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The “5 Best Effective And Simple Upper—Body Strength Routines” You MUST Perform To Build Up Strength

Resistance training (also called strength training or weight training) is the use of resistance to muscular contraction to build strength, anaerobic endurance, and the size of skeletal muscles.

Resistance training is based on the principle that muscles of the body will work to overcome a resistance force when they are required to do so. When you do resistance training repeatedly and consistently, your muscles become stronger.

A well-rounded fitness program includes strength training to improve joint function, bone density, muscle, tendon, and ligament strength, as well as aerobic exercise to improve your heart and lung fitness, flexibility, and balance exercises. Australia’s physical activity and sedentary behavior guidelines recommend that adults do muscle-strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

Vary your progressive resistance training program every six to eight weeks to maintain improvement. Variables that can impact on your results include:

There are thousands of ways to resistance train. Provided you work hard and safely, document the results, allow enough recovery time between workouts, and then train progressively, resistance training will work within your genetic endowment and nutritional intake habits.

There are thousands of ways to resistance train. Provided you work hard and safely, document the results, allow enough recovery time between workouts, and then train progressively, resistance training will work within your genetic endowment and nutritional intake habits.

Regarding the upper body, you can use a variety of tools and overload protocols to address the upper body muscles: the pectorals, deltoids, lats, traps, biceps, triceps, and other associated muscle structures. There are chest, incline, and overhead presses, dips, pulldowns, low rows, and upright rows, and a variety of direct biceps and triceps exercises using barbells, dumbbells, and selectorized or plate-loading machine. And these can be done for high, medium, and low repetitions – or a combination of them – using various overload protocols.

It can be overwhelming with so many options. So, here are five sure-fire upper body routines that can be a part of any strength, power, weight-loss, and/or general fitness program. I’ve also attached recording forms for you to log your workouts. (Click here to download them.) I promise you, if you use these routines consistently, work as hard as you can, and recover between workouts, you will see results, guaranteed.

Related Articles: Strength Training: New Study Reveals The “Side Effect” Of Lifting Weights Just 2 Times Per Week

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     Here are five sure-fire upper body routines that can be a part of any strength, power, weight-loss, and/or general fitness program. I’ve also attached recording forms for you to log your workouts.

    General workout guidelines

    1. Complete the workout in the exercise order format listed (note examples A & B). INSERT YOUR EXERCISE CHOICES ON THE WORKOUT FORM.
    2. Work to achieve muscular overload with a resistance that fits the exercise prescriptions (Rx) listed.
    3. Record the training date (“DATE”), the resistances (“WT”) used, and the repetitions (“REPS”) achieved for each workout performed.
    4. Attempt to progress each workout in terms of doing more repetitions and/or using more resistance according to the exercise prescription (Rx).
    5. The “NOTES” section on workout form: space to record machine seat/back/handle settings, the device used (i.e., barbell, dumbbell, or machine), or other pertinent information that facilitates the proper performance of the exercise.
    6. Use proper exercise techniques and be safety conscious. Use a spotter on certain exercises and stop when safe exercise techniques cannot be maintained.

    Upper Body Workout #1: Big 4 @ 3 Rounds

    An upper body workout that alternates the four major multi-joint movements: chest push, row/low row, overhead push, and pulldown for three rounds, decreasing the repetitions each round. The triceps and biceps are then addressed.

    Specifics:



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    Exercise order format Example A Example B
    CHEST PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    ROW/LOW ROW SEATED ROW BENT-OVER ROW
    OVERHEAD PUSH DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    CHEST PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    ROW/LOW ROW SEATED ROW BENT-OVER ROW
    OVERHEAD PUSH DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    CHEST PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    ROW/LOW ROW SEATED ROW BENT-OVER ROW
    OVERHEAD PUSH DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    CHEST PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    ROW/LOW ROW SEATED ROW BENT-OVER ROW
    OVERHEAD PUSH DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    TRICEPS TRICEP PRESS TRICEP PUSHDOWN
    BICEPS MACHINE BICEP CURL BARBELL BICEP CURL

    Upper Body Workout #2: 14 – 8 Circuit

    An upper body workout that alternates three different push & pull exercises for two rounds: 12-16 repetitions (average = 14) & 6-10 repetitions (average = 8) to volitional muscular fatigue with a 1:00 rest between exercises & 2:00 – 3:00 rest between rounds.

    Specifics:


    Exercise order format Example A Example B
    PUSH STANDING BARBELL PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULL CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN BENT-OVER ROW
    PUSH WEIGHTED DIPS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULL PULLEY UPRIGHT ROW WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN
    PUSH MACHINE CHEST PRESS BARBELL INCLINE PRESS
    PULL SEATED ROW PLATE-LOAD HIGH ROW
    PUSH STANDING BARBELL PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULL CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN BENT-OVER ROW
    PUSH WEIGHTED DIPS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULL PULLEY UPRIGHT ROW WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN
    PUSH MACHINE CHEST PRESS BARBELL INCLINE PRESS
    PULL SEATED ROW PLATE-LOAD HIGH ROW

    Upper Body Workout #3: Push-Pull

    A higher-repetition upper body workout that alternates three pairs of push and pulls exercises then addresses the biceps and triceps.

