Strengthening your upper body

September 20, 2020

Want to sculpt your back, shoulders, and arms? Fitness trainer Sehr Beg shares a few exercises that will help increase your upper body strength.

The fact is that upper body strength training is an essential part of any fitness routine and the benefits extend far beyond toned, defined muscles. According to expert fitness trainers, building strength in your upper body not only makes daily tasks easier to perform, but it also helps to ward off osteoporosis and improves posture as well. The best part about this strength training is that you can perform these exercises in the comfort of your own home.

In a bid to know more about upper body strength, we caught up with fitness trainer, marathon runner and owner of Bodyskulpt health studio, Sehr Beg, who shares a few exercises that you can easily incorporate in your workout regime.


The key to a good and effective workout is warming up. According to Sehr, once you are done with the basic warm up movements, start your upper body training with some push-ups. Though push-ups look kind of easy to perform, they are one of the hardest moves to master. “Best for building upper body and core strength, push-ups work the triceps, pectoral and shoulder muscles,” shares the fitness trainer adding that performing regular push-ups is an effective way to build upper body strength.

Biceps curls

The biceps curl not only works your biceps and forearms but also helps train your shoulders and back muscles. This weight-training exercise, works the bicep muscles at the front of the upper arm, and also the muscles of the lower arm. “The biceps curl is a great exercise for building strength and definition, so make sure to perform at least two sets of 10 to 12 reps using dumbbells of one or two kilograms ,” advises Sehr Beg.

Shoulder press

“This is a great exercise for toning the shoulders,” shares the fitness trainer. The shoulder press works several muscles including the deltoids, trapezius and triceps of the upper body as well as improves daily functioning. This exercise can be performed with dumbbells or resistance bands while standing up or sitting down with the weight of your choice in each hand at shoulder level with your elbows bent. According to Sehr, by performing this exercise on a regular basis, you are more likely to experience improved stability in your arms and shoulders.

Lateral raise

If done frequently, the lateral raise can help achieve muscle hypertrophy (growth) of the lateral deltoid (shoulder muscle), giving you the appearance of broader, stronger shoulders. Besides, the benefits of the lateral raise extend to increased shoulder mobility as well. All you need to do is just raise weights to the sides and up to shoulder level, then lower them again – you can perform the lateral raise either standing or sitting down with a dumbbell in each hand. For this exercise the trainer advises to use dumbbells of at least 2 kilograms.

Triceps extension

The triceps extension is an excellent arm move to build, sculpt and tone the back of your upper arm, where your triceps brachii muscles are located. “There are various exercises to sculpt your triceps, but overhead extensions are also great to challenge the stability of your shoulder girdle,” informs Sehr adding that because you are working against gravity, this exercise can feel more challenging than other moves working the same muscle.

Walking plank

“This move, also known as the alternating hand plank, will strengthen your core as well as your upper and lower body muscle groups, including the deltoids, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and even calves,” she shares. It is a variation of the basic plank, but with a little movement up and down. Start by standard in plank position on hands and toes. Slowly lower right arm down to your forearm, and then bring left arm down as well so you’re supported by your forearms. Place right hand on the floor and begin to push your body back up, following with left hand. Repeat, letting your left arm lead.

Strengthening your upper body