Beginner Upper Body Workout (An Ultimate Guide)

If you have just decided to get fit, you’ll need a proper guide that contains exercises for each body part. That’s why I’ve created an ultimate beginner upper body workout guide that can help you become stronger, healthier, and fitter.

This guide includes beginner workouts for each upper body muscle group, such as chest, triceps, shoulders, back, biceps, wrist, and core. Moreover, I’ve also included a weekly beginner upper body workout plan.

I’ve mixed different types of exercises such as body weight, free weights, and resistance machines.

Some of the exercises you can do at home without any equipment; some of them you can do with dumbbells and barbells and some need machines.

So, whether you want to build strength, gain muscles or improve overall body composition, you can do these upper body beginners workouts.

This upper body workout program is for those beginners who exercise at the gym.

Okay, let’s take a look at the beginner upper body workout starting from the chest, triceps, and shoulders to back, biceps, wrist, and core. So let’s find out.

BEGINNER UPPER BODY WORKOUT – CHEST

In this guide to upper body beginner workout; I’ve included the 5 best chest workouts that help you build a stronger and bigger chest.

1. Push-Ups

Push-up is one of the effective upper body workouts for beginners. It targets many muscles at a time, such as arms, shoulder, back, core, and especially the chest.

exercises to build upper body strength for beginners
exercises to build upper body strength for beginners

When I was a beginner, I loved to do push-ups. I used to do standard push-ups and diamond push-ups usually. I did it for a couple of months at home before I started lifting weights.

Push-ups helped me develop my strength and muscles which helped me during the weight training.

So, it always a good idea to start the exercise with your own body weight If you’re a beginner. And push-ups are adaptable, efficient, and effective. You can do it anywhere and anytime because they don’t require any equipment or much space.

How to do knee push up for beginners:

  1. Sitting on your knees, extend your arms in front of you and place your hands on the floor just underneath your shoulder. Try to keep your hands shoulder-width apart. That’s the start.
  2. Brace your abdominal muscles, and keeping your back as flat as possible, bend your elbows to lower your chest until it is few inches above the floor.
  3. Pause for a moment and then pressing into the floor, return to the start. That’s your one repetition.
  4. Do as many push up as you can, depending on your fitness level.

If you can do this movement easily, try to perform regular push-ups on your toes, instead of knees.

Recommended: Knee push-ups for beginners (with Video)

2. Smith Machine Bench Press

beginner upper body workout
smith machine flat bench press

The smith machine bench press is safe and effective for a beginner because it helps you control your unnecessary movement.

The smith machine bench press reduces the risk of injuries caused by imbalance and helps you target the chest perfectly.

If you do the free-weight bench press in the beginning, you’ll find it difficult to perform smoothly.

The bench press has different forms, such as flat bench press, incline bench press, and decline bench press.

The flat bench press works on the entire chest, while the incline mostly works on the upper chest, and decline activates the lower chest muscles.

The flat and incline bench press is usually performed by a plethora of fitness enthusiasts. However, if your chest is slightly spread downward, you can do decline bench press twice a month.

Also Read: The 6 Best Dumbbell Exercises For Lower Chest

Bench press also has different grip variations such as wide grip, short grip, and medium grip. And if you’re a beginner, you can grip the bar two times wider than your hip-width.

So, during the initial time, the smith machine bench press will be your primary chest exercise. You can use 10 to 20 pounds to start bench pressing and once you gain strength, you can switch to a free weights bench press.

Here we take a look at how to do the Smith Machine Flat Bench Press:

  1. Place a flat bench under the smith machine, set the bar in the rack according to your comfort, and put the desired weight.
  2. Lay down on the bench on your back, grab the bar with an underhand grip with your elbows bend and palms are facing upward.
  3. Keep your feet flat on the ground. That’s the starting position.
  4. Brace your core, inhale and slowly press the bar upward until your arms are fully straight.
  5. Hold there for a moment then return to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  6. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each.

More about Bench press

According to an article published by Strength & Conditioning Research, the bench press is the main workout in strength and conditioning programs that improve power, force, and strength. It works on several muscles at once such as the chest, deltoids, upper traps, and triceps.

3. Incline Machine Chest Press

upper body workout for beginners
upper body workout for beginners

The incline machine chest press is designed to work on your chest, shoulders, and triceps, especially the upper chest.

