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Upper-Body Workouts – New Variations on Old Standards

Updated on January 10, 2014

When you boil upper body resistance exercises down to their basics, you come up with just a handful of basic movements. There are pushing exercises, pulling exercises, curls and extensions. You can also figure rotations into the equation, but even if you do there are still only five basic movements that can be subdivided into dozens of different variations. If you’ve been working out for a while, or are formulating a plan to start a new exercise routine, you probably have your set list of favorites that you plan to incorporate. While there is nothing wrong with including the classics in your workout, you can change things up a bit to jump-start some real gains from your upper-body workouts.

Here are a few alternative exercises that you can use as a part of your upper-body workout routine.

Substitute close grip bench presses for standard grip presses. If you change the width of your grip when doing bench presses, you will get better chest development and the variety will keep your workouts challenging too.

Substitute reverse curls for standard curls. If you start to do reverse curls, curls with your palms down, you will put the emphasis on the brachialis muscles in your upper forearms and the outer head of your biceps. The reverse curl is a great exercise that used to be very popular. You’ll understand why the old-timers used to regularly do these curls – they work great! Also, watch video below for learning to do reverse curls.

Do close grip bench press instead of wide grip bench for explosive chest muscle development.
Do close grip bench press instead of wide grip bench for explosive chest muscle development.

Ultimate Upper Body Pull Up Workout, Fitness Program DVD

Add pull-ups to your routine. While pull-ups aren’t very exotic or different, the sad truth is that too many people leave them out of their upper-body workouts. The pull-up is the true test of upper-body strength and putting it in as a regular part of your workout will stimulate strength and upper-body muscle development like you’ve never experienced before. After time, you may need to add weight, but most people can get by with using just their body-weight when doing pull-ups.

Try adding these exercises into your workouts to jump-start some great upper-body gains. You don’t have to do them all the time, but if you feel like you need a little variety or an exercise or two to get past a plateau, these variations will work great. You can take this basic concept of variety and apply it to any kind of exercise. Changing up your grip or angle of attack during an exercise will force your body to work harder to adjust. When your body is shocked by this new variety, real growth and development will soon follow suit.

Written by Bill Jackson of Ultimate Fitness Gear, your top source for the Insanity Workout on the internet.

How to Do Reverse Curls?


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