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Upper body strength - PART 1

by Certified Biokeneticist


When we look at upper body strength, everyone wants to like Dwayne Johnson and not like bugs bunny.  Popeye arms may help your shirts fit differently, but the benefits of a strong upper body go way beyond aesthetics. The upper body aids in your ability to execute daily activities such as lifting, reaching, pushing and pulling, using the arms, shoulders, chest and back in various directions while having total control of range of motion. Maintaining upper body strength aids in decreasing   muscle loss that comes with aging. Upper body muscle strength can also help prevent injuries with activities that place stress on these muscles. Increasing muscle mass anywhere on the body plays an important role in boosting your metabolism, creating stronger bones as well as a healthier heart. It also improves flexibility, mobility, range of motion and increases muscle tissue in the body which in turn aids in burning fat.

Some of the muscles involved in upper body strength are the following:

  • Pectoralis major and minor

  • Rotator cuffs

  • Deltoids

  • Latissimus dorsi

  • Trapezius

  • Biceps & Triceps

  • Forearm muscles

People tend to believe that push ups are the main exercise to do in order to build upper-body strength, but that's not the case. It is important to use a variety of other exercise to build a strong upper body as it keeps your body guessing and presents it with different challenges to adapt to.

Looking at a balanced training program it should include a mix of weight bearing push exercises, pull exercises and core training. Push movements mainly work the pecs, shoulders and triceps, and pull movements mainly work the biceps and back. When exercising the upper body, always remember using the correct technique, posture, breathing methods and executing the movement in a safe manner to avoid injuries.

Here are a few basic home upper body exercises:

Moving plank ( 1min x 3)

Side plank  (30 sec x 2)

Chair push ups ( 15x 3)

Chair dips (15x3)


" The pain you feel today,will be the strength you feel tomorrow" 



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