What Is a Good Upper Body Workout?

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Upper body workouts include push-ups, dips, lifting free weights and a variety of other exercises that work the forearms, biceps, triceps, back, shoulders and chest. Work out the upper body efficiently with exercise advice from a gymnastics teacher in this free video on physical fitness.

Part of the Video Series: Fitness & Exercise
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Video Transcript

Hello, my name is Virginia Kelley and I'm here at Encore Gymnastics and I'm going to give you some tips on what a good upper body workout would be. When you're working on your upper body, you want to take into consideration all the muscles of your upper body. You've got your forearms, you've got your biceps, your triceps, your shoulders, your chest and your back. So when you're working them out you want to work out all your muscles equally. A couple good exercises would be push ups. You can start out with push ups on an incline making sure that you have a straight line from your shoulders all the way down to your heels and you're going to go down and up. It's important that you have a nice fluid motion whenever you're working out, you don't want to do little tiny push ups or little tiny movements because those will actually shorten your muscles. You want full extension, full range of motion when you're doing the exercise to lengthen and strengthen the entire muscle. So you have your push ups that you can do, those are good for your entire chest and your shoulders. You can also do dips. This will work your upper back as well as your triceps. Sitting on the edge of any kind of chair as long as it's nice and stable, holding onto the edge of the chair, legs out straight, you're going to keep your elbows in, you don't want your elbows pushed out to the side, elbows in, you dip down and up. These are little triceps dips. Those will work your shoulders, your upper back as well as your triceps. A couple of other exercises you can use with any kind of weight, dumbbell, whatever kind of weight you have access to, you can do some curls. Keeping your arm nice and straight on the side, a nice raise keeping your palm towards your body is a nice curl exercise here. Keep this elbow pointing to the ground and then you can counter this with a triceps extension. You want your arm, the top of your arm parallel to the ground and then nice fluid movement straight out and back and out and back like you're starting a lawnmower. Keep your arm nice and still, just your forearm's going to be moving here, out and in. And that will work your triceps. You always want to counter and make sure you do both sides of your muscle to make sure that you stay strong, you'll reduce the risk of injury if you work both the front and the back. So getting your chest done, you can do push ups, dips, you can work shoulders, biceps and triceps, any kind of exercise holding some weights here, up and down nice small movement will also work on your forearms. So once you get all your muscles focused on, you will start to get a nice upper body workout.


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