How to Build An Upper Body Strength Workout? 5 Easy Exercises for Beginners

Upper body strength exercises are necessary for everyone, as they play an important role in daily functional activities (Image via Pexels @Andrea Piacquadio)
Upper body strength workout is important for everyone. (Image via Pexels/Andrea Piacquadio)

With great upper body strength comes great responsibility. The upper body comprises everything from your arms, forearms, shoulders, and chest, to your hands. All these muscles build a connection between your limbs, torso, chest, and spinal column.

When you run, dance, or play sports, the lower body or core is the primary focus in most training routines. However, neglecting upper body strength can cause a hunched posture or an inability to lift and carry large objects. Stronger upper body strength and muscles assist you in lifting large objects and performing various daily tasks.

If you don't have upper body strength, your lower back muscles frequently have to compensate for lifting objects, which can lead to injury.

5 Easy Upper Body Strength Exercises for Beginners

Check out these five easy exercises for beginner upper body strength workout:

1) Body Saw

Body saws. (Image via Freepik)
Body saws. (Image via Freepik)

This upper body strength exercise generates a huge abdominal contraction during the movement. Include them in your home workout for upper body.

It's perfect for anyone who wants to strengthen their core. As you build your core strength, your balance, posture, and improve stability, reducing your chances of injury.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Start in a forearm plank position, with your toes on a set of sliders and elbows directly under your shoulders.
  • Engage your core, thighs, and buttocks by tucking your tailbone.
  • Slowly push with your forearms and elbows to move as far back as possible while maintaining core engagement. Don't let your hips sag.
  • Slowly return to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Complete 2-3 sets of 12 reps each.

2) Bent Over Row

Bent over rows. (Image via Freepik)
Bent over rows. (Image via Freepik)

The dumbbell bent-over row is an excellent gym workout for upper body strength that effectively targets the back and also improves trunk and hip stability.

It's an excellent functional exercise for motions involving picking up of objects from the ground. It also engages the same muscles used to pull the body, such as when you're in an inverted climbing stance.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • With your feet hip-width apart and arms by your side, grasp a dumbbell in each hand.
  • Engaging your core, tilt forward at the hips, and push your buttocks back.
  • Ensure that your knees are bent, and shoulders are not rounded. Your flexibility in the hips and hamstrings will determine how far you can bend.
  • Keep your neck in a neutral, comfortable position by focusing on the ground a few inches in front of your feet.
  • At the peak of the movement, squeeze your shoulder blades for two seconds by pushing the weights towards your chest while keeping your elbows close to your body.
  • Your elbows should go past your back as you bring the weight towards your chest.
  • Reduce the weight gradually by extending your arms towards the floor to complete one repetition.
  • Perform 12 reps.

3) Alternating Single-Arm Chest Press

Chest press. (Image via Freepik)
Chest press. (Image via Freepik)

The chest press builds muscle tissue and upper body strength by targeting the pectorals, deltoids, and triceps. That helps build upper body strength and power, which is useful for daily tasks, such as pulling strollers, shopping carts, and heavy doors.

As you're only moving one weight at a time, your core must truly engage to maintain stability and reps. To make this exercise easier, remove the single-arm hold at the top, and press both arms up and down simultaneously.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Get into a face-up position with bent knees kept hip-width apart and flat feet on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with the weights even and palms facing outward.
  • Press both weights towards the ceiling while maintaining a flat lower back against the floor by engaging your core. This is the starting position.
  • Lower your right arm towards your torso till your upper arm touches the floor while maintaining the position of your left arm.
  • Exhale as you return to your starting posture by extending your right arm.
  • Continue on the other side to complete one repetition.
  • Alternate sides for 12 repetitions.

4) Shoulder Press

Shoulder press. (Image via Freepik)
Shoulder press. (Image via Freepik)

Apart from targeting the deltoid muscles, the shoulder press also targets the triceps - the muscles along the back of the upper arms. The triceps help the deltoids with overhead pushing actions.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Keep your feet approximately hip-width apart.
  • Holding a dumbbell in each hand, rest them on your shoulders, with your palms facing each other and elbows bent. This is the starting position.
  • Press the dumbbells above while fully extending the elbows.
  • As you elevate your arms, be careful to keep your core engaged and hips tucked under to avoid arching your lower back.
  • Bend your elbows slowly to return the weight to the starting position to complete one rep.
  • Perform 12 reps.

5) Dumbbell Curl

Dumbbell curls.  (Image via Freepik)
Dumbbell curls. (Image via Freepik)

Bicep curls with dumbbells are one of the most efficient workouts for upper body strength and growing arms that are not only muscular but also symmetrical.

During this exercise, you must lift each weight individually, which ensures that both bicep muscles receive a range of motion and nearly equal effort.

Here's how you do this exercise:

  • Stand or sit holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms by your side and feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Keep your elbows close to your torso, and turn the dumbbells so that the palms are facing your torso. This is the starting position.
  • Exhale while curling the weights upward while squeezing your biceps.
  • At the peak of the curl, pause, and return to the returning position.
  • Repeat 10-15 times. Perform two to three sets.

Include the aforementioned exercises in your daily upper body strength workout routine to build muscle. Building muscle can help you improve your metabolism, lose weight, and perform better at functional strength training.

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Edited by Bhargav
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