Sick of the same upper body workout routine? We get it. You’ve done push-ups, bench presses, military presses and bicep curls to death, and you want to try something new.
Keeping your gym routine interesting is key. With that in mind, here are 5 effective upper body workout moves you’ve probably never tried.
1 Incline Push-ups
You know what we love best about this move? You can do it right at your work desk (although don’t forget to put the brakes on your office chair if that’s what you’re using!) This is a different take on the classic up-down push-up, and it requires you to use a different set of muscles to help keep yourself stable.
How to Do Incline Push-ups – Choose any stable object such as a chair, desk, table, couch, or even a staircase. Situate yourself like you would for a normal push-up, but instead of keeping your feet on the floor, carefully balance them up on a raised object and then follow through with your push-up.
Feels different, doesn’t it? Adding this to your upper body workout routine will give you arms of steel in no time.
Make it harder – The higher up you put your feet, the more you need to engage your secondary, stabilizing muscles.
2 Inverted Shoulder Presses
Take this one slowly, especially while you’re first getting used to it. Men may have a harder time with this exercise since they have a higher center of gravity. Just take a moment to feel it out, and adjust your balance as necessary.
To Do Inverted Shoulder Presses – Stand with your feet wide apart, then bend at the hips until you can comfortably place your hands on the floor in front of you. Keep your fingers pointing forward, and with your hands slightly wider than shoulder distance apart, bend your elbows out to either side. Allow your upper half to lower down, until the crown of your head touches the floor (see why we want you to go slow?). Engage your shoulder muscles and upper back to push back up into your starting position, then repeat the press again.
3 One-Arm Dumbbell Floor Presses
This exercise is a different take on the classic bench press. Using one arm at a time requires you to engage lots of stabilizing muscles, and to really focus on your form.
To Do One Arm Dumbbell Floor Presses – Begin by lying on your back on the floor. Grip a dumbbell with your right hand and press your left arm into the floor to help stabilize you. Using only your right arm, press upward exactly the same way you would with a bench press then lower the dumbbell down until your elbow almost touches the floor. Repeat on both sides.
Need a boredom buster? Here it is! You’ll need a clear section of wall, and maybe a spotter for this one. We often associate static poses with core and leg workouts, but here are is a static pose that focuses on your shoulders, upper back and core.
To Do Handstands – place your hands flat on the floor about 6 to 8 inches away from the wall. Drop your head so that you are looking back between your legs (this prevents you from hitting your head on the wall) and kick up off the floor into a handstand.
If you are relatively new to this, definitely have a spotter help push you up into the handstand position. Once you’re up, focus on pushing your shoulders away from your ears, and see how long you can hold the static pose. To release, take one leg away from the wall and slowly lower down until you are on all fours. Take your time standing back up!
5 Bear Crawls
You’ll need a good bit of open space for this one. Not only does this help define your arms, shoulders, and back, it’s also a pretty intense cardio experience.
To Do Bear Crawls – Come to a position on all fours where both your arms and legs are straight, and your hips at a higher elevation than your head. Allowing your knees and elbows to bend freely, begin “running” in this position. Right hand and left foot should move forward at the same time and vice versa.
Work your upper body!
Hopefully this list gives you some fresh new ideas to sprinkle into your workouts to help avoid boredom.
What’s your favourite upper body workout move? Tell us about it in the comments below!