All Upper Body Strength Workout That You Can Do At Home
Grab some dumbbells and a handled resistance band for this super effective, strength-based workout that you can do anywhere.
Upper body strength is important to keep your spine and shoulder girdle in proper alignment. This improves your ability to lift, push and pull safely during activities of daily living, and protects you from injuries of the mid-back, upper-back, shoulders and neck.
Without proper strength and function of your upper body muscles, there is a tendency to rely on the trapezius muscle to power your movements during the day or when working out. The trapezius covers a big space and runs from the base of your skull, out to your shoulder joint, and down to your thoracic spine (the mid-upper back). While it’s a valuable muscle, it’s meant to be in balance with the other muscles of your upper body including your deltoids (medial, and posterior), rhomboids, latissimus dorsi.
In a healthy body, all muscles are in balance to each other, based on their size, volume, and importance. When some muscles are weak, the trapezius takes over because it’s such a large and powerful muscle. This can lead to overdeveloped musculature from your shoulders to your neck. You know the image of a muscle-bound body builder who appears to have a shortened neck? That’s because of a overdeveloped trapezius muscle. Some people consider this a sign of a very strong, and very fit person. And while that may be true, most women prefer to avoid this appearance.
Leonardo da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” represents the perfect mathematical equation (and perfect balance) of human proportions, demonstrating that there are very specific ratios between muscle groups. This masterpiece depicts the perfect order and symbiosis between the human form, mathematics, architecture, and nature. In short, the image of the “perfect” human body is dependent on very specific balance between muscle groups.
The concept of “form follows function” also applies to the human body. Your body will look best when it functions best. In other words, by training your body to be in balance (through strength training and muscle building), you will get the added benefit of also being aesthetically pleasing to look at.
I’m down for that. Are you?
This All Upper Body workout is designed to help bring balance to the musculature of your upper body, and puts an emphasis on the follow muscles and muscle groups:
- Latissimus dorsi
- Posterior shoulder stabilizers
The All Upper Body Strength at Home Workout
Below you’ll find the video tutorials for the exercises in this workout. For best results, complete the exercises in of the videos below.
For optimal strength development, complete the exercises below as “Straight Sets” where you complete the first set of the first exercise, then rest before completing the second set of the same exercise. A Straight Set protocol means that you rest between every set to facilitate recovery, allowing you to work hard in every set. Use this protocol if you want best results, are interested in getting stronger, or want to build some muscle.
Alternatively, if you prefer to save time you can complete this workout as a “Circuit” where you complete one set of all the exercises in a row before resting. Then, you’ll repeat all of the exercises again, in a row, for the second set. This reduces your total workout time and will boost your heart rate a bit more. Use this protocol if you want to keep moving and are less concerned about building muscle.
If you have just started your strength training journey, or are returning to workouts after some time off, aim for 2 sets of all exercises below.
If you have been strength training consistently for 3 months or more, aim for 3-4 sets of all exercises below.
If you have just started your strength training journey, or are returning to workouts after some time off, aim for 15 reps for all exercises below.
If you have been strength training consistently for 3 months or more, aim for 10-12 for all exercises below.
Always choose a weight load were the last two reps of every set are hard. You should be able to maintain great technique for all reps except for the last two.
Golden Rule for Upper Body:
Before beginning every exercise, take a moment and place your shoulders “Back and Down.”
This means to draw your shoulder blades “back” in space, bringing them towards each other, and inward towards your spine.
Then, press your shoulder blades “down” away from your ears, and towards your hips.
Lock your shoulders into this “Back and Down” position and aggressively hold them there for the entire set.
Complete the following moves in the order they appear below…
Did you try this workout? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts!