There’s no doubt that yogis, dancers and gymnasts are in great shape, displaying various of degrees of awesome flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and lower body strength. But when it comes to upper body strength, they may be lacking in this area, especially yogis and dancers. One way to rectify this dilemma is to add resistance/strength training exercises into the aforementioned participants’ workout regimen. Here is a list of compound exercises that will work multiple upper body muscles while boosting power and strength.
The Bench Press is considered by several exercise experts and enthusiasts to be the king of upper body exercises.
Muscles Worked: It works the pectoralis major as well as the anterior deltoids, serratus anterior, coracobrachialis, scapulae fixers, trapezii and the triceps.
Technique: Make sure to slowly lower the weight, and not to bounce it off your chest, or arch your back during the lift. Using an appropriate weight will help you control the bar throughout the exercise. Make sure to keep the bar moving steadily throughout the exercise.
Perform 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps two-three times a week.
Standing Bicep Curl
Building your biceps is a great way to increase your upper body strength, helping to make daily activities such as carrying groceries and doing yard work seem a little less difficult
Muscles Worked: The biceps brachii, brachialis and brachioradialis are the primary muscles used to flex the elbow. The anterior deltoid acts as a stabilizer, while the leg muscles help to keep your balance since you’re standing while performing the exercise.
Technique: Grab a bar, and place an appropriate weight on it. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, and slowly raise the bar until you feel a full contraction, but don’t push it pass that. Slowly lower the bar to the starting position, without resting it. Repeat.
Perform 3-4 reps of 12-15 reps 2-3 times a week.
Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press
The dumbbell shoulder press is a fantastic movement to help with overhead strength, which comes in handy in everyday chores around the home.
Muscles Worked: The anterior deltoids are the prime movers in this movement, with the later and rear playing a part to a lesser extent. The triceps are actively involved throughout the exercise. The rhomboids, teres major and minor, latissimus dorsi and trapezius act as stabilizers.
Technique: Sit on a bench with back support. Grab an appropriate amount of weight. Lift the dumbbells off the ground, and place in starting position, with your palms facing away from you at your hips. Lift the weight over your head while controlling the dumbbells, with the elbows coming to a soft lock (not fully locked), parallel to your head. Repeat.
Perform three-four sets of 10-12 reps.
No workout program would be complete without this awesome body-weight movement, which involves multiple upper body muscles.
Muscles Worked: The latissimus dorsi is the primary muscle worked, while the brachialis, brachioradialis and biceps are involved in flexion of your arms. The infraspinatus, teres major and teres minor, posterior deltoids, the levator scapulae, the lower and middle trapezius, rhomboids, and the pectoralis minor are synergist.
The pullup may be a difficult exercise to perform for novice gym-goers, so using a pull-up assisted machine, which most gyms have, is good way to build up to a regular pull-up.
Technique: Place your hands shoulder width apart. Slowly lift yourself up while focusing on your back muscles contracting. Gradually lower your body to starting positon. Repeat.
Perform three sets of 10-12 reps two-three times a week.
High Seated Cable Row
The high seated row is another wonderful exercise that works multiple upper body muscles.
Muscles Worked: The latissimus dorsi and the rhomboids of the upper back are the primary muscles used. The trapezius, the subscapularis, the teres major and teres minor (rotator cuff), along with forearm muscles and the upper portion of the pectoralis major, assist in the movement.
If you’re using a V-shape handling, in which your elbows are drawn in closer to your ribs, the posterior deltoids act as assisters. The rectus abdominis and the obliques act as stabilizers.
Technique: Using a cable machine with a straight bar attachment or V-shaped handle, place your feet firmly on the rest area. Make sure your torso is straight and elbows are level with shoulders while pulling the bar into your chest.
Don’t forget to make a concentrated effort to pull your shoulder blades together while lifting the weight, and use an appropriate weight that challenges you, but doesn’t cause incorrect form.
Perform 3-4 sets of 10-12 reps two to three times a week.
Written by Jerry Del Priore for Bodono.
Jerry Del Priore has worked as a certified personal trainer, and received his degree in Physical Education from Brooklyn College in 1991. Jerry is also a veteran print and digital Sports Writer-Reporter-Author experienced in writing in-depth profile stories on a variety of high school, college and professional athletes and teams.
Additionally, Jerry has developed a presentation based on his book, Running Through Roadblocks, which encourages children to overcome obstacles and never give up…no matter what!
Specialties: Baseball, football, hockey and basketball writing. Jerry also has covered lacrosse, soccer, golf and track and field, with ample experience cover women’s sports. Jerry is also a Food Writer/Blogger experienced in venue write-ups and reviews.
In addition, Jerry has ample experience working with medically fragile children, children with behavioral challenges and children with cognitively impairments.