Incline machine chest press is good for beginners because it is safe and helps beginners to perform with ease.

Incline machine chest press develops strength, stability and helps you build a muscular chest.

Here we take a look at the steps to do Incline Machine Chest Press:

  1. Adjust the bench according to your height, sit on your back, and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Hold the handle firmly, keep your wrist straight and core tight. That’s the start.
  3. Inhale and press the weight in front of you until your arms fully extended
  4. Hold for a moment at the top, and then slowly lower the weight to the start. That’s one rep!
  5. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each.
  6. Squeeze your chest muscles while pressing the weights.

Other than incline machine press, you can do more than ten exercises for your upper chest.

4. Machine Fly

upper body workout beginner
Chest fly machine

The machine fly activates the muscles of your chest and helps you target more specifically.

This is one of the simple and effective upper body workouts for beginners. Many professional bodybuilders also use pec deck machine fly for increasing chest strength and muscle mass.

Here’s how to Butterfly/chest fly machine

  1. Adjust the bench according to your height, Sit on your straight back and keep your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Hold the handle firmly and press the weight together in front of your chest.
  3. Hold for a moment there and then slowly return your arms back to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  4. Do the three sets with 8-10 reps each set.
  5. Squeeze your pecs muscles while pressing the weights.

If you do calisthenics you’ll also like the best calisthenics chest workout.

5. Dumbbell Squeeze Press

When it comes to building chest muscle, you can’t skip dumbbell exercises. There are several exercises you can do to build your chest with dumbbells, such as DB bench presses, dumbbell flyes, and dumbbell pull-over.

But, I suggest you do the squeeze press with the above chest exercises. Because it works slightly different than the rest exercises I’ve included in this.

How to do DB squeeze press

  1. Holding one dumbbell in each hand, lay down on a flat bench on your back with your feet flat on the floor.
  2. Keep your arms just over your chest with your elbows slightly bend and palms facing each other.
  3. Squeezing your chest, raise your arms straight over your pecs.
  4. Pause for a couple of seconds then slowly lower the dumbbell to the start. That’s one rep!
  5. The suggested repetitions: 3 sets of 6-8 reps each.

Okay, so if you want to work out the only chest in one session, you can follow the below routine.

  • Push ups: 10 Reps x 2 Sets
  • Smith Machine Bench Press: 8-10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Incline Machine Chest Fly: 8-10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Machine Fly: 8-10 Reps x 3 Sets
  • Dumbbell Squeeze Press: 6-8 Reps x 3 Sets

If you’re someone who is trying to lose chest fat, check out 3 Quick Ways.


BEGINNER UPPER BODY EXERCISES- TRICEPS

In this beginners guide to the upper body workouts, I‘ve included the top 5 exercises for triceps that will help you build stronger arms and bigger triceps.

All these five workouts are effective and safe for beginners. Let’s see how to do each with step-by-step instructions

1. Diamond Push-ups

 upper body beginner workout
beginner upper body workout no equipment (Source: Giphy)

Diamond push-up is an effective bodyweight workout for triceps that elicited higher activation in three heads of triceps, research published by the American Council of Exercise (ACE) showed.

You can do diamond or triangle push up anywhere and anytime you want.

Diamond push-ups helped me strengthen my arms and increase my triceps muscles.

Here are the steps to do a diamond push-up

  1. Get into a high-up position and keep your hands together in a triangle shape. Your arms must be straight underneath your chest. That’s the start.
  2. Keeping your core tight, lower your chest close toward the floor and then press into the floor to return to the start.
  3. Do the three sets with 8-10 reps each set

If you start calisthenics exercise and build your upper body, you can check out calisthenics beginner push workout.


2. Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension

upper body workouts for beginners
upper body workouts for beginners (Source: Giphy)

The dumbbell overhead Tricep extension is good for beginners because it’s easy and effective.

It targets the long head of the biceps as well as some parts of the deltoids.

How to do the Overhead Triceps Extension with dumbbells

  1. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in your hand behind your head. That’s the starting position.
  2. Tighten our arms and raise the dumbbell toward the ceiling until your arms are fully extended.
  3. Hold for a second on the top and then lower the dumbbell back to the start. That’s one rep.
  4. Do the three sets with 8-10 reps each.
  5. Your focus should be on your triceps while raising the dumbbell.

