This Upper-Body Workout Is All You Need to Build Strong Arms and Shoulders
If you want to work your arms, back, and chest at the gym (or at home!), look no further than this six-exercise upper-body workout that'll get you in, out, and feeling strong in no time. This upper-body gym workout is structured in supersets, which just means you'll be alternating between two different exercises that work separate muscle groups. Because the first muscle group gets a break when you're doing the second exercise, you can blast through this workout with minimal rest, which saves time and keeps your heart rate up.
You can do supersets in any workout, but today we're focusing on your upper body. If you want to be able to do push-ups for days or carry shopping bags (and everything else) more easily, you'll need to strengthen your upper body. This upper-body workout is a great start, and it's going to target your chest, triceps, biceps, shoulders, and back. Check out the full workout below, and get ready to work!
— Additional reporting by Maggie Ryan
Upper-Body Strength Warmup and Directions
Equipment needed: You'll need a set of medium-weight dumbbells. Beginners, try five to 10 pounds. Advanced exercisers, go with 10 or 15 pounds. (You can also use this guide to figure out how much weight you should lift.) You'll also need a large-loop resistance band and a place to do pull-ups. (Don't worry: if you don't have one, we'll offer an alternate exercise.)
Directions: Start with a warmup, such as this upper-body warmup. This workout should be completed in supersets, taking little to no rest in between each exercise. For example, in superset one, you'll do a set of dumbbell bench presses immediately followed by a set of band-assisted pull-ups. Take no more than 60 seconds of rest after you complete the superset, then repeat. Once you're done with three sets of both exercises, you'll move on to the next superset. As always, listen to your body and take rest and hydrate as needed.
Upper-Body Strength Workout
Superset 1: Do three sets
- Exercise 1: Dumbbell bench press: 15 reps
- Exercise 2: Banded assisted pull-up: eight reps
Superset 2: Do three sets
- Exercise 1: Overhead shoulder press: 12 reps
- Exercise 2: Single-arm row: 12 reps on each arm
Superset 3: Do three sets
- Exercise 1: Biceps curl: 12 reps
- Exercise 2: Overhead triceps extension: 12 reps
Keep reading for a detailed explanation of how to do each of these exercises.