Everybody is pretty familiar with lower body exercises, right?
You’ve got your squats and deadlifts – and we’ve shown you how to nail those. You’re probably total pros by now 🙂
But when it comes to upper body, there’s a heap of smaller muscle groups to cover. Knowing what exercise to do or what machine to hop on for an all-round upper body workout can confuse even the regular gym-goer.
And girls… Don’t think this is just one for the guys. Training your upper body is THE BEST way to get strong, lean-looking arms. No bingo wing-age in sight.
So seeing as we’re coming into summer, let’s get those guns looking solid, ready for those singlets and strapless dresses.
THE (TRUSTY) PUSH UP
If you want to build upper body strength – or just strength in general – then the push up is your friend. It’s the most fundamental and functional bodyweight exercise you can do. No equipment needed!
The main muscle worked is the chest, but push ups also hit your shoulders, arms (mainly triceps!) and core too. IF you’re doing it right…
The five points you need to remember for perfect push up form are:
- Hands should be shoulder width apart and in line with your chest.
- Feet should also be shoulder width apart.
- Keep a straight line from your head, down to your ankles with no arching or sagging of the back. Think planking!
- As you lower, don’t let your arms flare out. Keep them tucked in close or to be more specific, aim to get your elbows at a 20 degree angle from your body.
- No half a*sing it! Make sure you get your nose to the floor – or near enough…
THE LAT PULLDOWN
The main muscles targeted when performing a lat pulldown are – you guessed it – your lats. Other muscles worked include your biceps, back and shoulders.
However, there’s lots of ways you can go wrong on the lat pulldown machine. Where to hold the bar? How far to pull down? Jeez, it’s a minefield.
Here’s three things to remember when you’re prepping for a lats workout:
- Ensure you have a wide over-grip on the bar.
- Chest should be in a tall, upright position – no leaning back!
- Pull the bar straight down until it taps your chest and always squeeze your shoulder blades together so you’re reeaaally hitting those back muscles.