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 Post subject: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:18 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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I know I've asked this before, but I can't remember where and didn't save it. I hate the gym a lot. However, I'm trying to build upper body strength.

Does anybody have any suggestions on how to do this at home? Also any routines? I have dumbbells, but not sure what exercises would work best.

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:32 pm 
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Mispronounces Daiya
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Compound exercises are best. Pushups, pullups/chinups and inverted rows are great ways to build upper body strength. If you can't do many (or any) real pull ups or pushups, try negative pullups/pushups until you build up enough strength.

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:46 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Thanks Vegimator! I had to look all of that stuff up because I'd never heard of negative push ups/pull ups or inverted rows before. Any ideas on how many reps and sets I should start off with? I am seriously lacking in knowledge with these sorts of things.

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:58 pm 
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Try this! http://hundredpushups.com/

I really like the idea behind it and have thought about doing it, but I think it would be hard to integrate into my existing training schedule.


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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:21 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Oh, wow! Thanks, Mel!

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:10 pm 
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Compound exercises are definitely awesome, but if you want to use your weights here are some of my favorite upper body exercises that use dumbbells (these are links):

Shoulders
Chest
Back
Biceps
Triceps

I usually do shoulders/biceps/triceps together and chest/back together (on different days). I usually pick three exercises for each muscle group and do three sets of 8-12 reps (depending on how much weight I'm using).


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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:28 pm 
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mixmaster_mo wrote:
Any ideas on how many reps and sets I should start off with?


Hmm, I don't really know. I tend to just go until failure with pushups/pullups although lately I've been doing two sets of 50 pushups instead of killing myself to go much further in one set.

Here's a pullup program similar to the pushup program mel linked to - http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=cac ... NjfesX8gpw

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 8:00 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Thanks!

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Mon Oct 25, 2010 10:12 pm 
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P90X has lots of upper body strength exercises involving weights, push ups and pull ups (either via a pull up bar or resistance bands).

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:12 pm 
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I definitely need to figure out how to use resistance bands properly. I picked up a set of three a few days ago. I have a gym membership, but I can't always fit that into my day. I spend at least 40 minutes a day walking up and down a very steep hill with all my work stuff, but that doesn't do much for my upper body. My left wrist unfortunately has strong objections to push-ups.


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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 7:25 pm 
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try the 30 day shred video. gillian will get you strong in no time!!


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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:13 pm 
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mel c wrote:
Try this! http://hundredpushups.com/

I really like the idea behind it and have thought about doing it, but I think it would be hard to integrate into my existing training schedule.


Actually its not very good for women I've found. It progresses too quickly for women. I started out at the second level and fell behind to the first level and was then repeating myself at lower levels. I think its set for men and makes you feel like a wuss when you don't progress like its expecting you to.

I know my ex scored really high and started out high but the stress was too high since she started high and wasn't doing pushups much. She hurt her shoulder pretty bad and had to give up weight lifting for strength.

Anyway, that's my thought on the 100 pushup challenge. Might try doing it on my knees someday and see how that goes.

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:40 pm 
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That's a bummer. One of these days, I still want to try it. I found the jumps in some of the weeks with the Couch to 5k to be too much for my asthmatic lungs, but I like the basic idea and I think it's still a good place to start, so I would expect this to be similar.


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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2010 2:21 pm 
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I'm totally trying that 100 pushups jazz. If it doesn't give me he-man pecs imma be p.o.'d.

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:03 am 
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I will second P90x as well. I started over a year ago and have done three rounds without substitution and in the last 2 to 3 months I have changed up the routine to focus on hypertrophy (mass), not that us girls can build mass the same way as guys. It won't make you big lifting heavier weights in fact it helps you to lose weight over doing just cardio.
Ok I could go dribbling on here but I will just say that if you have dumbbells check this link out for all the exercises and demos on what you can do.
http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html

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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 6:30 pm 
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Hey Mixmaster,
I think Pinko gave a great list of exercises for upper body. I'd only recommend a few things in addition:
- Make sure you warm up, stretch, then work out, then cool down and stretch some more. I'm a P90Xer like many others so I do those stretches, but you can find lots of good stretches online searching around. You don't need to go nuts, just spend 3-4 minutes before and after staying loose
- If I were you I'd add some abdominal exercises to your program. It's good to build core strength to support any kind of exercise routine. Crunches, leg lifts, oblique crunches, bicycles, and a few lower back exercises will help you build a strong core to support your upper body workout.
- When you are doing a resistance workout, you want to have your core "engaged" during every hard lift -- meaning you should have your abs and lower back tightened a bit, and your legs slightly bent at the knees. This is to protect you from throwing out your back, or herniating or something awful like that. Lift slowly and keep good form (no swinging weights around). You should also be exhaling during the hard part of the exercise/lift.
- The general recommendation for number of reps depends on whether you are trying to build mass (large muscle) or lean muscle strength. For mass, pick weights where you begin to feel a burn at 5 or 6 reps and you can't do more than 8-10. For lean, use a weight where you begin to feel the burn around 10 and can get to 12-15 total. That's per set.
- Finally, and this is embedded in Pinko's workout, you want to make sure you work opposing muscle groups equivalently. So that means do biceps and triceps. Do chest and back. Throw shoulders in with chest and back. If you do abs, do some lower back as well (e.g., lie flat on your stomach and lift your arms and legs up off the floor -- hold 10-15 seconds, do this a few times).

Hope that helps.

DLD


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 Post subject: Re: Building Upper Body Strength at Home
PostPosted: Wed Nov 03, 2010 7:33 pm 
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I don't think these are the proper names, but as far as extreme upper body work outs go, you could try these gems.

Diagonal Push-ups.
- Normal push-up position, keep either the Left arm and Right leg in the air, or Right arm and Left leg.

Vertical Push-ups.
- If you have bad balance, find a wall to lean on. Pretty much, hand stand, do push-ups.

I've also done jumping jacks with 5lb running weights strapped to each wrist.

Since you've got weights at home:

Lock your elbows so your arm is a straight line, raise your arms with the weights in them to 90 degrees, so you look like a T. hold for 30 seconds. repeat.
Can also do this in front of your body, like an inverted L. Focus on keeping your body straight, don't lean backwards.

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