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Best Compound Upper Body Exercises

Best Compound Upper Body Exercises

If you're looking for some effective ways to build your upper body strength and muscle mass, you might want to try compound exercises. In this blog post, I'll share with you some of the best compound upper body exercises that you can do at home or at the gym. These exercises will work your chest, back, shoulders, arms, and core muscles. You'll need some basic equipment like dumbbells, a barbell, a bench, and a pull-up bar. If you don't have access to these, you can also use resistance bands or bodyweight exercises as alternatives.

Compound exercises are movements that involve more than one joint and muscle group, which means they can target multiple areas of your upper body at once. They also help you burn more calories, improve your coordination and balance, and enhance your overall performance. Here are the best compound upper body exercises you can do for strength gain and/or muscle size.

1. Bench press

This classic exercise is great for building your chest, triceps, and anterior deltoids (front shoulders). To do it, lie on a flat bench with your feet on the floor and hold a barbell above your chest with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly lower the bar to your chest, keeping your elbows tucked in. Then, push the bar back up to the starting position. You can also do this exercise with dumbbells or on an flat-incline-decline (FID) bench to target different angles of your chest.

2. Bent-over row

This exercise works your back, biceps, and posterior deltoids (rear shoulders). To do it, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell or a pair of dumbbells in front of you with your palms facing down. Bend your knees slightly and hinge forward at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your back straight and your core engaged. Pull the weight to your lower chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Then, lower the weight back to the starting position.

3. Overhead press

This exercise strengthens your shoulders, triceps, and upper back. To do it, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a barbell, pair of dumbbells, or a specialty bar like our Arch Nemesis Bar at shoulder level with your palms facing forward. Brace your core and press the weight overhead until your arms are fully extended. Then, lower the weight back to the starting position.

4. Pull-up

This exercise challenges your back, biceps, and forearms. To do it, grab a pull-up bar with an overhand grip and hang from it with your arms straight and your legs crossed or bent. Pull yourself up until your chin is above the bar, keeping your elbows close to your body. Then, lower yourself back to the starting position. You can also do this exercise with an underhand grip (chin-up), or a neutral grip (hammer grip) if you have a multi-grip pull-up bar, to emphasize different muscles.

5. Push-up

This exercise targets your chest, triceps, and core muscles. To do it, get into a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your body in a straight line from head to toe. Bend your elbows and lower your chest to the floor, keeping your core tight and your elbows close to your sides. Then, push yourself back up to the starting position. You can also do this exercise on an elevated surface (incline push-up) or with your feet elevated (decline push-up) to change the difficulty level.