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V-Shaped Torso - What Sort Of Upper Body Exercises Can I Do?

Feb 9, 2008
Most upper body exercises focus on building strength. However, in order to get the most of your work out it is always recommended to mix in some cardiovascular exercises such as jogging and spinning and alternate your exercise routine with some lower body exercises too.

Before beginning any workout, spend at least 10 minutes doing some warm up and basic stretching exercises. A good warm up not only helps to activate the circulation of blood throughout the body but also prevents the muscles and tissues from injury by making them more flexible and supple.

Depending on whether you are looking to increase muscle mass or just tone the body you can customize your exercise regime to include either more weights or perform more reps.

If you are looking to achieve overall fitness and increase flexibility then you can get started with some simple exercises. Most can be performed without any hi tech equipment simply by using a set of free weights that provide the required compression or tension to the muscles. Resistance equipment can also be used such as springs and rubber straps with handles that work by offering resistance to tension.

It is important to keep in mind that if you experience more than normal discomfort while doing any exercise it is a sign of trouble. Do consult your physician to find out the cause of the pain before resuming your exercise routine.


Push ups remain one of the most traditional upper body exercises. Lie flat on your back with your hands tucked under the shoulders and gradually push yourself up keeping the back and legs straight. If you want a more strenuous version, slow down the action of pushing up and then lower yourself back to the floor again. Start with 20 initially and then slowly increase the number of reps to 80.

Chest Exercises

Chest exercises help to strengthen the upper torso. Start with hand held dumbbells that weigh around 10 pounds (4.5kg). Lie on your back preferably on a flat surface such as a mat or carpet and keep the arms extended perpendicular to the body. Hold one weight in each palm and lift and bring the hands together slowly.

As an alternative, bend the elbows when the arms are raised to about 20 degrees, the straighten and continue. This exercise is very effective on the biceps.

Latissmus Dorsi Exercises

In order to develop the latissmus dorsi - the large, side muscles that make men triangle-shaped, stand straight, arms at your side, grasping the dumbbells. Breathe normally while balancing yourself. At the maximum point of inhalation, thrust the arms away from the body, palms inward. Exhale as you raise your arms to shoulder height, then lower your hands slowly back to the starting position.

In order to work on the triceps and biceps repeat this exercise but rotate the weights and curl the arms up at the top of the swing. Straighten the arm and then lower to the starting position.

Biceps and Triceps

Hold the weights in front of your body and keep your arms hanging in front of the thighs. Now lift the weights toward your chest and alternate using each arm.

Do 10 reps a day for each arm. Consult your physician immediately if you experience any lower back pain while doing these exercises.

Exercises for lats and biceps can also be done using free weights or using a long elastic resistance strap. Hook one foot through the strap and grab both ends with your hand so that you can get a good stretch.

Pull-ups and Chin-ups

Pull-ups and Chin-ups are an ideal way to develop the biceps, triceps, lats and pectoral muscles all at once. Chin-ups are done by grasping a sturdy bar with the fingers toward you, whereas pull-ups are done with the fingers facing away while your hands grasp the bar above your head. These exercises can easily be done at a gym, the playground or even at home provided there is a sturdy doorway.

The key to developing a great body is to build up your strength and resistance gradually. Do not overdo any exercise routine. Probably the most common reason why most people don't continue with their workouts is because of the discomfort and pain that is usually caused by incorrect technique and too much effort exerted earlier on in the process.
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