The ultimate upper body workout for beginners

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Published: November 4, 2019

It seems almost weird to point it out, but upper body workout for beginners is one of the most request workouts by beginners. There is just something in the upper body strength that attracts all those who have turned their life into a healthy and exercise filled lifestyle. And yes, abs workout is still probably the most popular. Come on, who doesn’t want the muscles of the stomach defined? But then again – what is with the allure of the upper body straight? Is it the popularisation in media of big, muscular heroes who could do all kinds of feats with their upper body? Who knows! It might simply be the sheer sense of power.

Today we might not associate philosophers with physical prowess, but one of the founding fathers of philosophy, Socrates, famously said that “No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” And in this, we agree to the fullest! The sheer power you feel, the capability of your own body, is a feeling that should be the right of everyone and denied to none. And all you need is discipline and hard yet highly rewarding work. This is why we compiled these exercises for you!

Healthy lifestyle before everything

Many people focus on exercises to lose belly fat, but there are a lot of other things you can exercise and do before or in conjunction with your upper body workout for beginners of choice. These would be:

Healthy upper body workout for beginners
How to keep healthy?
  • Eat healthily. It is very important to eat healthily while working on your body. Any amount of exercise won’t cut it if you don’t regulate your diet as well. This does not mean you should pair upper body workout for beginners with eating less. On the contrary. With these high energy exercises, you will even have to eat a little bit more! But, it is what you eat that count. Be sure to consult a nutritionist on diet for your particular body type.
  • Have a brake. Yes, exercising regularly is extremely important, but regularly doesn’t mean without a brake. Have days of rest in between. No good will come from overstraining your muscles. Keep the rhythm up and be consistent. But, be realistic as well and kind to yourself. With all of this in mind, it is obvious that self-care is a huge part of healthy living. Therefore, give yourself time for a brake.
  • Workout other parts of your body as well as your upper body. There is no shortage of memes about missing leg day, and they have a point. Be sure to have consistency around your body. If you think a part of your body needs more specialized attention, that is fine, just don’t forget about the others…

With all of this on your mind, we think that you are finally ready to proceed to the next part of this post – the actual exercises!

Five upper body workout for beginners

To simplify things, we narrowed it down to these seven exercises. There are a lot more and we encourage you to do proper research. And most importantly: not all respond to the same exercises in the same way. There are just so many differences in body types… So, if any of the exercises do not work for you, and you are completely sure you are doing it properly, fear not. Just change it up! Consult somebody who also works out regularly, or your trainer (better yet, always consult him).

Incline Overhead Dumbbell Extensions

Looking for ways to stay fit while working from home, why not try the incline with dumbbell extensions? They require equipment, unlike some other exercises, but it can be done. All you have to do is to sit down at an incline with two weights behind your head. It will build your triceps fast!

Incline Dumbbell Curls

These are suitable arm workouts for women and men alike. You are to sit down on the slightly inclined seat and then use weights to lift with both arms. Don’t rush it! Build up straight through slow lifts.


Old but gold. Very simple. You stand bellow a pipe or anything else you can hold on to and pull yourself up.

Not a lot is needed for a pull up – that is a plus!

Be careful not to use legs. You are supposed to start motionless with no inertia from the jump or push of the ground of any kind. All the lift needs to be generated by the arm muscles.

Chest Supported Row

Ideal for those looking for shoulders and the back. As you lay down on the rowing position you will feel the weight pass through your shoulder blades. It is a mighty feeling indeed.

Good old pushups – One of the top upper body workout for beginners

You can’t go wrong with a classic. Push up offers a great way to straighten your stomach, chest, shoulder and (especial) arm muscles. When you do it, be sure to have your back straight and to go as low as you can. As with any exercise, doing it wrong won’t do anything except take your energy away for little to no gain. Better do one push upright than fifteen the wrong way. 

Good old pushups
The good thing about pushups? You can do them anywhere where you can go down to the ground (and have gravity, ISS astronauts and cosmonauts will probably have some problems)

As this is the most common exercise available to anybody, we will not go into detail. All we want to say is that there is also an easier option, where you are on your knees while doing this.

The best upper body workout for beginners – Let’s sum it up

What it comes down to are your body type and dimensions. Be sure that the upper body workout for beginners you picked out is the one most suitable for you! Other than that, keep it up! Have brakes, and have workdays, and never miss those. Be sure to stay hydrated, and good luck!

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