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How to build upper body strength

There are several ways of increasing the overall strength and muscle mass of certain body area. If lean muscles are desired, practitioners should focus more on cardio workout, while bulked up effect is gained with using additional weight. 

Focus

When focusing certain area, it is recommended to perform all possible exercises. For example, in order to build upper body strength, it is necessary to focus pectoral area, arms, back and abdominal muscles. But it is also necessary to perform cardio workout for the entire upper part. Again, this depends on the wishes of the practitioner. Lately, the attention is given more to some mixture of both types of workout, which creates strong and fit body with muscle mass just slightly emphasized.

Exercises

Great overall exercise for the upper body is push up. Weight of the practitioner can be regarded as the lifted weight, but it still somewhat easier than the regular mass building (more reps can be done), so it can be called an exercise that goes both ways, which is great for the overall shape of the upper torso. Pushups affect pectoral area, arms, even abs and back are working out. Changing the exercise also changes the focus. If stronger triceps are needed, palms should be put close to each other. Widening that distance shifts the focus onto the shoulders. Even fingers can be worked out with using fists instead of palms and also using three or even only two fingers when lifting torso.

Abdominal exercises are great for lower torso, so-called core, but are also affecting pectoral area and even hands (when hands are positioned behind the head while exercising). Crouches are excellent because they even affect thighs to a certain point. This is a good workout, but it does require good stretching and extending after the session. This is because abdominal exercises usually involve flexion, which tends to shorten muscles a bit and that has to be avoided. Using weight for strengthening the upper body is also essential, which is the only way to significantly increase muscle mass and recommended forms are bench press (and all its variations), biceps and triceps curl, side dumbbell raises, etc. These forms are performed with the help of barbell and dumbbells.

Weight reduction

If there is a problem with extra fat tissue, it has to be eliminated too. Increasing muscle mass will reduce fat tissue to a certain point, but cardio workout should be more effective in this area. Simple forms like running can be helpful, and there are also aerobics, swimming etc. Even dieting should be used until weight is within normal range.

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