24 Exercises To Build An Upper Body Like A Cover Model

Posted by Nigel Jeal | Posted in Articles, Fitness | Posted on 13-02-2013-05-2008

0

  • Tweet
  • Tweet

Whether your goal is a wide V-shape or a cover model chest, these moves are the simplest and most efficient for building the upper body you really want.

1. Overhand Pull-Up

You don’t need complex moves to get big results.  The pull-up is the daddy for building you upper body.  It works your lats, abs, delts, traps and forearms.  It also stimulates growth hormone to maximise your gains.  Perform using a wide, overhand grip.

2. Single-Arm Kettlebell Snatch

Performing a compound move at speed with high resistance will hit large numbers of muscle fibres, so burn calories while building bulk.  The Single-Arm Kettlebell Snatch is the perfect example of this.  The benefit of the single-arm version comes from the asymmetric demands it puts on your body, requiring all your core stabilising muscles to fire.  Bring the kettlebell to your shoulder, flip it back and press it up.  Perform as quickly as possible while maintaining good form.

3. Lean-Away Lateral Raise

The body position that’s created by leaning away in this exercise allows for a greater range of motion through the shoulder.  This results in enhanced development of the deltoid muscle.  Simply hold onto a machine or door frame lean out as far as possible, lifting your inside leg of the ground, and raise a dumbbell with your free hand.  The motion should be smooth, controlled and slow.  Pause at the top, lower and repeat.  Just don’t let go.

4. Cable Lateral Raise

This Schwarzenegger-approved move works your shoulders and lats simultaneously, encouraging a faster rate of muscle growth.  Hold a cable set at its lowest position and smoothly draw it up and across your body.  Keep tension in your abs to control the motion.  Now return slowly, maintaining tension on the cable.

5. Dumbbell Prone Row

This is the move that most fully engages your traps, shoulders and all the muscles that attached to your shoulder blades.  By lying face down on a bench, your torso remains still, this removes your ability to cheat as you tire.  Hold the dumbbells vertically and row them up to your chest. Return and repeat.

6. Bent-Over Dumbbell Row

Bend at the hips and row the dumbbells to your lower torso.  The instability of using dumbbells forces you to use more of your abs and lower back muscles to control the motion.

7. Bent-Over Barbell Row

The Bent-Over Row is second only to the pull-Up for back building.  It will give you thick lats and improve your grip, biceps and lower back strength.  A barbell allows you to lift maximum weight.

8. Canoe Row

With straight arms, pull the bar down and to one side as if padding in a canoe. It’s similar to the Straight-Arm Pull Down (Number 9 below), but it uses more fast-twitching fibres, for explosive strength.

9. Straight-Arm Pull Down

The pull-down is an essential move if you’re working towards that coveted V-shape.  Isolating the lats, it works a huge number of fibres in the teres major – which makes up the bulk of your back.  Pull down the cable fast, and return slowly.

10. Push Press

This gym staple recruits maximum muscle fibres for fast gains.  Hold the bar across your chest, bend your knees then explosively straighten and press the bar.  Return and repeat.

11. Dumbbell Ahrens Press

By pressing up and out you create more tension on the deltoid’s lateral head (running across the front of your shoulder).  This leads to faster muscle growth and works more fibres than a conventional shoulder press.

12. Dumbbell Cuban Press

This hits the delts and works the rotator cuffs in your shoulder to build support muscles, joint stability, size and strength.  Row the dumbbells to your chest, then rotate at the shoulders to bring them beside your head.  Now press.

13. Seated Barbell Military Press

Taking your legs out of the equation lets you concentrate fully on your back and shoulders.  Plus, parking your backside on a bench enables a more explosive movement of the barbell when you press upwards.

14. Barbell Squat And Press

Similar to the Push Press (Number 10 above), squatting allows for extra force and speed, increasing the response from your nervous system and boosting muscle growth.  Dip into a squat, then explode upwards and straight into a press.

15. Bench Press

Mastering the basic bench Press technique is your key to unlocking the most effective chest moves.  Lie with your back on a bench and with a shoulder-width grip lift the bar until your arms lock out.  Now lower and explode it back up to fire your fast-twitch fibres.

16. Incline Barbell Bench Press

This is a common variation of the Bench Press (Number 15 above). You’ll target the often neglected upper portion of your pecs and your upper deltoids are put under stress, too.  Set the bench to an incline and press the barbell vertically, then lower and repeat.

17. Barbell Bench Press With Chains

By simply adding chains or resistance bands, you can multiply your body’s neural activity which stimulates your muscles to develop faster.  The load is lighter at the bottom position and heavier at the top so accelerate as you push up.

18. Dumbbell Bench Press

Using a dumbbell instead of a barbell offers the opportunity to hit different parts of your pecs, essential if you want to develop balanced muscle definition.  Hold the dumbbells beside your chest, then fire them upwards. Lower and repeat.

19. Standard Press-Up

This simple, gym free exercise is ruthlessly effective – it not only works your arms and shoulders, but also your core.  This is one move that gives back exactly what you put in, so press hard and fast and your chest will reward you in kind.

20. Weighted Press-Up

By adding weight on your back you speed up muscle hypertrophy (increase in the size of muscle cells).  Ask a partner to add the plate once you’re in position.  If you’re training on your own, increase the difficulty by exploding upwards and clapping, instead.

21. Elevated-Feet Declined Press-Up

Put your feet up a sofa or box to increase the proportion of your own bodyweight that you have to lift – this will work your muscles harder.  As the angle increases, so does the load, while the focus will also switch to your upper chest and shoulders.

22. Judo Press-Up

This variation works your back and lower pecs.  Raise your hips so your body almost forms an upside-down V.  Lower your front until your chin nears the floor.  Then lower your hips as you raise your head and shoulders towards the ceiling.  Reverse the move.

23. Dumbbell Pec Fly

The Dumbbell Fly uses different muscle contractions to pressing movements.  The effect is to isolate the pecs, which is great if you want to achieve strong central definition.  Ensure you fly as wide as possible, with the weights in line with your ears, to create optimum contraction.  Just watch your balance.

24. Kettlebell Squeeze Press

Lie on a bench with a kettlebell resting on your chest, palms facing each other.  Squeeze the weight as hard as possible and press the kettlebell up.  Now lower it slowly.  This press will create a powerful isometric contraction (ie. when the muscles tense without shortening), which stimulates growth hormone and that means BIG muscle gains.

Dedicated to your success,

–Nigel

###

Have you tried any of these moves? Tell us which ones have given you the best results—let’s get 15 COMMENTS, and we’ll be back soon with another awesome post.

Comments

Write a comment

Click here to cancel reply.