The barbell bench press is popular with the bros, but pull-ups and chins are the genuine measure of upper body strength. They train the middle and upper back, one of the healthiest parts of the body, and are no-cheating. This is the best for a V-shape and developed upper arms and shouldn't leave your program.
The standing barbell press is supreme for shoulder and trap development. The pressing muscles (deltoids, triceps, traps) must produce force, while the abdominals, low back, and glutes must stabilize. The greatest part: This action promotes shoulder blade mobility, which improves joint health compared to pinned-down exercises.
Loaded carries are more than a conditioning tool and metabolic finisher for your exercise. They also build upper body size, especially arms and traps. An added benefit: Grip strength improvement, essential for off-the-gym usefulness. Strengthen your forearms with this movement.
Pushups are the upper body game-changer most guys don't realize they need. They have countless advantages. They're the best calisthenics workout and work the chest and triceps while strengthening the core. In addition, their scapula mobility makes them better for shoulders than the bench press.
This list wouldn't be complete without a bench press variant, and dumbbells will produce greater hypertrophy than barbells since you can isolate the muscles better. Individual pecs support and stabilize weight.
The bent-over row is the best complete back bulk builder. When done correctly, your spinal erectors hold a hard isometric contraction as your upper back moves dynamically, torching the posterior chain and building thickness.
In a poorly equipped gym, this row variant might be the most accessible and yet serve lifters of all ability levels. Other upper back developers consider lifters with lower back concerns or past injuries.
Please remember the core as part of the upper body. King of core workouts is the hanging leg lift. It builds grip strength and targets the abs. A win-win.
This is one of the greatest upper body “medicine” activities you can do using bands, cables, or dumbbells. This activity transforms shoulder health, posture, and upper back development and can't be overtrained. Don't leave this out of your strategy.