If you’re a beginner who exercises at home with limited equipment like dumbells, you can check out the best dumbbell triceps workouts.


3. Cable Pushdown

The cable pushdown is an effective triceps workout that can help you build toned arms.

It has different variations such as straight cable extension; reverse cable extension, cable extension with rope; overhead triceps cable extension, and reverse overhead Tricep extension.

Tricep isometric Exercises and its benefits
Cable Rope Pushdown

You can do whichever suits you the most or you can try all of them on different days.

How to do cable rope extension

  1. Anchor the rope to a higher section.
  2. Set the weight according to your strength.
  3. Stand in the staggered position with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  4. Grab the rope and slightly lean forward. That’s the start.
  5. Push the rope down until your elbows are fully extend.
  6. Pause for a moment and then return the rope to the start.
  7. You must feel the contraction in your triceps during push movement.
  8. Do the three sets with 8-10 reps each.
  9. Try using arms power only and not move other’s body part during the exercise.

If you focus more on the contraction, you should isometric triceps exercises. Isometric exercises are a slow but effective way to increase strength.


4. Triceps Kickback

beginners upper body workout
beginners upper body workout (Source: Giphy)

Tricep kickbacks are also very effective for the triceps and also targets the rear deltoids. Dumbbell triceps kickback allows you a full range of motion so that you can target the triceps deeply.

Here are the steps to perform Kickback:

  1. Stand straight hip-width apart holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides.
  2. Lean forward, push your hips back. That’s the starting position.
  3. Keep your arms out to the sides. Bend your elbows and raise the dumbbells back in an arc motion until your arms being fully extended.
  4. Hold for a second and return to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  5. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each.

5. Chair Dips

Parallel bar dips are one of the most effective bodyweight exercises for arms but can be difficult for you if you’re a beginner. However, you can do chair dips at home that also work effectively on the triceps.

How To Dips Workout At Home (8 Exercises)
bodyweigt beginner upper body workout

The chair dips increase strength, tone triceps muscles, and help you build stronger arms.

How to do chair dips

  1. Sit on the chair with your arms are straight at your sides.
  2. Lift your butt off the chair and slightly move your torso forward while keeping your arms straight on the chair.
  3. Spread your legs in front of you, heels touching the ground, and toes pointing toward the ceiling. Keep your legs together and straight. That’s your start.
  4. Take breath, bend your elbows and lower your butt toward the floor, as low as you can.
  5. Exhale and then press your arms on chair until your elbows are fully extended. That is your one repetition.
  6. Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions each.

Beginner’s Tricep Workout Routine

  • Diamond Push up : 10 reps x 2 sets
  • DB Overhead Extension: 10 reps x 2 Sets
  • Cable Pushdown: 10 reps x  3 sets
  • Dumbbell Kickback: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Chair Dips: 12 reps x 3 sets

You can also incorporate resistance band tricep exercises in your routine for extra variations.


UPPER BODY WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS – SHOULDER

In this upper body beginner workout guide; I‘ve included 6 important shoulder workouts that work on every muscle of the shoulder.

Exercises are smith machine overhead press; front raise; side or lateral raise; rear delt raise; upright row and shrugs.

1. smith machine overhead press (One of the Best Upper Body Beginner Workout)

The Smith Machine allows you to perform the overhead press safely and efficiently. It controls unnecessary movements and provides good balance; so that you can work on your shoulder with focus and effort.

It has two variations, such as front overhead press and rear overhead press.

The front one is more effective and safer than the rear one.

How to do front overhead press overhead press

beginner upper body exercises
  1. Set the bar to an appropriate height and put the desired weight.
  2. Sit on a bench with back support just under the bar.
  3. Grab the bar with an underhand grip with your hands shoulder-width apart.
  4. Press the barbell over your head until your arms are fully straight.
  5. Hold for a second at the top and then return to the beginning position. That’s one rep!
  6. Perform three sets of 8-10 reps each.

2. Dumbbell Front Raise

The shoulder has three different parts, front deltoid, lateral deltoid, and rear deltoid. And when you train your shoulders, you must work on each muscle for building a stronger shoulder.

