need info on upper body exercises

Natty

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Can anyone throw me a few suggestions? I'm trying to gain some upper body strength. I do push ups, but, I feel I should be doing more. I just started Krav Maga, and the school I'm at has a weight room. I haven't lifted weights in a while so I want to make sure I'm doing the right exercises and correctly. Any suggestions that have worked for anyone I would greatly appreciate.
 

mook jong man

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Just do the usual ones like benchpress , military press , bent over rows , bicep curls , skull crushers and if they've got a pull up bar use that too and make sure you've got a spotter if you are going to go real heavy . Do some research on the net to make sure you know how to do them properly and make sure you do a good warm up.
 

exile

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Two words: high intensity. Shorten your reps a lot, keep them in your optimal leverage range, and go heavy. To do that effectively, you need to start using a power rack, with the cross bars set right at the bottom of your strongest range. Bench presses will reflect this change in routine: if you were doing, sat, 180lb benches before, you should be able to do more reps in less time at 225 or 250 the very first time you adopt this approach. Same with shoulder presses. For biceps, the best exercise is a hanging weighted chin, palms in: get yourself a chain belt, strap 10lbs to it, move a bench under the chinning bar, 'hop' up into a contracted position at the top of your strongest range and hang there for 30 seconds. As soon as you can do that, add 5lbs to your weight next time, and so on.

Another very good exercise for both pecs and triceps: find a dipping rack, add 50-75 lbs to your chain belt, and do very, very short range dips, as many as you can up to failure. Next time, add another 10lbs, and do at least as many in at least as short a time.

A couple of points about this routine (the so-called 'Power Factor' system due to Sisco and Little, named for the particular ratio they arrive at to quantify performance, yielding a number that you should try to increase every workout). First of all, it is very effective... and very unpleasant. It is no fun at all, and can be a bit demoralizing if you wake up feeling not particularly aggressive or 'predatory', as I think of it, toward the weights. But nothing comes for free, eh? Second, you cannot do this workout frequently. Once you get to be shifting major weights, 300+ in your short range benches and so on, you are going to want to take at least three weeks between working the same muscle group. One of the keys to this, or any of the various high intensity training regimes out there, is recovery time. And the older you are, the longer you need to take to recover. If you go back too soon, you'll know it: your numbers will go down, not up. Third, you really do want to keep track of how many reps per unit time you're doing. Ideally, what you should find is that, over time, and with proper recovery, you'll be able to shift increasing amounts of weight per unit time, over the same number of reps. It helps enormously to keep track of your numbers and of the time, using the stopwatch function of your sports watch.

So you have to maintain both a conquistador attitude to the iron, and exercise self-restraint—particularly hard to do when you've had a perfect 'breakthrough' workout and want to ramp it up a week later. But if you can balance the two somewhat contradictory attitudes, you'll gain strength very, very quickly and efficiently.
 

Phoenix44

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You're female, right?

I'd suggest you be patient, because women are not going to develop upper body strength as fast as men. Having said that:
  • Seated rows
  • Bent over rows
  • Upright rows
  • Military press
  • Bench press
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps curl
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
I like to use resistance bands (I use SPRI brand). They come in a variety of resistances, you can take them with you anywhere. and they're inexpensive. The SPRI bands also come with good exercise instructions.
 

David Weatherly

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I'm sold on Kettlebells. I've had great success with them, especially for upper body strength. They're not that expensive and you don't need a whole lot of space. Jeez, they even sell them at Target now!

David
 
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Natty

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Thanks for all the info that everyone has supplied. I have been using the resistance bands and kettleballs and will continue to do so. A friend of mine who takes Krav Maga with me is going to help me get into a weekly upper body workout routine right after the new year. Thank you again for the information.
 

jarrod

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in addition to all the great advice given above, i'd recommend you check your local community/recreation center. they will usually have introductory weight training classes which are a great way to familiarize yourself with how to do all the exercises & programs listed above. proper form is very important, both for results & safety.

jf
 

Link

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Im strugling big time with pull-ups. I try and do 3 sets of 5 reps. Problem is on the 1st pull up on the 1st set my arms get to about a 90 degree angle and i can't get any further. then the next one im just dangling and pulling as hard as i can and getting no where. i continue to try but all the rest of the reps end up with me giving my all while dangling there. i give myself 90 secs rest between each set and the first pull up of each set i get to the 90 degree angle and from there i cant even get that far. does anyone have suggestions on a work out i can do to increase my chance's of doing a pull up? i will contine with my 3 sets 5 reps but if there is another move i can do that will help me get started that would be great.
 

