Workouts to improve upper body strength?

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Talk' started by stingrae, Jun 18, 2017.

  1. stingrae

    stingrae Yellow Belt

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    Part of my problems escaping pins comes from little to no upper body strength. Any workouts you guys can recommend to help me out?

    I can't go to a gym so I won't be using machines and I don't have a pullup bar. I may be able to scrape up some cash to get some of those colorful hand weights you can buy at a sports store.
     
  2. Midnight-shadow

    Midnight-shadow Black Belt

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    Pressups are 1 of the best upper body exercises you can do, and requires no equipment at all. Look online for all the different variations you can try.

    That said, are you sure it's not an issue with your technique rather than pure strength? Maybe tell us exactly what you are struggling with and we can give you some tips that don't require you to get physically stronger.
     
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  3. stingrae

    stingrae Yellow Belt

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    Mostly it's when I'm pinned, I cannot get the person off me unless they are extremely off center or I can use my legs to move them (wrap around their legs and pull as I pull with my arms. That's where I'm pretty sure it's a problem with my strength, I can escape, but only with aid from my legs.)

    I also have a lot of difficulty throwing someone. As with escaping pins, I can only succeed if the other person is very much off center.
     
  4. kuniggety

    kuniggety 2nd Black Belt

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    How are their and your bodies oriented when you're pinned? In pretty much every scenario, you should be using your hips and not upper body strength to move them/yourself. If they have you mounted, look up the "trap and roll" escape and then "shrimp" escape. If they have you pinned from the side, then you need to do a pretty violent bridge of your hips up, scoot your butt away from them, and then slide your knee between you and then. If they have you pinned from the top, i.e. North-south, well, this one sucks. They best thing you can do is stiff arm them with both arms before they get the pin. The idea here though is you're still trying to buck them up to either get the stiff arms or, if you're flexible enough, kick your legs up over you and catch them to push off of. If they have you pinned with you balled up and face down, i.e. you're in the turtle position, then you should try something called a granby roll which is again a hip based movement. As I started with, that's all the basic pinning positions with the basic escapes and none of them require upper body strength.

    BTW, I highly recommend a pull up bar. They're cheap and attach to a door way. If you're stuck on building upper body strength with body weight: hand stand push ups, elevated push ups, chair push ups, plyo push-ups, diamond push ups, and dips all require nothing more than a couple of chairs or a counter.
     
  5. PhotonGuy

    PhotonGuy Senior Master

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    Try doing pushups using chairs. You use three chairs, one for each hand and one for your feet and the idea is to go lower than your hands. With the chairs you can go lower than if you were just doing pushups on the ground. And them come up as far as you can. A very good exercise for upper body strength.
     
  6. jobo

    jobo Master Black Belt

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    as above, it depends on how strong you want to be, or how you define strengh, you can get extremely strong doing compound body weight exercises, just doing variations on pull ups press ups and dips, will do the job.

    but then its what you actual want out of it. All out maximal strengh for a short period or more endurance,strengh ie stronger for longer, then design your program around those goal. You can also change it to hit particular muscles specifically, as above in doing deep push ups to hit the pecs or close hand push ups to hit the triceps'

    though equipment based, a kettle bell is extremely usefull and a set of gymnastic rings are incredible at making you strong as a gorilla, I had,a go on a,set yesterday, I can do twenty dips on a set of bars, couldn't do five on a,set of rings as my stabilising muscles weren't up to it
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017
  7. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Hold for 4 to 8 breaths

    1. Downward Dog. (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
    2. Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
    3. Upward Facing Dog (Urdhva Mukha Svanasana)
    4. Dolphin Pose (Makarasana)
    5. Forearm Plank
    6. Four-Limbed Staff Pose or Four-Point Staff Pose (Chaturanga.)
    7. Plank.
    8. Side Plank. (Vashistansana)
     
  8. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    I've been practicing Yoga for a couple of years, and never knew what the heck Chaturanga specifically was - it was just a verbal cue for our transitions (I practice Vinyasa flow, so we don't hold Chaturanga). The English name for it helps. Thanks for the accidental enlightenment!
     
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  9. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    Definitely listen to what others are saying on this. Core strength (hip, back, abdominal, etc.) is much more key to BJJ than arms/shoulders (though strength there can be helpful, too). Look into bridging exercises using an exercise ball or BOSU, press-ups/push-ups, planks, etc. For overall development with little cost, a light kettlebell can be used for a wide range of exercises, and the uneven weight (and the way it's used) tends to recruit more core than most dumbbell-type exercises.
     
  10. jobo

    jobo Master Black Belt

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    yes yoga can give great strengh, particularly in the core, the issue is that when it comes to arm or leg strengh, the exercise's are basically isometrics' in nature , so they don't give strengh through the full range of motion and where there is motion they tend to hit the slow twitch endurance fibres rather than the fast twitch strengh fibers
     
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  11. DanT

    DanT Brown Belt

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    If your upper body is weak, chances are your lower body is too. Here's a general calisthenics routine:

    5 sets of squats to failure
    5 sets of pushups to failure
    5 sets of sit-ups to failure
    5 sets of dips to failure
    5 sets of pull-ups to failure
    5 sets of lunges to failure
    5 sets of handstand push-ups to failure

    Should take about 45 minutes to complete. If it takes more than 1 hour it means you are going way too slow.

    You can do this 3-6 days a week.

    Each week try to do 5 more reps for each set than the week before.

    You can do pull-ups at the park.
     
  12. KenpoMaster805

    KenpoMaster805 Green Belt

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    Do some plnaks sit up push ups burpies etc
     
  13. JR 137

    JR 137 Master Black Belt

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    As everyone has been saying... core strength. As a wrestling guy, I have to say if you're muscling throws and reversals, there's a good chance you need to work on technique as well. Actually, technique will be more important than strength under normal circumstances. But adding strength will definitely help in a serious way.

    If you're going to do any strengthening, do this...
     
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  14. Buka

    Buka Grandmaster

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    Stingrae, you're young and fairly new to the Arts, keep at it, kiddo. Read JR 137's post again, I think it says it all. That exercise shown in his post is excellent to develop strength. And you don't have to worry about scraping together money for a hand weight, use a rock. They're everywhere and come in varying sizes.
     
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  15. jobo

    jobo Master Black Belt

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    the heavy ones are a bit lacking on the handle front
     
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  16. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    Well, that just adds a sense of consequences to bad form. :D
     
  17. jobo

    jobo Master Black Belt

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    gym equipment is alarmingly cheap or even free second hand,
    I've had any number of people try to give me their home gym weights as they never use it and the wife is fed up of dusting it

    a look in the classified ill get you anything you want for a fraction of its as new price, a kettle bell should only be a handful of$or £ not worth carry a big rock home for that
     
  18. Danny T

    Danny T Senior Master

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    Uph (Hip Bridge and Roll)
    Hip Escape (Shrimping)
    Both use the legs and core to move the hips. Arms are for framing and maintaining the opponent's position while moving the hips. So strength is required but it is more the legs and core than the arms.
     
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  19. gpseymour

    gpseymour Grandmaster

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    Yeah, but where's the sense of danger and adventure, then??

    Seriously, you are correct - a single kettlebell isn't hard to come by on the cheap. It doesn't take a really heavy one, either.
     
  20. Ironbear24

    Ironbear24 Master of Arts

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    Put your feet on your bed, place you hands on the floor, do elevated push ups. You won't build mass or size this way but you will tone and strengthen. This is also good for maintenance of muscle mass.

    Make sure you are eating right too.
     
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