Category Archives: Fitness, Nutrition & Health
I’m sure you’re aware that you can build an impressive upper body without the need to lift weights.
If not then in this post you’ll learn how.
Training your upper body is something that’s quite easy to do without any equipment, the same can’t be said for lower body so you’ll need at minimum a barbell and plates for total body development, no one likes chicken legs after all.
20 rep breathing squats, heavy low rep front squats, fat grip deadlifts, snatch grip deadlifts and cleans or snatches will be ample for lower body development.
Back to the point of the post.
Bodyweight mastery can provide you with a most impressive upper body if you give it your all in these handful of exercises:
- Plyo push ups
- Handstand push ups (supported, working to wards free standing)
- Chin Ups
- Pull Ups
Those 5 will enable you to workout essentially anywhere, here is the suggested rep/set schemes for your consideration:
- Ladder sets – pick 2 exercises, start at 1 rep for each & add a rep until you hit 10 or more if you choose. If you lose form or break set start again at one.
- Multiple singles, doubles or triples
- Sets to momentary muscular failure
Those three options will get you started, you’ll find that aiming for 50-100 reps per session on 1-2 of those movements will help you build the upper body you desire.
This approach to training is very simple but very effective.
It’s common place to see people doing front raises in the gym, even though for them it’s essentially a pointless exercise.
I’m not saying it’s a bad exercise, far from it, some top lifters need it as an assistance movement for what ever specific reason, however the average gym goer who has a program heavily biased towards pressing and anterior chain movements DOES NOT need to be doing front raises.
Before we go on let us have a look at some of the exercises that recruit the front deltoid.
- Presses (pretty much all of them)
- Bear crawls
- Sled pushing
The main function of the anterior deltoid is shoulder flexion — lifting your arm up and to the front of your body. So any movement that involves this hits it, make a note.
That’s the first reason you don’t need to isolate this muscle.
The second is because daily life is heavily anterior chain dominant, here is a short list of daily living movements that cause a short/tight/over worked front delt and also high pecs too.
- Sitting at a desk
- Playing computer games
- Putting things on shelves
You get the idea. Life is heavily biased towards overworking what are known as ‘tonic muscles’ of the body and rarely have you stimulating the phasic ones (posterior chain).
For the average person Id recommend having some form of reverse fly in every session and perhaps a lateral raise movement in each pressing session, I can’t remember the exact studies, I apologise, however on average the lateral delt has 2/3 the development of the front and the rear was barely scraping 1/3 of the front delts growth.
You’d also do well to chuck in face pulls, bat wings (isometric holds) and resistance band pull apart drills in your daily life (say 50 pull-aparts per hour and 60 seconds bat wing).
This simple information will help you balance the entire shoulder, it will also help improve your posture and look 100% better, no one likes a round shouldered look, its weak and prone to injury.