The dumbbell front raise will help you target your front deltoid and makes your shoulder firm.

upper body exercises for beginners
upper body beginner workout (front lateral raise)

Let’s take a look at the steps to do Alternate Dumbbell Front Raise

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a pair of dumbbells in your hand, palms facing your thigh. Your arms should be extended in front of your thigh.
  2. Raise your one arm in front of you until your arm is parallel to the floor.
  3. Hold for a moment at the top and then return to the initial position.
  4. And repeat with another arm to complete one rep!
  5. Keep your back straight and chest up during the movement.
  6. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each.

Those of you who work out with dumbells can check out the best dumbbell shoulder exercises.

3. Side or Lateral Dumbbell Raises

The dumbbell lateral raise works middle or side deltoid and helps you develop sizeable shoulders.

How to do lateral raise:

upper body dumbbell workout for beginners
upper body dumbbell workout for beginners
  1. Stand straight in the shoulder width stance, holding one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms are facing inward.
  3. Raise the dumbbells out to the sides until your arms are in line with shoulder.
  4. Pause for at the top and then return to the start. That’s one rep!
  5. You can also perform seated dumbbell Side lateral raise in the same way.
  6. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps each with 2-3 minutes gap between every set.

4. Incline Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly

The incline dumbbell rear delt fly works on your posterior deltoid and helps you improve your shoulder posture and gives your shoulder a complete definition.

How to do Incline DB Rear Delt Fly

beginner upper body dumbbell workout
  1. Lie in a prone position on a 45-degree incline bench with your chest lies on the top of the bench and neck just above the bench.
  2. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with a neutral grip.
  3. Keep your arms straight underneath your shoulders with your palms are facing inwards. That’s your starting position.
  4. Lift the dumbbells out to the sides (maintaining a slight bend in your elbows) until you feel the contraction in your rear delt and upper trap.
  5. Hold for a second at the top and then return to the start. This is your one repetition.
  6. Complete 3 sets of 10 reps each with 2-3 minutes gap between every set.

When the rear delt fly machine is available in your gym, you can also do it. See how to do rear delt machine fly.

Also check out: 7 Dumbbell Rear Delt Exercises

5. Smith Machine Upright Row

beginner upper body workout at gym
Upright Row (beginner upper body workout at gym)

The smith machine upright row helps you target the muscle of your rear shoulder, such as the posterior delt and upper trap.

The upright row increases shoulder strength and helps you build muscles.

How to Smith machine Upright Row

  1. Set the bar to an appropriate height and put the desired weight.
  2. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  3. Grab the bar with an overhand grip. Your hands should be slightly shorter than shoulder-width apart.
  4. Pull the bar upright until it reaches the upper chest. When you reach the top, your elbows will be flare out at your sides.
  5. Hold for a second at the top and then return to the beginning position. That’s one rep!
  6. Do three sets of 10 reps each with 2-3 minutes rest between each set.

6. Shoulder Shrug

The Shoulder shrug targets the upper trap which is located on either side of the neck.

The upper traps make your shoulder look stronger and improve upper body postures as well as the bigger upper trap help you look taller.

How to Shoulder Shrug

Dumbbell exercises for shoulders
Gif: Tenor
  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides with your palms are facing your body.
  3. Shrugs your shoulder blades without bending your elbows.
  4. Pause for a couple of seconds at the top and then relax your shoulder to lower the weight.
  5. Keep your back straight and chest up during the movement.
  6. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each.

Shoulder Workout Routine

  • Machine Overhead Press: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Dumbbell Front Raise: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • DB Lateral Raise: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • DB Rear Delt Fly: 10 reps x 2 sets
  • Upright Row: 10 reps x 2 sets
  • Dumbbell Shrugs: 10 reps x 3 sets

Once you gain strength, you’ll also be able to bodyweight shoulder exercises. So when you away from home or don’t have time for the gym, you can do the bodyweight shoulder workout.

If you want to know which exercises engaged and activate more muscles, check out analysis done by the American Council of Exercise (ACE)


UPPER BODY BEGINNER WORKOUT FOR BICEPS

Biceps exercises for beginners include barbell curl, one-arm dumbbell curl, cable curl, preacher curl, concentration curls, etc.

