Training

Upper Body Blast Workout

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Let’s get one thing clear: some of us do not want mammoth arms or an extremely thick back, right? But, upper body training is one of the most effective ways to reduce overall body fat, give you great definition in your favourite strapless dress, and it will provide you with the strength you need to perform day-to-day tasks such as picking up your toddler or carrying grocery bags. Lifting a challenging weight is not going to make you look like a bodybuilder, but will help you burn more calories at rest (hello increased muscle mass!) and give you a more athletic and fit physique without appearing ‘bulky’ – trust me!

That being said, training the upper body can be challenging in terms of knowing how many workouts to do per week, and the ideal repetition and set ranges for growth. With this simple formula you can chose from the exercises for one body part on any given day, or pick 1-2 from each segment and combine them into upper body workouts that suit your schedule. Traditionally, some people like to combine back with biceps, and chest with triceps, but the way in which you put these workouts together is really up to you. Be sure to leave at least 24 hours between training sessions to allow the muscle group to recover. By choosing a variety of compound and isometric exercises, you will be sure to attack your muscles from all angles. Happy training!

Segment 1 – Back

Assisted Gravitron pullup

Medium grip overhand pulldown

Wide grip pulldown

Seated cable row using rope attachment (can also use v-handle or standard medium length bar)

Bent over dumbbell row

Dumbbell pullover

Lower back extension (body weight or holding plate)

Segment 2 – Chest

Incline bench press (barbell or dumbbell)

Flat bench press (barbell or dumbbell)

Flat bench flye

Pec deck flye

Cable rope crossovers

Pushups (increase the challenge by elevating your feet on a bench as you get stronger)

Dumbbell chest press on stability ball (advanced progress to single arm presses)

Segment 3 – Shoulders

Seated overhead Smith machine press

Seated overhead Arnold press

Seated overhead dumbbell press

Standing dumbbell lateral raises

Leaning cable lateral raises

Upright row with bar or rope (wide grip)

Lateral machine raises

Reverse pec deck flyes (for rear delts)

Rear delt flyes with dumbbells

Dumbbell front raise

Seated (slight incline) front raise with light barbell

Segment 4 – Biceps

Standing dumbbell curl (isometric or both arms)

Standing or seated dumbbell hammer curl

Hammer rope cable curl

Barbell bicep curl (can also do 21s – 7 at top range of movement, 7 bottom range movement, 7 full range)

Alternate dumbbell incline curl

Preacher curl (cable or with dumbbell or barbell)

Close grip EZ bar curl

Segment 5 – Triceps

Barbell or dumbbell skull crushers

Close grip barbell bench press

Single arm overhead tricep press

Dumbbell bent over kickback

Bench dips (add a small plate across hips for added challenge)

Cable one arm tricep extension (pressdown)

Tricep pushup (hands form a triangle when on the ground)

A professional fitness athlete since 2008, Natalie Waples is a proponent for natural, healthy athleticism. Her goal is to inspire others and motivate others to live a healthy and fit lifestyle, through example. Natalie believes in attaining a healthy and fit physique through a combination of balanced nutrition, a solid wellness program, and a challenging training regime. Natalie is an IFBB Pro, Fusion Bodybuilding, Suits By Amy and Liquid Sun Rayz Sponsored Athlete.

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