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Best Science-Based Upper Body Workout (Chest, Back, Arms and Shoulders)

Strengthen your upper body.

Jeremy Ethier, a NASM and FMS certified trainer and Kinesiology graduate, shared his go-to best science-based upper body workout.

The exercises are all part of his upper/lower split hypertrophy program and covers the following outline:

  • Horizontal push
  • Horizontal pull
  • Vertical push
  • Vertical pull
  • Accessory movements
chipper gymnastics workouts for upper bodySource: Photo courtesy of CrossFit Inc.

The program runs four days a week with three rest days. Two days are dedicated to the upper body and the remaining two to the lower body.

The upper lower split program offers both a realistic time commitment and optimal training frequency, but to really make the most of it you should train with the most effective exercises. Jeremy Ethier breaks them down.

Best Science-Based Upper Body Workout

For intermediate and advanced athletes

ExerciseSetsReps
Incline Dumbbell Press3-46-10
Chest Supported Row2-38-10
Overhead Press2-36-10
Pull-Ups / Lat Pulldowns2-38-10
Incline Dumbbell Curl28-10
Incline Dumbbell Extension210-15
Face Pulls / Chest Flies210-15

If you are a beginner, Ethier recommends simply doing the first four exercises until you gain more experience at the gym. He also recommends switching them up within the same week:

  • Incline Dumbbell Press – Barbell Bench Press
  • Chest Supported Row – Barbell Row
  • Overhead Press – Lateral Raises

Upper/Lower Split Program

Now that you have the routine for the upper body, why not try this science-based lower body workout. Alternatively, learn the awesome key to bigger pecs and healthy shoulders.

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