The growth of the biceps muscles fully depends on the lifting weights. The more weight you’ll use the more muscles grow and the faster you’ll get the huge biceps.

But, you must always avoid ego lifting because it leads to form and increases the risk of injuries

Let’s take a look at the 6 best biceps exercises for you that will increase your biceps strength and muscles mass.

1. Barbell Curl

The barbell curl is one of the effective workouts for biceps growth.

Studies suggest doing barbell curl increases muscle strength, promotes muscles growth, and develops stronger arms.

The barbell curl is also better than the dumbbell curl in terms of muscle activation, strength, and hypertrophy.

beginner upper body workout gym (barbell curl)
beginner upper body workout gym (barbell curl)

You can do barbell curl with both the straight bar and the EZ bar, both are effective. You can perform a couple of sets with each of them.

How to do barbell curl

  1. Put a desired weight into the barbell, and grab firmly with an underhand grip with your hands are shoulder-width apart.
  2. Stand upright in the hip-width stance, and keep your arms straight in front of your leg. That’s your starting position.
  3. Keeping your core tight, back straight and elbows tucked at your sides, lift the bar up toward your shoulders until your biceps contracted.
  4. Pause for a second, and then slowly lower the bar back to the start. That’s one repetition.
  5. Inhale before lift the bar and exhale when you reach the top.
  6. Suggested repetitions: 6-8 reps x sets.

2. Concentration Curl

The Concentration Curl is one of the best workouts for building the bigger biceps faster.
Bicep Concentration Curl

The concentration curl is one of the best upper body workouts for beginners that will help in growing biceps muscles faster.

An article published on Acefitness.org revealed that the Concentration curl provides more muscle activation of the biceps than any other biceps curls exercise.

It helps you focus more on biceps and builds biceps very quickly.

Here are the steps to do the concentration curls:

  1. Sit on the corner of the bench, holding a dumbbell in your right hand. Place your feet flat on the ground.
  2. Slightly bend yourself and place your backside of elbows on the inner part of the thigh.
  3. Curl the dumbbell until they reach your shoulder level without removing your elbow from your thigh.
  4. Pause for a second at the top and then returns your arms to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  5. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each. Complete sets with your both arms.
  6. Squeeze your biceps muscles while curling the dumbbell.

If you enjoy dumbbell exercises, you can do the best dumbbell biceps exercise at home.


3. Alternating Biceps Curls

the alternating bicep curls are the most effective way to target the biceps muscles.
alternate bicep curls

The alternating bicep curls are the most effective exercise that promotes biceps growth after the concentration curl.

It allows you to target one arm at a time so that you can focus and put more tension more on the bicep head.

It is one of my favorites exercise because I used to do this every alternate day at the end of my training session.

How to do Alternate Biceps Curls

  1. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells with a neutral grip.
  2. Your arms should be extended at your sides with your palms facing inward. That’s the starting position.
  3. Curl the dumbbell of one arm until it reached shoulder level of the same hand; slightly rotate your wrist as you curl toward your shoulder so your palm is facing your body.
  4. Hold for a second and then return to the starting position. Follow the same process with your other hand. That’s one rep!
  5. Suggested reps and sets: 10 x 3. Complete sets with your both arms.
  6. Make sure you fully contract your biceps muscles while curling the dumbbell.

Other than dumbbells, incorporating isometric bicep exercises can help you increase strength.

4. Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl

The Incline dumbbell bicep curl provides your inner biceps with a stronger stretch. It is more effective than hammer curls or preacher curls. Incline bicep curl also activates shoulder muscles. On the biceps day, this one must not be missed.

here are the steps to do a one-arm Incline biceps curl

  1. Lay down on an incline bench on your back holding a pair of dumbbells at your sides. Hang your arms below at your sides, slightly bend your elbows and tighten your arms. That’s the starting position.
  2. Start curling the dumbbells until they reached your shoulder level.
  3. Hold for a second and return to the initial position. That’s one rep!
  4. Do the three sets with 8-10 reps each set. Complete sets with your both arms.
  5. Squeeze your biceps muscles while curling the dumbbell.

