The Best Upper Body Workout: 8 Exercises

Best Upper Body Workout

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8 Exercises: The Best Upper Body Workout

When we think about upper body workouts, two key muscle groups come to mind. Which are the body’s Pushing and Pulling mechanisms, but there are many additional muscle groups that act as a synergist in numerous movements and are often untrained.

Muscle groups such as the erector spinae, rotator cuffs, and others are examples of muscle groups that individuals frequently overlook when working out their upper body. Because the major focus of any upper body workout is on the larger or more aesthetically appealing muscular groups, such as pectorals (chest), latissimus dorsi (back wings), biceps, triceps, and so on.

There is nothing wrong with focusing on certain muscles, but if one wants to grow his or her body as a whole, he or she should constantly work on synergist muscles as well.
Before we go into the names of the exercises and how to do them, let’s go over the intensity of the motions.

So, depending on your training intensity, a beginner should aim for 12-15 repetitions, an intermediate should aim for 8-12 repetitions, and an advanced athlete should aim for 6-8 repetitions.

Dumbbell Chest Presses

Targets muscle groups: Pectoral Major(Chest), Triceps and Anterior Deltoid(Front shoulders)

Lie on a bench with your feet drawn back. Extend your elbows to 90 degrees. Dumbbells should be placed over your chest. Exhale through your mouth, inhale through your nose, and hold your breath before each repetition, and make sure your first and final repetition look precisely the same, following the ‘one rep at a time rule’ for continuous tension and avoiding the use of momentum.

Extend your arms until the dumbbells are in a straight line; do not slam the dumbbells in this position. Return to the starting position after a brief pause. Sets and repetitions might be based on one’s level of intensity.

Best Upper Body Workout

Overhead press

Targets muscle groups: Triceps and Anterior Deltoid(Front shoulders).

One of the greatest upper-body workout exercises and a real Delt’s killer. Place the barbell in a squat rack or cage and grab it slightly outside shoulder width. Remove the bar from the rack and place it at shoulder height, forearms vertical. Brace your abs while squeezing the bar.

As the bar crosses your face, press the bar overhead, forcing your head forward. The breathing method stays unchanged.

Best Upper Body Workout

Incline bench press

Targets muscle groups: Clavicular head of the pectorals(Upper Chest), Triceps and Anterior Deltoid(Front shoulders).

Adjust a bench to a 30 degree angle and lean back on it with a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder level. Then, arch your back, push your feet into the floor, and press the weights into your chest. Check that the dumbbells are travelling in a straight path.

Best Upper Body Workout

Lateral Raises

Targets muscle groups: Medial head of the Deltoid(Middle shoulder). 

Stand or sit with a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Maintain a straight back, brace your core, and then gently lift the weights with an extended arm, making sure your elbows dominate in every single repetition, i.e., your elbows should always move over your wrist with a slight bend.

Best Upper Body Workout

Bentover row

Targets muscle groups: Latissimus dorsi (Wings’ muscles), Posterior Deltoid (Back Shoulders), Biceps

Supine grip the bar (or dumbbells) and lean forward until your torso is parallel to the floor. Row the weight towards your abdominals by squeezing your shoulder blades together.
The breathing method stays the same, and the one rep at a time guideline is followed.

Best Upper Body Workout

Chinup/Pullup/Wide Grip Lat Pull Down.

Targets muscle groups: Latissimus dorsi (Wings’ muscles) & Biceps

With a prone grip, grab the bar slightly wider than shoulder width. Pull yourself up until your clavicle (collar bone) meets the bar, maintaining your core firm. Avoid using momentum to get your chin above the bar. The breathing method stays the same, and the one rep at a time guideline is followed.

Best Upper Body Workout


Targets muscle groups: Trapezius (Traps).

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and dumbbells at your sides. Bend your hips slightly. Now, blast upward and shrug forcefully at the top. Throughout the movement, maintain your arms outstretched or your elbows locked. The breathing method stays the same, and the one rep at a time guideline is followed.

Best Upper Body Workout

Good Mornings

Targets muscle groups: Erector Spinae group, Hamstrings & Glutes

Place your feet hip-width apart. Place a barbell of suitable weight on the spine of your scapula, just above your scapula or shoulder blades. Using the same breathing technique, bend at the hips, moving the hips backward and the upper body forward. When your upper body is nearly parallel to the floor, come to a halt. Return to the starting posture by bringing your hips in and extending your knees to the full lockout.

Best Upper Body Workout

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