2 Upper Body Workouts For Beginners

Get ready to put those arms core, and back to work!

Below you’ll find some of my go to exercises for upper body day.

I personally have no desire to grow my upper body muscles, so I tend to target a variety of muscles, and not just one muscle group.

I do this so that my muscles will still get worked and get stronger over time, but not as much as they would if I singled a muscle group out and worked that muscle only.

I don’t know what your goals are, but since you’re a beginner starting off targeting multiple muscle groups may be better for you to ease your way into lifting. And as you start to figure out what you want you can adjust your workouts as you please.

So, here are my upper body workouts. Hope they are helpful to you!

Things you’ll use:

Light Dumbbells (10-15lbs)

Ab Roll Wheel

Assisted Pull Up Machine

Lateral Pull Down machine

Workout 1

Warm Up

start by getting your heart rate up with a 15 minute power walk/jog

Tricep Dips4 x 10

Find a bench or a chair and sit down.

Place tour hands on the bench and slowly move your bottom forward until it is off of the bench, while holding yourself up with your arms.

dip you butt down as low as you can go without touching it to the floor.

Use your arms to push yourself back up.


Bent Over Row4 x 10

Using two dumbbells, holding one in each hand by your sides, bend over and slightly bend your knees.

Move the weights forward, away from your sides. Essentially they should be hanging down below your chest.

Pull the weights up towards your body, controlling it as much as you can.

Try to feel the muscles in your back while you do this movement! Also, try to keep your core tight.

Bicep Curls4 x 10

Grab two dumbbells and hold them by your sides with your palms facing forward.

Stand with your feet apart, core tight, and back straight.

Lift the weights up to your chest in a controlled motion, and return them back down to your sides.

Push Ups3 x 10

When doing pushups be sure to keep your butt in line with your spine.

Do not allow it to stick up in the air.

If you cannot do pushups, you can modify them by putting your knees down on the floor.

adding weight is for intermediate to advance gym goers. only add weight when you can easily do 20+ pushups nonstop.

Plank3 x 30 seconds

Planks are an excellent core exercise that works you abs, back muscles, and all other muscles in your midsection.

If you want abs, or want to be able to balance better building a strong core is the way to go.

Ab Roll3 x 10

for this exercise you will need an ab roller. Watch the video below for instructions on how to perform this exercise correctly.

Workout 2

Warm Up

start by getting your heart rate up with a 15 minute power walk/jog

Pull Ups 3 x 10

find the assisted pull up machine in your gym. see image to right for what it should look like

If you are new to pull-ups et the weight on the machine at a high weight.

High numbers mean the more assistance the machine provides, low numbers mean the more work you are doing yourself.

For example if you weigh 150lbs and set the machine to 125, the machine is lifting 125lbs of your body weight where as you are only lifting 25 lbs. If you set it to 50lbs, you’ll be lift 100 lbs of your body weight, and the machine will lift the remaining 50lbs.

You may have to play around a little bit to see which weight works best for you.

The goal is to do 10 pull-ups for 3 rounds.

Overhead Tricep Extensions3 x 10

Hold two 5-10lb dumbbells in your hands. You can also do this with one dumbbell.

Lift your arms above your head with your palms facing each other, and elbows touching your ears.. allow the weights to touch.

Bend your elbows and lower the weights down toward the back of your head.

Pull the weights back up in a controlled motion.

Be sure to keep your core tight the entire time, and maintain your your balance.

Lateral Pull Down4 x 10

using the lateral pull down machine, find a weight that works for you.

make sure the knee pads are adjusted so that they touch your legs and keep them from moving.

Watch the video below for a tutorial.

Shoulder Press4 x 10

Find a bench and adjust it so that the back is up.

Sit down with two dumbbells in your hands, and let sit back.

Hold the weights up by the sides of your head, and then press the weight up.

Be sure to control this motion, especially as you are bringing the weights back down.

Planks 3 x 30 seconds – see workout 1

Ab Rolls3 x 10 – see workout 1

Pick one workout and go have a great upper body day! Remember to stay hydrated, listen to your body, push yourself, and rest when you need to.

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