What is the importance of doing upper body exercise?
There are many reasons to have a strong upper body. The number one reason would be posture, which requires a whole host of muscles from the tip of your toes to the tip of your ears. Under the umbrella of posture or poor posture, a whole host of things can go wrong. Lower back pain (lumbago), hip pain (Osteonecrosis), shoulder pain (adhesive capsulitis), neck pain (Kyphosis, Dowager’s Hump), to name just a few. So a well-balanced upper body will go a long way to offset and help prevent posture deviations.
Now that you understand the importance of training your upper body, let’s get started!
Instead of giving you a full upper body workout that you need to follow to the “T”, we’ll give you the 5 best upper body exercises we recommend. Knowing how to incorporate upper body exercises to improve posture is the key. The upper body can, push, pull, flex, extend and rotate.
1. Push exercises – Targets pectoral (chest), triceps, shoulders, and trapezius (shoulders and upper back). core and obliques.
2. Pull exercises – Targets upper back, centre of the back, Lats, rhomboids (the top of the back), and bottom of the back.
3. Flexion/Extension/Rotation exercises – Targets biceps, triceps, wrist flexors and extensors, shoulder muscles, core, chest, and back muscles.
From these, you can create an upper body workout, implement a proper training split to ensure you don’t over tighten specific muscle that are already tight and stretch already stretched muscles
For our current lifestyle, i.e. sitting behind a computer or behind a car wheel, we tend of have short tight pectoral muscles and weak long back muscles. (forward slump – kyphosis). To offset this, we use a 3 to 1 ratio. 3 pull exercise (back, lats, rhomboids) to 1 push exercises. (chest).
So here we are our top 5 upper body exercise for posture.
1. Elevated Push ups: incorporates chest, shoulders, triceps and core.
2. TRX pull ups: incorporates back, biceps, spinal muscles.
3. Seated high pull: incorporates upper back, shoulders, biceps, trapezius.
4. Pilaf press: incorporates, arms shoulders and deep core stability
5. Prone Superhero: incorporates spinal posture muscles and upper back.