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Top 5 upper body exercises


Upper body muscles allow us to pull, push and lift objects more easily. Your workouts should therefore include exercises that target your upper body, including your arms, shoulders, pecs, back as well as your abdominals (see tip 3 below). In this article, I share my favorite upper body exercises and give you 3 key tips that will maximize your results.

The advantages of strength training

Strength training is essential to improve strength and stamina, to support bone density, to improve the performance of daily activities and to reduce the symptoms of several chronic conditions including arthritis, back pain, depression and diabetes. Since muscle mass tends to decrease with age, it is important to include strength training sessions in our weekly training schedule to ensure it is maintained.

3 safety and efficiency tips:

  1. Good form: Your goal when you start a new program is to focus on the proper execution of each exercise. Once you become more familiar with the movements, you can increase the load and the number of sets.
  2. A good warm-up: Regardless of the training, engage the joints and muscles that will be solicited during your workout session so as to prepare your body for the more intense training to come. For the upper body you can make large circles with your arms, trunk rotations and lateral flexions.
  3. Proper muscle contraction: Tighten your abdominal muscles before starting and during each exercise. Keeping your trunk muscles engaged will help protect the lower back.

Here are my top 5 exercises that target upper body muscles!

  • Arnold Press with dumbells (Shoulders and biceps)


  • TRX Mid-row (Back)


  • Chest press with dumbells (Pecs, triceps and shoulders)


  • Skull crusher press with dumbell (shoulders and triceps)


  • Front raise with kettlebell (shoulders)



For a complete program tailored to your specific needs and objectives, consult a qualified personal trainer.

Enjoy working out!

Karine Larose, M.Sc.

Karine Larose is a kinesiologist, Director of Marketing and Communications and Spokesperson for Nautilus Plus who specializes in fitness motivation. She authored The Guide to Healthier Living, penned the book 10-4 The Healthy Way to Lose 10 Pounds in 4 Weeks and released her third work called Zero Diet: Delicious and Healthy Recipes for Success, all by Les Éditions du TRÉCARRÉ. Karine has launched a series of exercise DVDs entitled 30 minutes par jour pour Vivre Plus and is featured on the ULTIME FIT online platform. Many TV shows and radio stations regularly request Karine’s point of view on physical exercise issues and points of interest.

Top 5 upper body exercises is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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