best upper body workout routine

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    Best Upper Body Workout Routine &

    Weight Training Exercises

    Let me guess you want to create the best upper body workout routine possible, right?

    You want it to contain the most effective weight training exercises, and you want everything

    to be set up in the way that will produce the best possible results for you.

    Sound about right? I thought so. Now lets get down to exactly how to do it

    How To Set Up An Upper Body Workout Routine

    Putting together an effective upper body workout requires a few very quick and simple steps.

    1.

    Plan to train each of the major upper bodymovement patternsand muscle groups

    either directly or indirectly.

    2. Select the best exercises to train them with while keeping proper balance around the

    joints.

    3. Put those exercises in the most ideal order.

    4. Choose the right amount of sets and reps per exercise so training volume is within the

    optimal range.

    Lets begin

    The 6 Upper Body Movements

    In the most simple and basic sense, your upper body can really only do 6 things. It can push

    and pull horizontally, push and pull vertically, flex at the elbow, and extend at the elbow.

    That means a proper upper body workout routine can contain (up to) 6 different exercises that

    target 6 different movement patterns and/or muscle groups. Heres what I mean:

    Horizontal Push: A horizontal pushing exercise is any weight training exercise that

    involves moving a weight out in front of you so that its traveling away from your

    torso horizontally. For example, most chest exercises (like the bench press) fit into thiscategory.

    Horizontal Pull: A horizontal pulling exercise is any weight training exercise that

    involves moving a weight in towards your torso horizontally from straight out in front

    of you. For example, most back rowing exercises (like bent over barbell/dumbbell

    rows) fit into this category.

    Vertical Push: A vertical pushing exercise is any weight training exercise that

    involves moving a weight up vertically in relation to your torso so that it goes straight

    over head (or at least in that direction). For example, most shoulder exercises (like the

    overhead press) fit into this category.

    Vertical Pull: A vertical pulling exercise is any weight training exercise that involves

    moving a weight down vertically in relation to your torso so that youre pulling down

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    from over head. For example, most back pulling exercises (like pull-ups/lat pull-

    downs) fit into this category.

    Elbow Flexion: An elbow flexion exercise is any weight training exercise that

    involves moving a weight towards you by flexing at the elbow. For example, most

    biceps curling exercises (like barbell/dumbbell curls) fit into this category.

    Elbow Extension: An elbow extension exercise is any weight training exercise thatinvolves moving a weight away from you by extending at the elbow. For example,

    most triceps extension exercises (like cable press downs/laying barbell extensions) fit

    into this category.

    When putting together an upper body workout routine, your goal in most cases is to select

    exercises that will allow you train all of those movement patterns to some degree. Heres

    how

    Upper Body Exercise Selection

    Now that you know what the upper body is capable of doing, its time to fill out your workout

    routine with the weight training exercises that allow it all to happen.

    Since exercise selection is based on a bunch of individual factors (your exact goals, your

    exact capabilities, your exact training preferences), I figure the best thing I can do here is just

    give you a list of some example exercises to choose from. You can then select what seems

    best for you.

    Horizontal Pushing Movements

    Bench Press Low Incline Bench Press

    Decline Bench Press

    Flat/Incline/Decline Chest Press Machine

    Flat/Incline/Decline Flyes

    Horizontal Pulling Movements

    Bent Over Rows

    Seated Cable Rows

    T-Bar Rows

    Chest Supported Machine Rows

    Vertical Pushing Movements

    Standing Overhead Shoulder Press

    Seated Overhead Shoulder Press

    Lateral Raises

    Front Raises

    High Incline Bench Press

    Vertical Pulling Movements

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    Pull-Ups

    Chin-ups

    Lat Pull-Downs

    Elbow Flexion Movements

    Standing Biceps Curl

    Seated Biceps Curl

    Preacher Curls

    Cable Curls

    Elbow Extension Movements

    Laying Triceps Extension (Skull-Crushers)

    Triceps Cable Press-Downs

    Overhead Triceps Extension

    Now this obviously isnt the super mega definitive list of exercises you can choose for an

    upper body workout routine, but it is some examples of the most popular and effective ones.

    In most cases, the next step is to select one exercise from each category/movement pattern

    shown above. While that isnt an absolute rule, it is the way it should be done in most cases.

    Doing so causes a few important things to happen.

    1. First, it guarantees each movement pattern and muscle group gets trained, which is the

    #1 goal of the typical upper body workout routine.2. Second, it keeps the workout a sane length and avoids unnecessary (and possibly

    counterproductive) excess exercises from being added.

    3. Third, it ensures there will be proper balance around the joints (elbow and shoulder).

    What I mean is, for every horizontal push, there should be a horizontal pull (and vice-

    versa). For every vertical push, there should be a vertical pull (and vice-versa). For

    every elbow flexion, there should be an elbow extension (and vice-versa). When this

    type of balance DOESNT take place, its a recipe for disaster in terms of injury

    potential. Selecting upper body exercises in this manner greatly lessens that potential.

    Exercise Order

    Now that your weight training exercises have been selected, its time to put them in order.

    Again, this depends on a lot of individual factors, but in general, these are the basic rules of

    exercise order:

    Compound exercisesbeforeisolation exercises.

    Free weightsbeforemachines.

    Bigger muscle groups before smaller muscle groups.

    Harder/more taxing exercises before easier/less taxing ones.

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    So, the first thing virtually EVERYONE can do is take your biceps and triceps exercises

    (flexion/extension) and put them at the very end of your upper body workout. Regardless of

    goals/preferences, thats where they belong.

    Beyond that, it gets a little trickier and depends more on you than absolute rules in my

    opinion. So, I figure the best thing I can do at this point is throw out some sample upper bodyworkouts for you to learn from or just use as is.

    Sample Upper Body Workout Routine #1

    1.

    Bench Press

    2. Seated Cable Rows

    3. Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press

    4. Lat Pull-Downs

    5. Laying Barbell Extensions

    6.

    Barbell Curls

    Sample Upper Body Workout Routine #2

    1. Pull-Ups

    2.

    Seated Barbell Shoulder Press

    3. Chest Supported Machine Rows

    4. Flat Dumbbell Bench Press

    5. Dumbbell Curls

    6. Cable Press-Downs

    Sample Upper Body Workout Routine #3

    1.

    Bent Over Barbell Rows

    2. Incline Bench Press

    3.

    Chin-Ups

    4. Lateral Raises

    5. Overhead Dumbbell Triceps Extension

    6. Preacher Curls

    For additional sample workouts, check out my brand new guide toThe Best Workout

    Routines.It contains all of the most effective workouts youll need to get the best results

    possible, including my highly successfulUpper Body Focused Trainingprogram.

    Choosing Optimal Volume (Sets/Reps/Exercises)

    Now that you have all of the basics down for intelligently putting together an effective upper

    body workout routine, the major remaining step is planning how many sets and reps youll be

    doing per exercise, per muscle

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