Think about how much your upper body moves in a day, and it’s pretty clear why upper body workouts are so important to your body’s overall health. Even if you work an office job and sit at a desk all day, your core, back and arms are going to be performing some form of movement and thus need to be strengthened. It’s amazing how much we determine someone’s fitness level from how their upper body looks. We’ve all seen the jacked guy at the gym with skinny little chicken legs, therefore we can agree that a balance between upper body and lower body workouts is key.
The Benefits Of Doing Upper Body Workouts
Here are a few of the benefits of working out your upper body.
- A strong upper body allows for proper posture while sitting, standing and in all physical activities.
- Injury prevention is a big motivator for people to get their upper body’s fit.
- There are some large muscles located in your upper half, so developing and strengthening these muscles is going to help burn fat all over your body.
- If you are an athlete, a strong upper body is needed in most sports and can help get an edge on your competition. Speed, balance and strength are generated through ones upper body.
- You start to look awesome…and physically fit.
Breakdown Of Key Upper Body Muscle Groups
Although a well toned 6-pack is nice to look at, your abdominal muscles play a far greater role than pure aesthetics. The strength of your abdominal muscles is key in contributing to good posture, balance and play a significant role in many of your day to day activities. Incorporating ab exercises into your daily fitness routine is important, but not completely necessary, as many weightlifting workout routines, when done properly, require your core to contract to stabilize your body and thus get worked out hard. Long story short, don’t neglect your core, it’s vital to your overall health and fitness.
Having a strong upper, middle and lower back is very important, as your back muscles connect most of your other upper body muscle groups together. Along with being a key contributor to great posture, back muscles help us generate power in many sports that require a swinging or throwing motion. Because your back muscles are behind you (obviously), they can be tough to see, and at times can be forgotten about when you are looking at yourself in the mirror. Don’t neglect these large muscles, instead keep them top of mind when performing your upper body workouts.
Do you ever lift your arms? If you answered yes, then you would be the majority of the population who extensively uses their shoulder muscles on a daily basis. Strong shoulders help battle injury which can commonly occur if you have weak shoulders and require using those muscles either in sport or at work.
The pulling and pushing motion of your arms is generated by your biceps and triceps. Along with your shoulders, these 2 muscle groups are constantly being used on a daily basis to lift, push and pull. Our hands and arms are vital in everyday activities, and also help to strengthen other muscle groups. It would be pretty hard to work your back out by doing lat pull-downs with no bicep or tricep muscles. Simple bicep curls and tricep dumbbell extensions are an easy way to start getting these muscles groups into shape.
Last but definitely not least, your chest or pectoral muscles round out one of the last key muscles groups that should be targeted in your upper body workouts. Also helpful for good posture and injury prevention, a strong chest, especially in males, is a tell-tale sign of guys fitness level. The age-old push up and bench press are 2 common exercises that strengthen the pectoral muscles, along with many different machines at the gym these days that target your chest.