Are you missing the gym or, perhaps, you don’t have the time to go there, but still want to work out while at home? You are not alone, and like so many other men you may be looking for effective ways to work out your upper body. Believe it or not, you don’t need a full gym equipment to achieve great workout sessions at home.
If you want to strengthen and bulk up your upper body there are only a few things you need. In this article I’ll show you exercises with just a pull-up bar and dumbbells, that will get you fantastic results. You’re probably thinking, that’s all? Yes! Keep reading to find out how to do the best upper body workout at home for men.
Benefits of Upper Body Workouts
Before getting into the exercises, I want to first explain why upper body workouts are important. The benefits include:
- Improved posture and form
- Upper body strengthening reduces the risk of injuries
- Improved flexibility
- Strengthening muscle tissue helps to burn more fat
- Relieves neck, back, and shoulder pain
Upper body workouts can help enhance your endurance and muscle strength. More calories are burned when you train your upper body. The bones in your body are greatly benefited and strengthened from upper body workouts.
For the best benefits, it is recommended to do upper body workouts several times a week. Remember when you are performing the exercises below, incorporate a 15-second break between exercises.
As you probably know it is very important to warm up before any workout.
Since this an upper-body focused workout start with a range of dynamic stretches that get muscles all over the body moving, doing exercises that increase your circulation and target the muscles you’ll be working. For an upper-body workout, this could mean doing arm circles, windmills, arm swings, and spinal rotations. Also, performing light cardio movements such as walking or jogging in place can boost your heart rate and get your blood flowing.
When you’re talking about the best upper body workout at home for men, you can’t leave out traditional push-ups. They are an excellent resistance exercise that helps to build and strengthen your upper body. Your biceps, triceps, shoulders, and pectoral muscles are all benefited from this exercise. Plus, you are strengthening your core (including abs).
- First, get into a push-up position. Lay down flat on your stomach.
- Place your hands flat on the ground shoulder-width apart.
- Slightly raise your chest until it is a few inches from the floor. Brace your core.
- Push up with a force of strength till full extension of arms (that is the high plank position) and then lower your body bending your elbows. Make sure that your body makes a straight line the whole time.
- This completes one rep.
The chin-up is a great muscle strengthening exercise. Doing a chin-up helps to improve your latissimus dorsi and biceps. The shoulders are engaged during chin-ups. This results in greater strength and flexibility.
- Place your arms shoulder-width apart and grab the bar.
- Your palms should be facing you
- Tighten your core and pull yourself up
- Your chin should be over the bar, this completes one rep
Don’t forget to take a break in between exercises to rest. The next exercise is the side-to-side pull-up. This workout targets the lats, biceps, shoulders, back, and arms, but also engages the core, strengthening it. It sounds and looks simple, but this is an intense exercise.
- Place your hands at both sides of the bar
- Grab the bar, start to pull up
- While you are pulling yourself up, move your body to the right side of the bar
- When you reach the top, your right shoulder should touch the bar
- Lower your body back down (slowly)
- Repeat the same motion with your left shoulder
- For each rep, you should change sides
Dumbbell Raise (Lateral & Front)
Now, let’s add some dumbbells into your workout. Dumbbell raises target your shoulders and deltoids. By doing a lateral and front raise, you are activating the muscles on the anterior and posterior sides of your shoulder muscles.
Lateral and front dumbbell raises are two exercises in one. You can do this exercise in two ways. The first way is by doing the raises alternatively, one lateral raise followed by a front raise. Or you can do them as single exercises, 10 lateral raises then 10 frontal raises.
- Start the exercise by standing straight up. Place a dumbbell in each hand with your arms by your side.
- When you are doing this exercise, your knees should be slightly bent
- Now, lift and raise the dumbbells in front of you. They should be almost shoulder height
- Return to the starting position
- Next, raise the dumbbells in the lateral direction. Control your form and raise the dumbbells until they are shoulder height.
- Bring your arms back down, this completes one full rep
Dumbbell Standing Shoulder Press
Not only can you perform sitting dumbbell shoulder presses but standing dumbbell shoulder presses are even more beneficial. When you perform the shoulder press standing up, you activate more muscles.
Your core muscles, chest, and shoulders are all benefited from this exercise.
- Stand up straight, with your shoulders pushed back
- Place your feet shoulder-width apart
- Put a dumbbell in each hand, be sure to grip over the dumbbells
- Raise your arms so that your upper arms are parallel to the floor forming 90 degrees with your hands
- Push the dumbbells over your head into a full straight extension
- Slowly lower your arms to the starting point, this completes one full rep
Reps: bear crawl for at least 30 seconds
Lastly, to close out your upper body workout include the bear crawl. If you are looking to strengthen and enhance your endurance, this is an excellent exercise. A bear crawl improves the muscles in your shoulders and chest. Your stability is improved with this workout.
– Start on all fours and lift your knees so they’re at a 90-degree angle and hovering an inch off the ground. Keep your back flat, your legs hip-width apart and your arms shoulder-width apart.
– Move one hand and the opposite foot forward an equal distance while staying low to the ground.
– Switch sides, moving the opposite hand and foot.
These workouts have just enough intensity to ensure that you get a great upper body workout at home. While doing exercises described above, be sure to keep your posture upright and your core tight. At home, workouts don’t have to be boring. Work out regularly, never forget to warm up before a workout, to stretch after and to be hydrated.