Performing the right exercises effectively will pay off hugely if you want to grow bigger muscles. So, what are the best upper body exercises for mass?
Certified Personal Trainer Alain Gonzalez shares his favourite upper body exercises for mass.
4 Best Upper Body Exercises for Mass
“Focusing your efforts on the ‘big four’ is like hiring 100 workers instead of 10,” he says.
1 – Horizontal Push
“Any time you’re pushing a load straight out in front of your torso whilst horizontal, your primary mover will be the chest, while the shoulders and triceps simply assist with the lift,” Gonzalez explains. “Getting stronger at a compound lift that allows us to load this function will be the key to developing the main show-muscle: the pecs.”
Additionally, any heavy pushing motion will always involve elbow extension, the main function of the triceps, to a great degree.
For this motion, the Flat Barbell Bench Press is best
2 – Vertical Push
A multiple-joint vertical pushing lift will tax your shoulders, while the chest, triceps and core lend a helping hand.
For this motion, the Overhead Press is best.
This is a great exercise for building huge shoulders and taxing the upper chest.
3 – Horizontal Pull
“Any time you are puling a load towards your torso horizontally, from straight out in front of you, you’re distributing a great deal of stress to all the muscles in your mid- upper-back, with a bit of assistance of your biceps,” says Gonzalez.
Your back muscles are primarily needed for retracting the scapula.
“When it comes to building a thick, well-developed back, you must row to grow.”
The Bent Over Barbell Row is the best mass builder when it comes to back development.
4 – Vertical Pull
“Whenever we’re pulling a weight down from over our head the largest muscle group of the back, the last, become the primary target,” explains Gonzalez. “Vertical pulling is by far the most efficient way to build massive wings.”
Pull-Ups, if you can perform enough of them for an effective workout, are excellent for this motion. If you can’t, substitute them with chin-ups.
Lat Pulldowns are also a good alternative if pull-ups are not within your wheelhouse.
“The purpose of vertical pulling is to build bigger lats while, of course, adding a bit of volume to the upper back and biceps as well,” says Gonzalez.
Best upper body exercises for mass bottom line
The above handful of exercises will target each important muscle group effectively and efficiently. The more frequently you practice these movements, the better you’ll get at them.
The better you get, the more weight you’ll be able to move which, conversely, will lead to more muscle growth.