A strong upper body is not only aesthetically pleasing, but it also helps with everyday tasks such as lifting and carrying heavy objects. Building muscle in your arms and chest can be a challenging task, but with the right exercises and consistent effort in your chest workout, you will see significant gains.
In this article, we will be showing you six effective arm and chest workout ideas that will help you build a stronger upper body, at home. We’ve compiled a list of workouts from bicep and triceps exercises to chest and shoulders.
These exercises are suitable for both beginners and advanced fitness enthusiasts and the best part about them is that you can try variations for each exercise that will keep things interesting as you workout more and more. So, get your heart beat up and get start building a stronger, more defined upper body!
1. Bench Press
The bench press is a classic exercise for building your upper body strength and muscle mass. It primarily targets the chest, but also engages the triceps, shoulders and even the core.
You can perform this exercise by lying on a flat bench and pushing a weight away from your body while keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground. It can be done in a variety of ways such as incline, decline and neutral grip. It’s one of the most effective exercises for building a strong, muscular chest and is a staple in any upper body workout routine.
Avoid injury and get the most out of the exercise by using proper form, which includes keeping your back flat on the bench and not letting your elbows flare out.
Chin-ups are also a great exercise for building your upper body strength, particularly targeting the back and biceps.
To perform this exercise, start by hanging from a bar with an overhand grip and pulling yourself up until your chin is above the bar. Unlike pull-ups, chin-ups involve a closer grip where the palms are facing towards you, shifting more of the emphasis on the biceps. It’s an excellent exercise for developing a strong, defined upper body and is a compound movement that works multiple muscle groups at once.
To perform chin-ups safely and effectively, it’s important to engage your core and keep your body in a straight line while pulling yourself up.
3. Incline Bench Dumbbell Bicep Curls
This exercise is a variation of the classic bicep curl exercise that targets the biceps from a slightly different angle. It is performed by sitting on an incline bench and holding a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing forward and your elbows close to your body. The exercise is done by curling the dumbbells towards your shoulders while keeping your elbows stationary and your upper arms close to your body.
The incline angle of the bench allows for a greater range of motion, making it a great variation for hitting the biceps from a different angle and targeting the upper portion of the muscle. It’s important to keep your back firmly pressed against the bench, and use a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form and without straining your lower back.
4. Incline Dumbbell Flyes Chest Workout
Incline dumbbell flyes is a chest exercise that targets the upper portion of your pectoral muscles. To perform it, start by sitting on an incline bench and holding a pair of dumbbells with your palms facing each other.
The exercise is done by keeping your elbows slightly bent and arms extended as you lift the dumbbells out to the side of your body, keeping them in a straight line with your body. The movement should resemble a “flying” motion, hence the name.
To avoid injury, it’s important to keep your back pressed against the bench and use a weight that allows you to perform the exercise with proper form.
5. Cable Rope Overhead Extensions
Cable rope overhead extensions is a triceps exercise that targets the long head of the triceps muscle. You’ll need a cable machine or something similar in order to perform it.
Essentially, you need to grasp the rope with an overhand grip and extend your arms overhead while keeping your elbows and upper arms close to your head.
This exercise can be performed with one arm or both arms at the same time. Make sure you don’t use too much weight and keep your core engaged in order to avoid injury.
6. Cable Cross-Overs Chest Workout
This exercise targets the inner portion of the pectoral muscles by standing in front of a cable machine, with a high pulley on each side, and grasping the handles with an overhand grip.
The exercise is done by keeping your elbows slightly bent and arms extended, you pull the cables towards the center of your body, crossing them over each other. The movement should resemble a “crossing” motion, hence the name.
The resistance provided by the cable machine allows for a constant tension on the chest muscles throughout the entire range of motion. Get the most out of the exercise, and prevent injury, by using proper form, which includes keeping your core engaged, standing tall and not swinging the weight.