Working out to increase your upper body strength can provide you with a range of different benefits. With a stronger upper body, you will instantly see an improvement in your posture, which can help you to minimise your risk of neck, back and shoulder injuries over time.
You will also see a benefit in your other strength training endeavours when you have a stronger upper body, making lifts such as squats, deadlifts and various core workouts easier than ever before. Lifting weights is also good for your heart health and building more lean muscle has the added benefit of increasing your metabolism, helping you to stay trim.
While going to the gym and lifting weights is a great way to build upper body strength, there are countless other ways that you can increase your upper body strength without ever stepping foot inside a gym or putting your hand on a barbell. Choosing the right activities and practising them regularly will help you to build upper body strength in a functional way. Not only will you become stronger but you will look better, feel great and you will be able to connect with a whole new group of people through your chosen activity. Keep things interesting and pursue multiple activities that build upper body strength and challenge yourself to learn more skills on your quest for a stronger upper body.
Let’s take a look at just a few activities you can try to build upper body strength without weights or need to visit a gym.
Give Archery A Try
Contrary to popular belief archers burn more calories than you might think. In fact, an Olympic archer typically walks around eight kilometres in addition to going through the rigorous process of drawing their bow and taking their shots. Archers also require a strong core as well as strong shoulder, arm and upper back muscles to be able to shoot accurately. Buy yourself an archery set, start practising regularly and you will soon notice your upper body getting stronger and some of those unwanted kilos dropping off.
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Go Rock Climbing
Not only is rock climbing great fun but it is also an incredible workout. Climbers depend on a combination of their leg and upper body strength to hoist themselves up the walls on the attached holds. Pulling and pushing with your arms, shoulders and upper back, as well as constantly engaging your core for support will leave you tired after a few hours of climbing. Rock climbing can be addictive as there is a never-ending progression in the sport. There’s also a passionate community of climbers around the world for you to connect with and share your newfound love of climbing with.
Enrol In A Yoga Class
Yoga has become very popular over the last number of years with countless schools opening, online providers popping up and classes at community halls becoming increasingly commonplace. Yoga provides countless benefits to those who practice regularly. Not only does it help with your flexibility, endurance and mental health but it also is a great way to improve your overall strength. If your goal is to focus on building upper body strength, you can focus on postures that will help you to get the goals you want such as headstand, chaturanga, downward dog and plank.
Go Skateboarding Or Surfing
Skateboarding and surfing have a reputation for being dangerous but the fact is that it is incredibly similar to cycling. You are constantly balancing on one foot while you push the board to maintain speed. Skateboarding, surfing and cycling each have a central core exercise that is best performed with a solid foundation of strength. Skateboarding and surfing also have a significant benefit around your neck, back and shoulders. With consistent practice and care, both surfing and skateboarding can be a great way to build your upper body strength and improve your balance.
Join A Boxing Club
If you want the feeling of a gym but without the flashy treadmills and Zumba classes, keep an eye out for a boxing club near you. Despite what you might think, boxing clubs are incredibly welcoming places and most offer beginner classes that will help you to learn the basics. In addition to improving your boxing skills, you will also increase your upper body strength in the process. Holding up 12-Oz gloves while you are ducking, weaving and punching is no easy task. While it might be difficult in the beginning, with time, you will develop the upper body strength required to move like a pro.
Do Bodyweight Exercises
One of the best things about body exercises is that they can be done just about anywhere and without any equipment. Whether you have an empty garage, a back garden, some space in the living room or a park or beach nearby, you can get in an effective bodyweight workout in as little as thirty minutes. To build upper body strength specifically, you should focus on exercises such as pushups, burpees, toe-taps, plank shoulder-taps, superman’s, tricep dips, incline pushups, and bicycle sit-ups. Look for more exercises online and make sure that you follow the correct form to avoid injury.
Find Thing You Enjoy To Build More Upper-Body Strength
The key to any successful workout is consistency. If you go rock climbing every day or do a bodyweight workout every day, you can be sure that you will see results, especially if you continue to challenge yourself. Even if you pursue an activity for only part of the day, there is still a great benefit to your upper body. However you go about it, make sure that you are consistent with your workout plan and complement it with a healthy, balanced diet plus a solid stretching program.
Choose an activity or a combination of activities from the list above or other activities that target building upper body strength and commit to a weekly schedule. If you choose activities that you enjoy, you will be more likely to stick to your plan and continue progressing toward your strength training goals.