Strength Training – Upper Body

These posts have been a long time coming, so firstly thank you for being patient, and I hope it was worth the wait! A question I get asked fairly regularly on Instagram is what I do when I head to the gym for my weekly gym sessions. First up – Upper Body!

Something you may not know about me, is that I am a qualified Personal Trainer & Fitness instructor, so if you do have any questions please drop me a message and I will be happy to help! I have tried to explain the exercises as best I can, and I hope the photos help, but if you are not sure then head over to YouTube and check out some videos (this is what I used to do!)

UPPER BODY  –  1 x week

CHEST PRESS

4 SETS

10 x REPS

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Don’t worry about going heavy to start with, if you are new to strength training I recommend a 10kg barbell. This exercise can also be done with dumbbells.

  • Fully extend your arms, but don’t lock out your elbows
  • Try and keep your back flat to the bench, and feet flat on the floor
  • Don’t rush the exercise, use slow controlled movements

INCLINE CHEST PRESS

4 SETS

10 x REPS

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

Set the bench to an incline position and switch to dumbbells. Again, don’t worry about going heavy. Start with a low weight, its always best to have to go heavier than struggle and drop weight!

  • Fully extend your arms, but don’t lock out your elbows
  • Try and keep your back flat to the bench, and feet flat on the floor
  • Don’t rush the exercise, use slow controlled movements

BENCH ROW 

4 SETS

10 x REPS (each side)

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

With strength training, getting the exercise correct is more important than the weight. So don’t be tempted to go straight to the heavier weights. Make sure you keep your back straight & try not to twist your hips and shoulders when lifting the weight.

  • Fully extend your arms, but don’t lock out your elbows
  • Try and keep your back flat and feet flat on the floor
  • Don’t rush the exercise, use slow controlled movements. I tend to count 1-2-3 when lowering and lifting the weight.

BENT OVER ROW/UPRIGHT ROW – SUPERSET*

4 SETS

10 x REPS of BOTH EXERCISES – *No rest inbetween

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

BENT OVER ROWS

  • Use an overhand grip on the bar
  • Try to keep your chest upright & back straight
  • Keep elbows tucked in

UPRIGHT ROW

  • Use an overhand grip on the bar. Bring your hands closer together so that your thumbs are almost touching
  • Stand up straight and look forward (rather than looking at the floor!)
  • Keep elbows nice and high!

FRONTAL RAISES/SIDE RAISES – SUPERSET*

4 SETS

10 x REPS of BOTH EXERCISES – *No rest inbetween

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • These exercises are a lot tougher than they look! I tend to drop my weight to around 4kg for this routine.
  • Have a nice neutral stance – a slight bend in the knee & a nice straight back!
  • Keep the exercise controlled. Again I use the 1-2-3 method.

TRX ROWS/PUSH UPS – SUPERSET*

3 SETS

10 x REPS of BOTH EXERCISES – *No rest inbetween

1 MINUTE REST BETWEEN SETS

  • Again, technique is key here! Try and keep a nice straight back throughout the entire exercise, and keep your feet flat on the floor.
  • Use the 1-2-3 method to ensure the movement is controlled.
  • Do not go all the way back down the floor until you have completed the set.
  • Push ups are my nemesis! I am not being dramatic when I say it has taken me YEARS to be able to complete them, and they are still not perfect!
  • For beginners, complete on your knees, but still ensure that your back is straight. Imagine that you are trying to push your belly button to your back.
  • Don’t be disheartened if you find these tough, even if you can only complete one, the more you do it, the stronger you will get!

PULL UPS

AS MANY AS YOU CAN DO!

I have added these in, as this is something I have recently added to my routine. These are HARD and currently I can only manage 1 or 2 full pull ups before my arms give up on me!

But, without practice.. how do we improve?! So my challenge to you is to try at least one at the end of your session. Most gyms are also equipped with Pull Up Assistance machines, and if you are unsure how to use one, then a Gym Instructor should be able to help you.

I am still learning myself, so if anyone has any tips for these – then please let me know!

I tend to do my strength sessions in the morning before work, so I’m on a tight schedule! This routine will take around 45 minutes to complete, so there is no need to spend hours in the gym – and make sure you save some time for stretching too!

Enjoy!

Jordan xx

5 thoughts on “Strength Training – Upper Body

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s