5. Single-arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl

The single-arm dumbbell preacher curl is a good way to focus on the bicep muscle specifically.
Single-arm preacher curl

The single-arm dumbbell preacher curl is a good way to focus on the bicep muscle specifically. The pad under your arms helps you lift more weight. It provides balance and allows to curl the dumbbell more precisely.

How to Single-arm preacher curl

  1. Sit on the preacher bench, place your feet flat on the ground; grab a dumbbell in one hand and keep your other hand behind you.
  2. Slightly lean forward toward the bench and place the back of the arm against the pad. keep your arm extended. That’s the starting position.
  3. Curl the dumbbells until they reach your shoulder level.
  4. Hold for a second and lower the dumbbell back to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  5. Do the three sets with 8-10 reps each set. Complete sets with your both arms.
  6. Squeeze your biceps muscles while curling the dumbbell.

6. Cable Curl

Biceps cable curling allows greater muscle activation than the other exercises, such as preacher curl, hammer curl, crossover curl, etc.

The cable curl not only effective but also safe for beginners as the cable is attached to machines that provide better movement and prevent muscles imbalance.

How to do Cable Curl

  1. Attach the bar to the lowest section of the machine.
  2. Set the weight plate depending on your strength.
  3. Grab the bar firmly with an underhand grip, hands hip-width apart.
  4. Slightly lean your torso backward and keep your elbows tucked at your sides. That’s the start.
  5. Curl your arms toward the shoulder until you feel the contraction in your biceps.
  6. Pause for a moment and then return to the start. This is your one repetition.
  7. Recommended: three sets of 8-10 reps each.
  8. Make sure your elbows not moving backward during the entire movement

You can follow this biceps workout routine if you train one muscle at a time

  • Barbell Curl: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Concentration Curl: 8 reps x 3 sets
  • Incline Dumbbell Curl: 8 reps x 3 sets
  • Preacher Curl: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Cable Curl: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Alternate Twist Curl: 8 reps x 2 sets

When you want to train your biceps at home, you can try some of the useful resistance band bicep exercises to improve your arms strength.


BEGINNER UPPER BODY WORKOUT – BACK

Beginner back workouts include pull-ups, lat pull-down, dumbbell rowing, cable rowing, bent over, etc.

Pull-ups are great but some beginners may find it difficult to perform and for overweight people, push-ups seem impossible. That’s why I haven’t been included in this program. However, if you can do pull up, you must do that.

In this guide of beginner upper body workout; I‘ve included the top 5 back exercises that help you build a wider and aesthetic back.

1. Lat Pulldown

beginner upper body workout gym
medium grip pulldown

The lat pulldown is one of the important workouts for back development. And it helps you build a wider and stronger back.

The pull-down has several variations, such as wide grip pull down, short grip pulldown, medium grip pulldown, rear pulldown, and front full down.

As a beginner, you can start with a medium grip lat pull down.

How to medium grip front pull down

  1. Sit on a bench under the bar.
  2. Grab the handles with an overhand grip, wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Slightly lean backward and keep your chest up, that’s the start.
  4. Pull the bar down until it reaches chest level. Hold there for a moment then return to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  5. Keep your chest up when you pull the bar. Do it smoothly.
  6. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each, with a couple of minutes rest between each set.

You may also like: Top 7 Back Workout For Mass Gain

2. Dumbbell Rowing

The dumbbell rowing allows you a full range of motion so that you can target the muscles of the back deeply.
dumbbell rowing

The dumbbell rowing helps you target lats and allows a full range of motion so you can target the muscles of your back more specifically.

Here’s how to dumbbell rowing

  1. Grab a dumbbell in your right hand with a neutral grip.
  2. Place your left knee and left hand on a flat bench and the right feet flat on the floor.
  3. Keep your right arm straight below your shoulder and brace your abdominal muscles. That’s the starting position.
  4. Pull the dumbbell at your side until your hand reach to your stomach height.
  5. Hold for a couple of seconds and then slowly lower the dumbbells to the start. That’s one rep!
  6. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each, with a couple of minutes rest between every set.

You can focus your lats more specifically with these top 5 Dumbbell Workouts For Lats.

3. Seated Cable Rowing ((Important Beginner Upper Body Workout)

upper body workout for beginners - Cable rowing
upper body workout for beginners – Cable rowing

Cable rowing is one of the best exercises as it engages many muscles at once. This not only develops stronger traps and lats but also works on your shoulder, chest, and arms at the same time.

