Tips for a Great Upper Body Workout

Understanding the primary muscle groups in your arms, shoulders and back will help you develop  a better upper body workout.  Here are the primary muscle groups in the upper body:

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Understanding the primary muscle groups in your arms, shoulders and back will help you develop  a better upper body workout.  Here are the primary muscle groups in the upper body:

Deltoids and Rotator Cuffs

The deltoid muscle wraps around the top of your arms providing range of motion for reaching up, reaching down and reaching out and the rotator cuff provides range of motion in the shoulder joint allowing you swing your arm around in circles. Therefore exercises that cause these movements will target the deltoid and rotator cuff. Lateral raises and lateral pull downs are good exercises for isolating the deltoids.

Trapezius and Latissimus Dorsi

The Latissimus dorsi runs down the length of your back and the trapezius spans the width of your back. These large back muscles provide the strength you draw on to open a heavy door or pull a heavy load. To work this muscle group, stand tall and straight, tighten the abdomen for added support to the back and pull the exercise bands straight back keeping arms level with your waist.

Rhomboids and Erector Spinae

The rhomboids are beneath the trapezius in the center of your back. Practice sitting up straight with a straight back and pull your shoulders back as though you are trying to hold a golf ball between y our shoulder blades and you will feel the rhomboids working. The erector spinae is a long muscle that runs down your spine and helps to keep your spine straight. Through all your workouts, maintain a straight back and focus on holding your shoulders down and back. To work the Rhomboids, pull the bands straight back and feel your shoulder blades move towards each other.

Pectorals

These are the chest muscles. Chest presses will help you isolate the pectorals. Opening arms wide or lifting arms straight up in front of the body to chest height will also work the pectorals.

Biceps, Triceps and Forearm muscles

The biceps, located on the front of the upper arm help you pull and the triceps, located on the back side of the upper arm, help you push.  While working the arms, don’t forget about the wrist flexors and wrist extensors that run from the elbow to the wrist. Hold a light weight in your hand and flex the hand first down and then up. Still holding the small weight, turn the hand from side to side using wrist and forearm movements rather than the elbow or shoulder.  Working the wrist will help prevent tendonitis if you spend a lot of time texting, typing of video gaming.

Whenever you are pulling up or pulling down on a resistance band you are working all the muscles in the upper body to some degree. For maximum efficiency on a tight time schedule look for exercises that work more than one muscle group at a time. For better muscle development, look for exercises that isolate a single muscle and focus on it for 2-3 sets of 10 or 12 repetitions.