Upper Body Strength Training for Beginners

This workout focuses on endurance, muscle awareness, and very basic muscle strengthening for the arms, chest, back, and shoulders. With the use of light dumbbells, this program is designed to aim at each of these important muscles.  Even beginners who have never tried lifting weight can follow this easily and benefit greatly.

With regards to muscle training, many people choose to focus on the abdomen, legs, and buttocks. But for day-to-day life, it will greatly help, especially for women, to tone the upper body as well.

When lifting weights, it's crucial to concentrate on the specific muscle movement: steady tension must be produced by conscious contraction the muscle during the exercise. This may not be the most efficient or fastest strength-building method; if that is your aim, graduating to heavier weights and, in some cases, specific position should be done during exercise. Every time you learn a new movement, whether a biceps curl or a dance step, your brain must first learn which muscles to stimulate for the action to be done correctly. An significant part of strength training is the use of the muscles specified to do the work. Fresh movements form neural pathways through the brain and spinal cord to the muscle. These nerve pathways dictate which muscles to fire, or contract. This is called "neuromuscular facilitation."

With the use of light weights, you can focus on using the proper muscles. Although the neural pathways will be different as you begin this weight program at home or at the gym, this exercise may be a much more enjoyable introduction to the program. You could go through the primary learning process lifting a three-pound weight rather than a heavier barbell.

As you adjust to the movements and progress to heavier weights or machines, you will use your muscles variedly and build new neuromuscular pathways. For example, when you do the cable row in the gym, a resistance is formed by the cable in front of you. Your back and upper arm muscles will then work against the resistance while you draw the cable. In a standing stance, carry two dumbbells and pull them back in similar motion, the greatest resistance will come from the gravity pulling downward on the dumbbells, a resistance that requires the muscles on the front of the shoulder a lot more than the muscles at the back. Your back muscles will work primarily to stabilize your arm position. You can intensify your muscle awareness by also bringing in tension in these muscles while executing the movement.

You'll have a great starting point on building the muscles that are essential to your posture and your lifestyle by using the basics of strength training for the upper body. Enjoy the experience of feeling stronger.  Later, you will be more aware of muscles that you never knew existed.

© Athena Goodlight