Not every exercise will help you build mass. Some exercises are better for building mass while others are great for building strength. To help you achieve your goals, you need to plan your workout and do the correct type of exercises. Keep in mind, though, that building muscles and getting a huge upper body doesn’t happen overnight. Depending on how big you want to get, it may take months or years to build a huge upper body.
Below is a list of exercises for a bigger upper body. These exercises won’t require much of your time. In fact, you can achieve a bigger upper body in under 30 minutes a day! Taking this little time out of your day is well worth the results. It’s great for your personal health and body image. Its also a great way to start and energize yourself for the day.
If you want to beef up your back, shoulders, and traps, these are the exercises for you.
Dumbell Bench Press
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Dumbell bench press is a staple in every athlete’s training arsenal. This exercise is great if you’re training alone. You don’t have to bother your fellow gym-goers for the occassional spot. The dumbbells can easily be dropped the moment your arms and chest begin to fail you.
If you want to blast your core and increase your overall shoulder and chest strength, you should spend a lot of time performing the traditional bench press.
- Lie down on a flat bench with your feet flat on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, just to the side of your shoulders. In the starting position, the palms of your hands should be facing towards your feet.
- Once you’re in position, take a deep breath and press the dumbbells to lockout at the top. Hold for a few seconds and then begin coming down slowly.
- Contract the chest and push the dumbbells back to the starting position.
- Repeat the movement for the prescribed amount of repetitions of your training program.
Tip: Ideally, lowering the height should take about twice as long as raising it. Also, breathe in one the descent and breathe out forcefully on the ascent of each repetition.
Incline Barbell Bench Press
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When the bench is set at 15 to 30 degress, you activate your shoulders. This exercise is aimed at developing the upper portion of the pectoral muscles.
- Load the bar to an appropriate weight for your training.
- Lay on an inclined bench with your feet flat on the ground, driving through to your hips. Your back should be arched and your shoulder blades retracted.
- Take a medium, pronated grip covering the rings on the bar. Remove the bar from the rack, holing the weight above your chest with your arms extended. This will be your starting position.
- Lower the bar to the sternum by flexing the elbows. Maintain control and do not bounce off of your chest. Your lats should stay tight and elbows slightly drawn in.
- After touching your torso with the bar, extend the elbows to return the bar to the starting position.
Tip: Do not bounce the bar off of the chest. Lower the bar with control. Also, do not lower the bar to the neck. Instead, bring the bar to the upper part of your chest on the descent.
Dumbbell Shoulder Press
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The dumbbell shoulder press can produce significant growth of the upper chest, triceps, and shoulders. Certain aspects of the anterior, posterior, and overall shoulder region can be highlighted depending on the grips used, angles, and variations of the shoulder press. You can build bolder shoulders with this powerful exercise.
- Hold a dumbbell in each hand and sit on a bench with back support.
- Plant your feet firmly on the floor about hip-width apart.
- Bend your elbows and raise your upper arms to shoulder height so the dumbbells are at ear level.
- Pull your abdominals in so there is a slight cap between the small of your back and the bench.
- Place the back of your hand against the pad.
- Push the dumbbells up and in until the ends of the dumbbells tough lightly, directly over your head, and then lower the dumbbells back to the ear.
Tip: Hold your breath briefly at the bottom to maximize core stability. As you pass the sticking point, then you can exhale. Breathe in on the way down, puffing out the chest and bringing the shoulders up to meet the dumbbells.
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Barbell shrugs are an effective way to build mass in your traps and shoulders. If you want to give an impression of power, then training traps using barbel shrugs is what you want.
- Position the safeties just below waist height in a rack.
- Assume a standing position with the bar in front of your body.
- Hinge forward, inhale, and grab the bar with a double overhand grip.
- Stand up tall and ensure your spine remains neutral.
- Contract the traps to elevate the shoulders. Squeeze hard at the top and slowly lower the bar back to the starting position.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
Tip: Refrain from trying to lift the barbell by using your biceps. Slowly return to the starting position as your breathe in. Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Standing Military Press
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This old-school exercise has been around since the advent of barbells. The military press will whip your upper body into shape in a hurry.
If you want to build a muscular, strong upper body and push your shoulders to their limits, then you want to do the military press.
- Start by placing a barbell that is about chest high on a squat rack. Once you have selected the weights, grab the barbell using pronated grip. Make sure to grip the bar wider than shoulder width apart from each other.
- Slightly bend the knees and place the barbell on your collar bone. Lift the barbell up keeping it lying on your chest. Take a step back and position your feet shoulder width apart from each other.
- Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip length, lift the bar up over your head by locking your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.
- Lower the bar down to the collarbone slowly as you inhale.
- Lift the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale.
- Repeat for the recommended number of repetitions.
Tip: Never go straight into heavy overhead presses. The ball and socket joint of the shoulder and the muscles that surround it are easy to injure. This is one of the quickest ways to do that.