The cable rowing also increases the pulling strength that helps you when you need to pull something.

Cable rowing helps you develop a v-shape back and improve postures.

Steps to perform the seated cable rowing

  1. Set your desired weight on the weight stack and attach the D-handle to the seated row machine.
  2. Grab the handle with a neutral grip and keep arms fully extended, palms facing each other.
  3. Keep your back straight and legs slightly bent, your feet on the pad if available. That’s starting position.
  4. Now pull the weight toward you until it reaches your abs.
  5. Hold there for a moment and then return to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  6. Do the three sets of 8-10 reps each.

Those of you who feel you’re not ready yet to do weighted exercises can try 15 bodyweight back exercises at home for improving posture.

4. Barbell Bent Over

upper body workout beginner - bent-over
upper body workout beginner – bent-over

The barbell bent-over is the most versatile workout that targets several muscles at once. It targets traps, lats, delts, and arms. It is one of the best workouts for upper body development for beginners.

How to do barbell bent over

  1. Stand in the shoulder-width stance holding a barbell with an overhand grip.
  2. Your hands should be about a few inches wider than shoulder-width apart.
  3. Slightly bend your knees, push your hips back and lean forward. And keeping your arms straight, hold the bar underneath your chest.
  4. Raise the bar upward until it comes close to your abs.
  5. Pause for a sec at the top and then lower the bar back to the starting position. That’s one rep!
  6. Complete three sets of 8-10 reps each.
  7. Keep your back straight and chest up during the entire movement.

When you don’t feel like going to the gym but still want to exercise, you can try dumbbell back exercise at home. And if you don’t have dumbbells, you can do bodyweight exercises.

5. Deadlift

The deadlift is regarded as the king of exercise because it works the entire body especially the legs and back.

The deadlift will help you increase strength, build muscles, improve posture and body composition. There are several more benefits of deadlifts that can influence you to lift.

Deadlift
Deadlift

The deadlift has several variations, such as the conventional deadlift, sumo deadlift, hex bar deadlift, and the Romanian deadlift.

Use a waist belt when you do a deadlift, as it can protect your back.

For targeting your back muscles, you can do the conventional deadlift. If you work out at home with dumbbells, you can incorporate dumbbell deadlifts into your routine.

How to do deadlift:

  1. Place a bar on the floor and put the desired weight.
  2. Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart and shin close to the bar.
  3. Push your hips back and bend your knees just enough to reach and grab the bar.
  4. Hold the bar firmly with your hands with an alternate grip. And make sure the width between your hands is adjusted, so that the arms stay just outside the knees.
  5. Inhale, brace your abdominal muscles, and pushing through your legs, lift the bar with your full strength.
  6. Make sure your lats are engaged when you lift.
  7. Keeping your spine in a neutral position, raise your hips and shoulders at the same time and range.
  8. Perform as many reps and sets as you can.

Back Workout Routine

  • Deadlift: As many reps as possible
  • Front Lat Pull down: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Barbell Bent Over Row: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Cable Rowing: 10 reps x 3 sets
  • Dumbbell Rowing: 10 reps x 3 sets

If you want to strengthen your lower back, you can check out dumbbell lower Back exercises.

You may also like: The Best Calisthenics Back Workout


Upper Body Beginner Workout- Wrist and Forearms

Wrist and forearms are usually engaged during the biceps and back exercises. But if you train your wrist specifically, it will improve your grip strength, help you lift more when you do a biceps curl, and protect you from injuries.

You can do a couple of exercises to strengthen your wrist, such as palms upward curl and the downward curl.

Palms up Wrist Curl

  1. Grab one dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip.
  2. Sit on your knees on the floor and place your forearms on the edge of the bench with your palms are facing up.
  3. Adjust your arms so your wrists are hanging over the edge of the bench. That’s your starting position.
  4. Engaging your forearms, curl your wrist up and down.
  5. Keep your arms still when you twist your wrist.
  6. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

Palms down Wrist Curl

  1. Hold one dumbbell in each hand with an underhand grip and sit on your knees on the floor.
  2. Place your forearms on the edge of the bench with your palms are facing down.
  3. Adjust your arms so your wrists are hanging over the edge of the bench. That’s the start.
  4. Engaging your forearms, curl your wrist down and up.
  5. Make sure you feel the contraction in your wrist.
  6. Do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each.