mook jong man

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Im strugling big time with pull-ups. I try and do 3 sets of 5 reps. Problem is on the 1st pull up on the 1st set my arms get to about a 90 degree angle and i can't get any further. then the next one im just dangling and pulling as hard as i can and getting no where. i continue to try but all the rest of the reps end up with me giving my all while dangling there. i give myself 90 secs rest between each set and the first pull up of each set i get to the 90 degree angle and from there i cant even get that far. does anyone have suggestions on a work out i can do to increase my chance's of doing a pull up? i will contine with my 3 sets 5 reps but if there is another move i can do that will help me get started that would be great.

There's a couple of things you could do , you could try doing chin ups , they are easier , until your strong enough to do pull ups .

My missus is trying to do pull ups as well so what I get her to do is negatives , that is she gets up on a chair and jumps up to the top position , holds the position for a couple of seconds and then slowly lowers herself down.

Slowly but surely she is getting stronger and it won't be too long before she can do a proper pull up . Try it out for a while see how you go .
 

searcher

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Im strugling big time with pull-ups. I try and do 3 sets of 5 reps. Problem is on the 1st pull up on the 1st set my arms get to about a 90 degree angle and i can't get any further. then the next one im just dangling and pulling as hard as i can and getting no where. i continue to try but all the rest of the reps end up with me giving my all while dangling there. i give myself 90 secs rest between each set and the first pull up of each set i get to the 90 degree angle and from there i cant even get that far. does anyone have suggestions on a work out i can do to increase my chance's of doing a pull up? i will contine with my 3 sets 5 reps but if there is another move i can do that will help me get started that would be great.


Where are you located in KC? I am just south of there and I can point you to some people to help you.
 

Garrett7

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You're female, right?


I'd suggest you be patient, because women are not going to develop upper body strength as fast as men. Having said that:
  • Seated rows
  • Bent over rows
  • Upright rows
  • Military press
  • Bench press
  • Biceps curls
  • Triceps curl
  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
I like to use resistance bands (I use SPRI brand). They come in a variety of resistances, you can take them with you anywhere. and they're inexpensive. The SPRI bands also come with good exercise instructions.

The bolded exercises are the only ones I recomend on that list. The others are all week or arent very good.

Use good compound exercises. Like the Clean and Press, dumbell swings, and squats.
And dont use machines all that much. Free weights are where it is at. Better range of motion and all of that good stuff.

And DONT forget your legs at all. Do squats, pistols, deads, weighted lunges, weighted hindu squat, sissy sqaut. All of it. Dont think that doing martial arts will beef up your legs. Because it wont.

May I suggest some good body weight exercises? Hindu pushups, dips, v-sits, bridge, explosive pushups(or any other crazy push up variation), v-ups, pistol squats.

Oh, and pull ups of course. Do a lot them. Lots.

and lots.

By the way, Exile, good to know there is another exercise buff here :)
 

geezer

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Once you get to be shifting major weights, 300+ in your short range benches and so on, you are going to want to take at least three weeks between working the same muscle group...

Personally, at my age (53) and with my frame (slender boned, 5' 8", 158 lbs.) I can't see myself ever working up to those kind of weights. I currently work out with two 78 lb. dumbells, for bench, and 60lb. DBs for concentration curls. to give an idea. Anyway, I have been hitting each group hard and heavy at least once a week with weights, and also once inbetween, more lightly, with body weight ex. Thats only 2 to 3 days off between workouts. Is that too often? I've never heard about people working a muscle group less than once a week before. But then again, I don't work out with really heavy lifters, like you mentioned.

Third, you really do want to keep track of how many reps per unit time you're doing. Ideally, what you should find is that, over time, and with proper recovery, you'll be able to shift increasing amounts of weight per unit time, over the same number of reps. It helps enormously to keep track of your numbers and of the time, using the stopwatch function of your sports watch.

Could you explain "unit time"? Is that the time it takes to complete a set, or the rest time between sets, or both? Also, how important is it to keep the rests between sets short...say a minute or minute and a half? If you rest for several minutes, does it hurt your gains? I know that I can do more quality reps if I rest about 3-4 minutes. Is this counterproductive? Thanks in advance.
 
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