    Specifics:

    • Choose three different push and pull exercises each for the first three segments.
    • Do three sets of each exercise for the first segment and two sets of each exercise for the second and third segments.
    • Complete the workout by alternating a tricep and bicep exercise for two sets each.
    • All sets are performed to volitional muscular fatigue.
    Exercise order format Example A Example B
    PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULL WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULL WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    PUSH BARBELL BENCH PRESS MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULL WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    PUSH DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS WEIGHTED DIPS
    PULL SEATED ROW BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW
    PUSH DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS WEIGHTED DIPS
    PULL SEATED ROW BARBELL UPRIGHT ROW
    PUSH MACHINE INCLINE PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULL HIGH ROW BENT-OVER ROW
    PUSH MACHINE INCLINE PRESS DUMBBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULL HIGH ROW BENT-OVER ROW
    TRICEPS TRICEP PUSHDOWNS TRICEP PRESS
    BICEPS DUMBBELL BICEP CURL MACHINE BICEP CURL
    TRICEPS TRICEP PUSHDOWNS TRICEP PRESS
    BICEPS DUMBBELL BICEP CURL MACHINE BICEP CURL

    Upper Body Workout #4: 3 Strikes & Out

    An upper body workout that alternates three push and pulls exercises then addresses the triceps and biceps by using the three strikes and out overload protocol: three consecutive sets to volitional muscular fatigue with the same resistance and a:30 rest between sets.

    Specifics:

    • Use three different push and pull exercises and any tricep and bicep exercise.
    • Use a resistance that allows for volitional muscular fatigue in the 1st set rep range set. Record the result (wt. x reps) in the space provided.
    • Rest exactly:30 and perform a second set to volitional muscular fatigue with the same resistance. Record the reps achieved in the “2nd” space provided.
    • Rest exactly:30 and perform the third set to volitional muscular fatigue with the same resistance. Record the reps achieved in the “3rd” space provided.
    • It is recommended to have a training partner time the:30 rest between exercises.
    • Rest 2:00 – 3:00 between exercises.
    • Build Muscle And Strength: “The Best Training Programs And Workouts” To Gain Size, Mass, And Strength Like Never Before


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    Exercise order format Example A Example B
    PUSH x 3 sets / :30 rest DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS MACHINE CHEST PRESS
    PULL x 3 sets / :30 rest CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN SEATED ROW
    PUSH x 3 sets / :30 rest BARBELL DECLINE PRESS DUMBBELL OVERHEAD PRESS
    PULL x 3 sets / :30 rest DUMBBELL BENT-OVER ROW WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN
    PUSH x 3 sets / :30 rest MACHINE CHEST PRESS DIP MACHINE
    PULL x 3 sets / :30 rest HIGH ROW PLATE-LOAD ROW
    TRICEPS x 3 sets / :30 rest LYING TRICEP PRESS TRICEP PUSHDOWN
    BICEPS x 3 sets / :30 rest BICEP CURL MACHINE BARBELL BICEP CURL

    Upper Body Workout #5: Ultimate Super Set

    An upper body workout is performed in three super set segments: chest push and pulldown, overhead push and row, incline press, and another pulldown Minimal rest is taken between exercise pairs.

    Specifics:

    • Choose a chest push and pulldown for the first segment (three sets each), an overhead push and row for the second segment (three sets each), and an incline press and another pulldown for the third segment (three sets each).
    • Perform the paired sets by alternating the opposing exercises with minimal rest between them (i.e., chest push x 8-12, immediately to pulldown x 8-12, immediately to chest push x MAX REPS, immediately to pulldown x MAX REPS, etc.) working each set to volitional muscular fatigue.
    • Either use the same resistance for all three sets or reduce the resistance for the 2nd and 3rd MAX REPS sets if more repetitions are desired.
    • Rest 3:00 between superset segments.
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    • Bands vs Dumbbells: Should You Train “Strength” With Resistance Bands Or Dumbbells?
    Exercise order format Example A Example B
    CHEST PUSH DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS BARBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    CHEST PUSH DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS BARBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    CHEST PUSH DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS BARBELL BENCH PRESS
    PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN
    OVERHEAD PUSH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS STANDING BARBELL PRESS
    ROW PLATE-LOAD ROW SEATED ROW
    OVERHEAD PUSH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS STANDING BARBELL PRESS
    ROW PLATE-LOAD ROW SEATED ROW
    OVERHEAD PUSH MACHINE OVERHEAD PRESS STANDING BARBELL PRESS
    ROW PLATE-LOAD ROW SEATED ROW
    INCLINE PRESS BARBELL INCLINE PRESS DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS
    PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN
    INCLINE PRESS BARBELL INCLINE PRESS DUMBBELL INCLINE PRESS
    PULLDOWN CLOSE GRIP PULLDOWN WIDE GRIP PULLDOWN


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