February 15, 2020

Who doesn’t love the day when you get to test your strength on the bench? Upper body workouts have become a reward for many bodybuilding hopefuls. Make no mistake about it though: upper body workouts are more than just hammering your chest with bench presses. You need to make sure that when you are creating your upper body workout that you include a complete list of exercises that focus the front and the back of your body. For instance, many people wanting to lose weight or build muscle neglect the rear deltoid. Not strengthening this muscle may result in overcompensation issues and eventually injury. Many times this is due to misinformation. Let’s review exactly what you need to have a complete upper body workout that is sure to produce results.

What to Include in an Upper Body Workout

The following are the muscle groups and exercises that you’ll want to include during an upper body workout:


• Barbell Bench Press
• Dumbbell Fly
• Incline Dumbbell Press


• Bent Over Rows
• Pull-ups
• Lat Pulldown

Lower Back

• Deadlift
• Hyperextensions
• Superman

Full Shoulder

• Arnold Press
• Dumbbell Overhead Press
• Barbell Military Press

Front Deltoid

• Alternating Dumbbell Front Raise

Lateral Deltoid

• Dumbbell Lateral Raise

Rear Deltoid

• Cable Reverse Fly


• Overhead Triceps Extension
• Cable Pushdown
• Reverse Cable Extensions


• Cable Crucifix Curl
• Hammer Curls
• Preacher Curls

Tips for Success
Best Way to Lift to Lose Weight and Build Muscle

• If your goal is to gain muscle mass or lose weight fast, then you’ll want to design your workout to reflect this.
• To build muscle mass: Select between 1 to 3 exercises per muscle group. Perform between 2 and 5 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions. Use between 65% to 85% of your one-repetition maximum.
• To lose weight: Select between 1 to 3 exercises per muscle group. Perform between 1 to 4 sets of 12 to 20 repetitions. Use between 50% to 65% of your 1RM.

Remember Your Nutrition

• Having a great workout program is only one part of the equation if you want to lose weight, burn fat, and build muscle. What you choose to do in the kitchen is far more important. Be sure you are eating a balance of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats. Supplement your meals with rich micronutrient foods such as vegetables and fruits. To fill in the nutritional gaps, be sure to take a multivitamin as well. Learn about the best exercises to build muscle and lose weight fast. 

Are you ready to break through your plateau and achieve your fitness goals? Learn more by downloading our free 12-week workout guide. 




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  3. Heijden, G., Wang, Z., Chu, Z., Toffolo, G., Manesso, E., Sauer, P., & Sunehag, A. (2010). Strength Exercise Improves Muscle Mass and Hepatic Insulin Sensitivity in Obese Youth. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 42(11), 1973-1980.
  4. Tucker, L., & Mortell, R. (1993). Comparison of the Effects of Walking and Weight Training Programs on Body Image in Middle-Aged Women: An Experimental Study. American Journal of Health Promotion, 8(1), 34-42.

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