If you want to do more variations of wrist curls, you can check out dumbbell wrist curls exercises.


UPPER BODY WORKOUT FOR BEGINNERS – cORE

Core strength is also very important for upper body development. Because the core is the middle part of the body and allows us to perform many tasks such as lifting, pulling, pushing the heavy stuff.

That’s why I’ve included some exercises in this guide of beginner upper body exercises that help you strengthen your core.

1. Plank (Importan Upper Body Workout for Beginners)

The Plank has different types such as the forearm planks, side planks, knee to elbow plank, low plank arm reach, etc.

All planks are effective in core development. And they help you build six-pack abs, flatten your tummy and improve your postures.

How to do a plank:

THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO THE UPPER BODY WORKOUTS
forearm planks
  1. Place your forearms on the floor underneath your shoulders and toes on the ground.
  2. Keep your body straight from head to the heels.
  3. Brace your abdominal muscles and hold in this position for 20 to 30 seconds.

2. Mountain Climber

The mountain climbing exercise is good for everyone. It is a great way to warm up and build stamina for beginners.

This helps strengthen your core, helps you burn calories, and tone muscles.

How to do mountain climbing

Mountain climbers
mountain climbing
  1. Get into a high plank position with your arms are straight below your shoulders. And hold lower body weight on your toes.
  2. Bring your knees inside toward your chest in a running motion.
  3. Do this for 15 to 20 seconds.

3. Crunches

You can do crunches to strengthen your core and help you flatten your tummy.

How to do crunches

  1. Lay down on your back on the floor with your knees bent to 90-degree and feet flat on the ground.
  2. Raise your torso toward your knees until you feel the contraction in your abdominal muscles. And then return your body on floor and repeat for 10 to 12 times.

4. Leg Raises

Lying leg raises can help you target your lower abs.

How to:

  1. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs are straight in front of you.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides and brace your core.
  3. Raise your both together until your feet are facing ceiling.
  4. Pause for a moment and then lower your legs to the start.
  5. Do as many reps as possible.

Core Workout Routine

  • Mountain Climbing: 15 Seconds
  • Plank : 30 Seconds
  • Crunches: 10 to 15 reps
  • Leg Raises: 8 reps x 2 sets

Also, check out: What’s The Best Time To Workout Abs?


Beginner Workout Plan For Upper and Lower Body

I’ve already created “A complete 4-week beginner workout routine” for strength and muscles growth. You can check it out, I hope you’ll find it useful.

If you think, something is missing in that routine, you can change and modify it according to your preference.

Summary of Beginner Upper Body Workout

Here’s the list of all exercises you can do to train your upper body.

  1. Push-Ups
  2. Smith Machine Bench Press
  3. Incline Machine Chest Press
  4. Machine Fly
  5. Dumbbell Squeeze Press
  6. Diamond Push-Ups
  7. Dumbbell Overhead Triceps Extension
  8. Cable Pushdown
  9. Triceps Kickback
  10. Bench Dips
  11. Smith Machine Overhead Press
  12. Dumbbell Front Raise
  13. Lateral Dumbbell Raises
  14. Incline Dumbbell Rear Delt Fly
  15. Smith Machine Upright Row
  16. Shoulder Shrug
  17. Barbell Curl
  18. Concentration Curl
  19. Alternating Biceps Curl
  20. Incline Dumbbell Bicep Curl
  21. Single-Arm Dumbbell Preacher Curl
  22. Cable Curl
  23. Lat Pulldown
  24. Dumbbell Rowing
  25. Seated Cable Rowing
  26. Barbell Bent Over
  27. Deadlift
  28. Palms Up Wrist Curl
  29. Palms Down Wrist Curl
  30. Plank
  31. Mountain Climber
  32. Crunches
  33. Leg Raises
Final Words

I’ve tried to keep everything as simple as I can. These beginner upper body workout guides will help you increase strength, build muscle mass, improve posture, and make you fitter and stronger.

You also need to focus on your calories intake and diet. Because the diet is as important as the workouts. Best of luck!!

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You may also like: What’s The Best Time To Workout?

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