Get Stronger: Upper-Body Strength | STACK

Get Stronger: Upper-Body Strength

June 15, 2012

Must See Strength Training Videos

Upper-body strength through the arms, shoulders, back, chest and traps is crucial for athletes. Large muscle groups like the pecs, lats and delts are powerful arm movers, while smaller muscles—such as the four rotator cuff muscles—provide stability to the shoulder.

For the best results, upper-body strength training should incorporate functional multi-joint exercises— such as Bench Presses and Bent-Over Rows—to simultaneously engage multiple muscle groups. Limit isolation exercises like Bicep Curls in favor of more functional movements, like the Dumbbell Bicep Curl and Press.

Balance upper-body training by performing one to two pulling exercises, like Pull-Ups and Inverted Rows, for every pushing exercise.

Athletes should develop their upper-body strength with two or three strength workouts per week, progressing from bodyweight exercises to advanced movements like Olympic Lifts or Kettlebell Swings. TRX straps, physioballs, and resistance bands are effective for developing joint stabilizing muscles; but wait until you’ve built a base level of strength before incorporating such tools. Make sure to vary your exercise choices to continue making progress in the gym.

Start Your Upper-Body Strength Training

Pillar Exercises for Upper-Body Strength
Avoid These Upper-Body Exercises
Tim Tebow’s Upper-Body Power-Building Circuit
Guide to Upper-Body Plyos
No-Nonsense Push-Up Plan for Guaranteed Results

The STACK Guide to Getting Stronger

Part 1: Overview
Part 2: Bodyweight Exercises
Part 3: Strength Workouts
Part 4: Core Strength Training
Part 5: Lower-Body Strength Training

Topics: UPPER BODY
Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

James Harrison's Physioball Side-to-Side Bridge

Wrestling Exercises to Develop a Huge Neck

Hockey Training Designed Specifically for Goalies

Athletes: Avoid These Four Upper-Body Exercises

How Dwight Howard Adds Power to His Dunks and Rebounds

Man Does 4,300 Pull-Ups in One Day

Why Bear Crawls Are All the Rage Right Now

Brandon Roy's Explosive Training

The Upper-Body Endurance Combo Workout

Develop a Bulletproof Core With Advanced Barbell Rollouts

Why One Bench Press Is Not Enough

3 Simple Tips to Deadlift More Weight

Exercise of the Week: Dumbbell Push-Up-to-Row

Boost Your Power With PAP Complexes

4 Workout Variables That Determine Your Results

5 Exercises to Keep Your Shoulders Healthy All Season Long

Why Athletes Need Crawling Exercises

3 Loading Schemes to Build Muscle Size

Improve Your Durability With 3 BOSU Exercises

7 Tips to Master Single-Leg Exercises

Get Tougher With Skylar Diggins' Bodyweight Workout

3 Effective Upper-Body Plyometrics Exercises

Devin Harris' Time-Efficient Circuit Training Routine

Ndamukong Suh's Combine Training

Should You Train for Absolute or Explosive Strength?

Get More Explosive With James Harden's Workout

Kettlebell Swing vs. Olympic Lifting: Which Is Better?

Build Bigger Arms in Two Minutes

3 Tips to Maximize Your Off-Season Baseball Training

Build Hockey Speed and Power with the Hang Clean

5 Exercises to Maximize Your Down Time

The 4 Rules of Bulking Up

The Soccer Weight Training Plan

Get Stronger: Upper-Body Strength

4 Easy Fixes for Your Bench Press Routine

Develop Speed With a Power Bag Workout

Football Players: Train Smart to Build Up Strength

Why You're Not Reaching Your Strength and Speed Potential

How to Get Fit Like a Marine

STACK Summer Training Guide: Football

Build Rock Solid Glutes With This 30-Day Workout Plan

Upper-Back Exercises to Beef Up Your Traps

The 12 Best RDL Variations

4 Strength Exercises for Female Athletes

How Strong Posture Makes You Faster in the Water

Breathing Exercises to Strengthen Your Lifts

3D Triceps Workout: 3 Exercises for Huge Arms

The Softball Dugout Workout

The Hardest Plank of All Time

Do Your First Deadlift

Exercise of the Week: Single-Arm Dumbbell Push Press

Why the Dead Bug Is Changing Core Training

Sumo Deadlift for Football Strength

One-on-One With Brian Deegan

Increasing Speed with USA Swimming

4 Tips to Rebuild Your Body When Your Performance Suffers

Why Proper Exercise Form Is Crucial for Young Athletes

How to Train During Your Hockey Season

Hanley Ramirez's Overhead Tire Pull

3 Upper-Body Exercises That Challenge Your Weaknesses

In-Season Workouts: Get Better Results in Less Time

4-Week Upper-Body, Muscle-Building Workout

Strengthen Your Core With Advanced Plate Push-Outs

Female Athletes: 4 Ways to Test if Your Knees Are Durable

Build Toughness With This Weight Vest Basketball Workout

3 Athletic Arm Exercises for Big Guns

STACK Summer Training Guide: Baseball

3 Ways to Warm Up the Upper Body

Build Upper-Body Muscle With This Two-Day Workout