It may be surprising to you, but the key to upper body growth does not involve machines. It does involve bodyweight and free weight exercises, including different versions of push-ups, squats, deadlifts, inverted rows, and most importantly - pullups.
I cannot stress ENOUGH the importance of the pullup. It is the one exercise that has really made the difference for me and my clients.
The mainstream exercises that coaches will implement for most sports are sit-ups and push-ups. Iíve played soccer for nearly my whole life, and that is what we did.
But since then I have learned that even though the pushup is great, it should be performed in conjunction with either a row-type of exercise or a pullup/chin-up.
Donít get me wrong - pullups are not easy. At the beginning they can be very challenging. Do not be surprised, no matter how many pull-downs you can do on a machine, if you still cannot do one pullup in the beginning.
However, it is critical that you keep trying until you can add pullups to your regular workout routine. The following tips will help you:
In the beginning, ask a buddy to help you pull up, but then lower yourself down on your own. If you donít have a buddy you can also use a resistance band - tie the band around the bar and put one of your legs in it for support.
When you are able to do the pullups on your own, always try to outperform your previous workout. If you did 5 pull-ups in your last workout, try doing 6 this time.
Once you are able to do 10 reps without any help, you can even increase the intensity of the workout by adding more weight to the exercise. You can use a resist vest, a backpack filled with heavy things, or anything similar.
Among other things, pullups will give you a bigger pair of arms, a V-shaped back and wider shoulders.
So even if you havenít yet achieved that six-pack, your waistline will look thinner!
And just one more reminder that, with exercise, more is not always better: There is no need to perform pullups every single day.
Instead, aim for 3 times per week, giving your body the recovery time required in order to be able to outperform yourself at your next workout.