A great upper body workout requires proper planning and execution. Many beginners float from one weight machine to another when they work out. By having a pre-set routine it will be much easier to reach your goals. It will also save on workout time since there will be no confusion or decisions to be made when a routine is already in place.
- Chest exercises. Most lifters start an upper body chest workout with the flat bench press. You can either use a barbell or a pair of dumbbells to perform this lift. Another chest exercise to try is the incline bench press. The movements are the same, but the bench is tilted upward at a slight angle which works the upper portion of the chest. The final chest exercise to try is the decline bench press. The angle of this bench helps to work the lower portion of the chest.
- Biceps exercises. To work both biceps at the same time try using an EZ Curl bar with weights. This bar is shorter than a standard barbell. Another biceps exercise to try is alternating dumbbell curls. This exercise works one arm at a time. Finish off your biceps workout with Preacher curls. This exercise requires a special bench which most gyms have. The movement isolates the biceps muscles.
- Triceps exercises. Your chest routine will give your triceps a good workout, however it is also important to do some specific exercises for the triceps. Locate a cable machine at the gym and use that for triceps pulldowns. This works both triceps at the same time. Another good upper body exercise is bench dips, where you press yourself up using only your upper body. Try doing some triceps dumbbell kickbacks to round out your workout.
- Shoulder exercises. A good exercise to start your shoulder workout is overhead presses using dumbbells. You can press both arms up at the same time or alternate arms. Another shoulder exercise is military presses using a barbell. This movement is similar to the overhead press, however you will be seated for this particular exercise. Finish your shoulder workout with side dumbbell raises.
- Back exercises. To hit your back muscles, do seated barbell rows using a cable machine. This exercise works the middle of your back. To work your lat muscles, do cable pulldowns or pullups. Next, try barbell rows or dumbbells rows to complete the back portion of your uper body workout.