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Gaining Upper Body Strength

Developing upper body strength is not just about packing on mass. It is also about developing isometric strength and muscular endurance. Granted, mass can be very helpful for boosting strength in the upper body but it is not the only way to gain strength. In fact, most mass building workouts are derived from bodybuilding which is more concerned with appearance than strength.

It would be better to employ powerlifting workouts where you lift very heavy weights for very low repetitions. Low reps would be in the range of 3 – 6. The top exercises you would perform would be compound exercises such as shoulder presses (front and rear), benchpresses from all angles, curls with barbells and dumbbells, and triceps extensions.In addition to heavy lifting, you should perform holds and lockouts with dumbbells and barbells at lighter weight. This will work wonders for building up isometric strength.

Bodyweight exercises are also well advised as they will boost strength and muscular endurance. Pushups performed with a variety of different hand placements (traditional, wider, narrower, etc) will hit the entirety of the upper body. Performing pushups slowly will aid in building up muscular endurance and isometric strength as well.

A word to the wise: always lift heavy weights with a training partner. This will make such sessions much safer.

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