex physical activity but, it pays off quite well for fast and proper muscle gain.
9. Tricep Dips
Talking about the upper body exercise no weight compilation, the Tricep dips target the tricep muscles. Begin seated on a bench with your hands grasping the edge of the bench beside your hips.
Make sure to lift your hips off the bench, then bend your elbows to lower yourself down toward the ground. Then, Straighten your arms to lift yourself back up to the starting position to properly perform such activities.
10. Overhead Tricep Extension
Next on the list is the Overhead tricep extensions that target the tricep muscles. Begin seated on a bench with a dumbbell in both hands. To lower the weight behind your head, raise it above your head and bend your elbows.
You can then straighten your arms to return to where you started. It would be best for your muscles to start with a lower weight and then increase it with every passing day for more accurate and efficient results.
11. Lateral Raises
Another major exercise on this list is the Lateral raises that target the shoulders. With your hands facing your body and feet shoulder-width apart, begin by holding two dumbbells shoulder-width apart.
You should raise your arms until they are parallel to the ground, and then lower them back to the starting position. As a result, you’ll complete a specific set and then increase the weights after some specific sets.
12. Upright Rows
Just like the upper exercises the Upright rows also target the shoulders, upper back, and traps. As a result, you should stand shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell in front of you with your palms facing inward.
Thus, Lift the bar to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body, then lower it back down to the starting position. Keeping an accurate angle for such exercise will help you greatly in achieving the best results.
13. Dumbbell Front Raises
As usual, the Dumbbell front raises target the shoulders. Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing towards your body.
Then, Raise the weights in front of your body until they are parallel with the ground, then lower them back down to the starting position. Repeat this step multiple times to complete a fully-fledged set of this exercise.
14. Cable Crossovers
Here is something different than the regular shoulder exercises, the Cable crossovers target the chest muscles. Standing in front of a cable machine with the cables set at shoulder height, begin by setting the cables at shoulder height.
Then, Grasp the handles with your palms facing down, then pull the cables together in front of your chest, squeezing your chest muscles at the top of the movement.
15. Cable Tricep Pushdowns
Cable tricep pushdowns target the tricep muscles, in such exercises, begin standing in front of a cable machine with the cable set at chest height. Grasp the handle overhand and straighten your arms while pushing the cable down.
Let go of the cable slowly when you reach the starting position. Leaving the cable quickie can tear your muscles or damage the machine. So, take a chill pill and easily release these cables for accurate results.
16. Close Grip Bench Press
The triceps muscles are targeted by close grip bench presses. Lay on a bench with your hands grasping each end of the barbell with a grip that is narrower than the width of your shoulders as you begin the exercise.
When you press the bar back up to the starting position, exhale as you lift it, then slowly lower it down until it is at your chest.
17. Incline Dumbbell Press
Unlike the upper exercise, The incline dumbbell press targets the upper chest muscles. Place your hands on the dumbbells, palms facing toward the feet, as you lie on an incline bench.
During the lifting process, exhale as you lower the weights to your chest, and then press them back up again to their starting position.
18. One-Arm Dumbbell Row
A one-arm dumbbell row targets the back muscles, which can easily be performed at home and in gyms for weight loss purposes. To start, Place one foot flat on the ground and one knee bent in a staggered stance.
Using only one hand, hold a dumbbell at your chest and pull it up while keeping your elbow close to your body. In the end, Lower the weight back down to the starting position for easy and accurate results.
19. Hammer Curls
The biceps muscles are targeted with hammer curls which also prevent them from any major damage. Thus, Put your hands on the weights with a neutral grip (palms facing each other) while standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Keep your elbows close to your body as you lower the weights back to your starting position.
20. Bent Over Rows
Another easy and effective exercise that produces fast and accurate results is the Bent over rows that target the back muscles. Therefore, begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a barbell in front of you.
Now, Hinge forward at the hips, grasp the bar with an overhand grip, and pull the bar up towards your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body. Once the bar is back at its starting position, lower it back down.
21. Dumbbell Rear Delt Raises
Dumbbell rear delt raises target the rear shoulder muscles. Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing toward each other. Make sure that the balance is perfect between these two dumbbells.
Then, Raise the weights out to the sides, squeezing your shoulder blades together at the top of the movement, then lower them back down to the starting position.
22. Diamond Push-Ups
In addition to targeting the triceps, chest, and shoulders, diamond push-ups are also a variation of the classic push-up exercise. Performing a diamond push-up involves placing your hands together under your chest in a diamond shape, fingers pointing downwards.
Push yourself back up to the starting position by keeping your elbows close to your body. The diamond push-up can increase the strength of your triceps and chest, as well as improve the flexibility and stability of your upper body.
In addition, we began with basic pushups and gradually progressed to more challenging wall ball exercises. Our exercises also evolved from using lightweight dumbbells to lifting heavier weights. We have also outlined the impact and outcomes of these exercises if you are interested in giving them a try.
Chin-ups target the biceps, back, and shoulder muscles. Hang from a pull-up bar with your palms facing towards you and your hands shoulder-width apart. Maintaining a good distance between your shoulders will increase the impact on your chest and chin region.
It’s then a matter of pulling yourself up towards the bar with your elbows close to your body and then lowering yourself back down.
24. Barbell Shoulder Press
Nonetheless, the Barbell shoulder press also targets the shoulder muscles. Begin standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and a barbell on your upper chest, palms facing outwards.
Make sure to press the bar up overhead until your arms are straight, then slowly lower it back down to the starting position. Losing the bar with less pace will increase your grip and more impact will be generated on your shoulders.
25. Push-Up Variations
The chest, triceps, and shoulders are targeted during push-ups. You should begin by holding your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, in a plank position. As you lower your chest toward the ground, maintain close contact with your elbows, then push yourself back up to the starting position.
Several variations are available, including diamond push-ups, wide-grip push-ups, and inclined push-ups. So, make sure to try all of them for once as they all are highly effective and accurate for multiple exercises.
Frequently Asked Questions:
A split program organizes your training into separate workouts for your upper and lower bodies. You work the chest, back, shoulders, biceps, and triceps on the upper-body days. The calf, quads, hamstrings, and glutes are worked on lower days
Strengthening your lower back, hips, glutes, and legs is accomplished with lower-body exercises. Lunges, squats, deadlifts, and other lower-body exercises are all part of lower-body exercises. Strengthening your lower body will help you move more easily daily.
A core exercise involves using your stomach and back muscles together. Holding your core stable while using free weights strengthens your core muscles. Classic core exercises stabilize and strengthen your core muscles.
Upper body exercise has a great effect on the human body, as it increases the strength and flexibility of every single muscle present in this region. In the article, we have provided you with the 25 best exercises that you can perform to build your upper body at home or a gym near you in less time.
Moreover, we started with those regular pushups to complex wall ball exercises and then from using dumbbells to lifting heavy weights. We have also explained the effect and result of such exercises in case you are willing to try them.
Last but not least, if you are not professional, then make sure to take assistance from an expert in this field before trying any major exercise. In the end, don’t hesitate to ask us for any help in cashew you need it.
Mark Kreps is a highly qualified fitness expert and writer who has been an integral part of the Creative Fitness team for several years. With a deep passion for health and wellness, Mark Kreps has helped countless clients achieve their fitness goals through personalized training programs and nutritional guidance.