Upper Body Workouts at Home

It is true that a ‘complete’ workout is one wherein both the upper and lower body muscles are equally exercised and toned. However, what most gym instructors won’t tell you is that you should always put in a little extra effort in your upper body workouts. The reason being that your upper body consists of a group of important muscles, such as the neck, shoulder, stomach, and back muscles, biceps, and triceps. Almost each one of them plays a significant role, both voluntarily and involuntarily, in all your daily activities. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to tone and strengthen the upper body muscles. A weak upper body can lead to various spine-related problems that can subsequently result in serious discomfort and pain. Regular gym-goers would be well-versed with the different drills that form a part of a complete upper body workout. For those of you who would prefer to exercise at home, the drills presented below will help you in maintaining your shape.

Since there isn’t any trainer physically present to supervise the proceedings, all workout routines performed at home require you to be extra careful. Bear in mind that the best workouts are those in which you achieve a good degree of balance between exercise and rest. You should try to perform these exercises on a daily basis.

Pull-ups

This exercise is a great way of strengthening your shoulders, biceps, and lat muscles. For this purpose, you can either purchase a ready-made pull-up bar, or you can consider making a pull-up bar as well. Pull-ups can be performed in a number of ways, such as standard, overhand grip, dead hang, single-arm, and muscled pull-ups, and kipping. Initially, begin with standard pull-ups, and focus on testing your arm and shoulder strength. Even if you are able to do just 1 or 2 pull-ups on the first day of the workout, it is absolutely fine. It is important to have patience and perseverance while exercising, and you will find your stamina increasing with every passing day.

Push-ups

One of the most common upper body exercises, push-ups target your biceps, triceps, chest, abs, and back. They should ideally be performed in sets of 10 with a maximum repetition of 6 – 8 sets. Start slowly and build up your stamina over time. You can further increase the difficulty level by doing push-ups with your fists closed or on your fingertips. Another variation involves doing push-ups while keeping your legs on a chair or bed. This position will specifically target your lower abs along with the above-mentioned muscles.

Curls

Bicep and tricep curls are an integral part of weight training. They go a long way in toning and shaping your shoulders, biceps, and triceps. You can use a barbell or dumbbell for this purpose. Start off with a comfortable weight, and increase it only when you find it fairly easy to lift the current weight. Perform these exercises in a set of 10 – 12 curls, and gradually increase the repetitions with every subsequent workout.

Yoga

Yoga is an important part of all workouts, including upper body workouts. Certain yoga exercises and asanas (postures) help to strengthen the back muscles, thereby improving your posture and protecting from spine-related ailments. Try doing the surya namaskar or sun salutation exercise in a set of 12 each, along with bhujangasana and virasana. Finally, complete your workout by lying down in shavasana i.e., the corpse position for a good 10 – 15 minutes.

Once you are comfortable with the above exercises, you can include resistance band exercises, tricep dips, shoulder and bench presses, and deadlifts as a part of your workout for the upper body. Getting adequate rest is of paramount importance, so make sure that you workout for not more than 4 times a week, else you may witness the side effects of overtraining.

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