We wanted to continue to offer you easy solutions to help with your workouts during our crazy time! A lot of people are just starting their home workouts and many are wondering how they are going to keep their workouts interesting and fun while they are limited on equipment, space, and even time. That is why we wanted to continue to offer you simple solutions that allow you to accomplish your workouts and keeping doing positive things for yourself with these top 10 upper body exercises aimed at your home workouts. Let’s go!
The best exercises are those that allow us to accomplish a lot within one exercise. While bent rows get overlooked many times because of their demand on core strength, we think that is what makes them awesome! Where many go wrong is that they don’t realize that the feet are so essential to your bent rows so keep your pelvis stable. So, whenever you try these drills it isn’t JUST your upper body working. We have our hip hinge, core, and upper body so while we are calling these upper body exercises, the reality is they should use the WHOLE body.
How do you keep your bent rows interesting? For one, we can change our position in which we perform the bent row which gives us HUGE core and glute training at the same time!
This excerpt from our L.I.F.T. certification helps us better understand this commonly misunderstood upper body exercises.
DVRT Master, Cory Cripe, shows how we can manipulate our Ultimate Sandbag rows, but I got even more for you!
Change our body position and gripping options make the bent row a powerhouse movement!
Of course bodyweight exercises are a big focus right now and that means push-ups!
Push-ups aren’t the “basic” upper body exercises that most people think and you have to be mindful of how we are using our bodies as I show in the video above. Of course a lot of people struggle with doing push-ups correctly, what do we do? Should we start from our knees? In the video below I give a better option and explain why keeping the connections of the body are key. If you don’t have a suspension trainer you can try to use these concepts with your couch or something stable in which you can keep that full body tension.
Another option is to really focus on our tall kneeling press outs that aren’t a chest exercise but teach how to press correctly as I show below, which is so essential in better upper body exercises.
If you have the foundations of the push-up down, there is no shortage of ways to progress the complexity and get more out of these awesome upper body exercises.
Pull-ups & Pulldowns
Another obvious choice for awesome upper body exercises are pull-ups and their variations. As coach Douglas Sheppard helps me show, they do have very important technique that most overlook too!
While it would be awesome if we could all do pull-ups and their progressions, the reality is that most struggle to do so and right now many may not have the option of a bar. So, what do we do? If the case is having better progressions I love recommending “chair” pull-ups where we can manipulate our legs, grip, etc. to build great progress on our upper body exercises.
Another great option to build up your upper body exercises is through using band pulldowns. Typically, I am not a huge fan of pulldown machines, but the bands allow us to integrate more of the body and train stability that will help our strength in our pull-ups. Plus, right now it is pretty easy to get a door attachment and put bands over your door! Scroll through to see some of my favorites!
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When people struggle doing pull-ups we immediately just default to banded pull-ups. While that may help some, bands actually have a different strength curve than pull-ups themselves (gives less assistance when the exercise is getting harder). So, while some may benefit from banded pull-ups there are plenty of strategies that can actually help make one achieve pull-ups faster through making connections that people may miss. . Chair pull-ups are one of my favorite as there are so many levels we can use manipulating body and hand positions. Using the @perform_better Infinity Straps I’m able to use a neutral, supinate, pronates, or mixed grip for this series. Having my legs on the ground allows progression from using the feet and heels to create stability and integrate with #corestrength to slowly removing that assistance. Most importantly one learns to do #pullups without the cheating of shrugging or rounding of the shoulders that happens when people perform pull-ups. . Half kneeling we can work on building pulling strength while integrating the core and #glutes . Since there is a direct link to lats, core, and glutes, this can be a great exercise to build those specific connections to help greater performance. Going single arm and using a #kettlebell to create #corestability actually can help those that also attack pull-ups but find they have shoulder issues from compensating. . Body saws with @valslide , bands, and Ultimate #Sandbag is not only a great #coreworkout but if we place the right intent we teach the rigid body and whole body tension we want in the pull-up. “Pulling apart” the Ultimate Sandbag connects the grip, shoulder, lats, and core. The band helps accentuate pulling with the lats while driving into the feet. . Half kneeling eccentric focused Ultimate Sandbag presses allows us to really build great pulling as well as pressing strength. The neutral grip while pressing helps keep the pattern of the lats in place to learn to stabilize the shoulder and the instability of the weight reinforces stability of the hips and trunk! . Coaches have way more options to make people successful than they typically realize👊🏻
Before the invention of the bench (which probably shocks to hear people was only around the 1930’s) the standard of strength in upper body exercises was pressing overhead. Sure, that was probably largely out of necessity, but what it did also relate to was better mobility, stability, and full body strength.
However, fast forward to today, many people struggle with just getting their arms overhead so how can we use these methods safely and still achieve our goals of building up these upper body exercises? Part of this has to do with HOW people engage the ground with their hands and feet as Cory describes.
What if you can’t quite get it with two hands? Cory also does a great job in breaking down on the most underrated upper body exercises we have that goes a long way in developing strength, stability, and mobility!
Hopefully you are seeing that even though we are all training from home and probably not use to having a lot less options in things like our upper body exercises that we can still accomplish A LOT! It comes down to having the right intent and purpose to your training and realizing what exercise is suppose to teach our body about better movement! We will continue to keep sharing hopefully what you find are very useful strategies, but feel free to drop us a line if you have questions HERE on our Facebook group page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Don’t forget too, we are giving away 3 FREE DVRT workout programs with code “train” HERE and we have 30% off everything including our Ultimate Sandbags, workout programs, and Online education with code “save30” HERE