Upper body strength refers to the overall muscular strength and endurance of the muscles in the upper body, including the muscles of the chest, back, shoulders, arms, and core. Upper body strength is essential for performing daily tasks such as lifting objects, pushing, pulling, carrying, and reaching overhead. It allows you to have better control and stability while performing these activities.
A strong upper body can help prevent injuries by improving stability, balance, and posture. It provides support to the back and shoulders, reducing the risk of strains and injuries during physical activities or even regular daily movements. Read on as we share tips to help you boost your upper body strength.
7 Exercises that can help boost upper body strength:
Start in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body by bending the elbows, keeping your back straight, until your chest is close to the ground. Push back up to the starting position. Push-ups strengthen the chest, shoulders, triceps, and core muscles.
2. Bench press
Lie on a bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a barbell or dumbbells slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, lowering the weight towards your chest, and then push it back up. Bench press primarily targets the chest muscles, shoulders, and triceps.
3. Overhead press
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, and hold a barbell or dumbbells at shoulder height. Push the weight directly above your head until your arms are fully extended. Lower it back down to shoulder height. Overhead press develops the shoulders, triceps, and core stability.
Hang from a pull-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and palms facing away from you. Pull your body up until your chin is above the bar, then slowly lower yourself back down. Pull-ups target the back, biceps, and shoulders.
5. Bent-over rows
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a barbell or dumbbells. Bend forward at the waist with a straight back. Pull the weights up to your chest, keeping your elbows close to your body, then lower them back down. Bent-over rows strengthen the back muscles, biceps, and shoulders.
Position your hands shoulder-width apart on parallel bars, then extend your arms to lift your body. Bend your elbows to lower your body down, then push back up to the initial position. Dips work the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
7. Shoulder press
Sit or stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding dumbbells or a barbell at shoulder height. Push the weight directly above your head until your arms are fully extended, then lower it back down. Shoulder press targets the deltoid muscles, triceps, and core stability.
It is important to start with lighter weights and gradually increase the intensity as you become more comfortable and stronger.