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Building a Strong Upper Body

By Joshua C Kozak Subscribe to RSS | May 26th 2012 | Views:
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A balanced exercise plan should always include a selection of exercises that work both the upper and lower body. This article will focus on how to target all the main upper body muscle groups, including the chest, shoulders, back, biceps, and triceps. A workout routine should contain a balance of each muscle group for optimal function, form, and to prevent muscular imbalances.

Your body changes when it has been challenged and is forced to adapt. It is this adaptation that makes us stronger. If you repeat the same routine at every session, then your body will quickly adapt and stop changing. Instead, mix up your routine frequently so that your body never has a chance to fully adapt. To add variety to your routine one must mix up your reps, sets, weight used, rest periods, exercises, duration, and intensity. Also, alternating between compound (more than one joint used) and isolated (only one joint used) exercises is a great way to attack the muscles with variety.

Starting with the chest muscle group, the bench press is the best-known chest exercise, and it can be performed in many different ways. A few variations include using a barbell, dumbbells, incline or decline bench, and with light or heavy weight. Dips are another great compound chest exercise that allows variety by choosing between a narrow, regular or wide grip. Lastly, push-ups are a classic movement that can be done with any equipment. If you add one or two isolation chest exercises, such as the incline dumbbell fly, cable crossovers or machine pec dec, it will compliment your compound movement nicely. Be certain to squeeze your chest during each of the isolation movements.

You will want to make sure you perform an equal number of exercises for your back as you did for the chest ensure that you achieve balance. One of the best compound exercises for the back allows you to lift more total weight is the row. Rows can be done with a machine, dumbbells, a barbell, T-bar, or with cables. You can also vary the grip by using wide grip, narrow grip, or a reverse grip. Each grip puts the focus on a different area of the back. Some good isolation exercises for the back involve movements that take the biceps out of the exercise like reverse dumbbell flys and dumbbell shrugs.

Make sure your routine contains plenty of variety and that you are not performing the same group of five exercises over and over again each week. Use one exercise for two to three weeks to all some adaptation and then switch up the exercise to shock the muscles. It is okay to use the same exercise if you switch up the angle, weight used, intensity, reps, sets, and duration. Doing so will provide the best results, stop you from plateauing, and prevent you from becoming bored with your routine.

Joshua C Kozak - About Author:
Joshua “Coach” Kozak has been a fixture in the world of health and fitness for over 10 years. The best abdominal exercises on the internet to get a six pack and HASfit is home to my favorite back exercises

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