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How to Build Upper Body Strength

Parashar Joshi Feb 12, 2020
Upper body strength is very essential in developing the entire body structure since all the lifting and pushing is done with the help of upper body muscles. This story provides information on ways to strengthen one's upper body.
Considering the hectic lives that we lead today, having a strong and fit body is a must. Our upper bodies, more than often, bear the brunt of our workload. Therefore, making it strong is very important, and this applies to both men and women. (However, that does not mean you should ignore your lower body).
Simply put, there are two ways of achieving this:
  1. Upper body strength exercises
  2. Upper body strength training

Upper Body Strength Exercises

The given exercises will help you develop the upper half of your body without the need of weights.


Swimming is a fantastic way of strengthening your upper (as well as your lower) body and at the same time, toning it to perfection. You should aim at swimming at least thrice a week (four times would be even better). A good 30-45 minute swim workout works wonders for your shoulders, arms, chest, and your abdomen. Alternating between different swim strokes will ensure a thorough and complete workout.

Push Ups

Push ups are very effective when it comes to working on your shoulder muscles, arms, biceps, pectorals, etc.
Some varieties of push ups that you can consider are:
  • Shoulder width push ups (default style)
  • Wide push ups (distance between hands is more than shoulder width)
  • Medicine ball push ups (also known as decline push ups)
  • Knuckle grip push ups (involves resting on your fists, instead of the palms)
  • Incline push ups

Pull Ups

Pull ups are universally acknowledged as being one of the toughest exercises. They work on your shoulders, biceps, chest, and back muscles. Using a simple homemade pull up bar, you can perform a variety of pull ups such as:
  • Close grip pull ups
  • Wide grip pull ups
  • Kipping
  • Inward palm pull ups
  • Outward palm pull ups
They require considerable amount of shoulder and arm power. So, if at first, you are able to do only one, or two, or three repetitions, do not fret. Keep working at it, and as your power and stamina increases gradually, so will the number of repetitions.

Weight Training

Here is a list of training exercises that can help in strengthening the torso:
  • Dumbbell bicep curls
  • Barbell biceps curl
  • Dumbbell triceps curl
  • Dumbbell incline fly
  • Dumbbell shrug
  • Dumbbell bench press
  • Machine bench press
  • Triceps chair dips
  • Lateral raise
  • Lateral fly
  • Shoulder fly
  • Hammer curls

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Always remember that when you begin weight training routines, you should start with a comfortable weight and focus on a higher number of repetitions (rather than on a heavier weight). As and when your power and endurance increases, you can go about increasing the weight load proportionately.
In addition to the aforementioned methods, certain gymnastic exercises and techniques, resistance band exercises, as well as punching bag workouts also help immensely.
Disclaimer: This story is for informative purposes only. Always consult a physician before starting any physical fitness program in order to reduce the risk of injury.