Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises to Build Upper Body Strength

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BWET Top 5It’s Top 5 Day again and this week I’ve got for you the all time top 5 bodyweight exercises to build tremendous upper body strength.  Now, I’m talking strength, not huge creatine saturated “Thundar the Barbarian” cartoon muscles. If you want to look like a moulded plastic action figure, you’re reading the wrong post.  The wrong blog too, but since you’re here anyway, why not see what it’s all about?

Now, on to bigger and better things.  In no particular order, here are the top 5…

Number 5
Push-Ups – In all it’s varied variations from diamonds, to double inverted handstand, the push-up is revered world wide as the best calisthenic for the upper body.  I’m sure even space aliens do them in some variation.

Number 4
Dips – Whether you use a chair, parallel bars, or a park bench, there is no better way to isolate your triceps and still make your core work too.

Number 3
Inverted Rows – Place a bar (broom stick, etc.) between 2 elevated objects (chair, counter, saw horses) and lie on your back underneath it.  Grasp the bar and pull your bodyweight upward.  Reverse your grip and do it some more.  Use this exercise to build your back and shoulders to match your front.

Number 2
Chin-Up – The only way to build and really work the biceps using bodyweight exercises unless you use someone else’s bodyweight.  You could probably curl a small child, but he parents might not appreciate it.

And…  Number 1
Pull-Up – Train your chest, arms, shoulders and back all in one exercise.  Varying your hand position like with the push-up changes the dynamics of the pull-up to work different muscle groups harder than others.  If you can’t do a pull-up, don’t panic.  Most people can’t when they first start.

That’s it.  There’s only 5.  If there were more, we couldn’t call it the top 5.  
If your world has been covered with snow this week, you have a unique opportunity to get some of the best workouts for your core and upper body in the world.  Bundle up and get out there with your shovel and start pitching snow on your neighbor’s doorstep.  He’ll appreciate it.  These exercises are  also great for military guys and gals trying to improve their APFT scores.

One Response to “Top 5 Bodyweight Exercises to Build Upper Body Strength”

  1. Louis says:

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    Nice post! If people learned to master the moves first instead of worrying about benching, curls, and tri pull downs, not only would they gain a lot of real world strength, decent amount of muscle but they would build a solid base for benching and military presses for the long term


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