The Two BEST Upper Body Exercises You Are Not Doing
When it comes to training, we need to find the most efficient exercises for our goals. Luckily, the most efficient exercise for one goal can be efficient for many goals. When you think of upper body exercises, you tend to think many different exercises and their variations for hitting every angle. "Hitting every angle" is commonly used by lifters who have spent many years to find what works for them, or recreational lifters who have no idea what they are talking about. To be efficient at something you need to be time efficient (get more done in less time), effort efficient (half ass work gives half ass results), and focus efficient (work towards your goal while leaving out the unnecessary). With this in mind, we must find an exercise that hits the upper body....and hits it hard. Contrary to basic belief today, the best physiques were built upon basic exercises, even before there were fancy lifting machines and various shaped weights. These exercises were their foundation, and facilitated a big enough stimulus to improve not only the major muscles, but also the minor muscles. So what were these two exercises that they used in their foundation, that individuals today have seem to forgotten?
The Best Chest Exercise You Are Not Doing: Parallel Bar Dips
The first exercise you will not see many (if any) recreational lifters doing. This exercise is typically used by those professional bodybuilders, powerlifters, and most competitive athletes. The parallel bar dip is the weapon of choice for MANY who aim to increase pressing strength, chest growth, tricep growth, and shoulder growth. This exercise has gotten a bad reputation from all the shoulder injuries that are claimed by those who are inexperienced, use horrible form, use too much momentum, use excessive range of motion, have a history of bad joints, or are of older age. Most of the viewers here would heavily benefit from doing parallel bar dips as they can target a vast majority of the front side of the body. Even the core has to work pretty hard and provide tension to stabilize the movement.
Best Back Exercise You Are Not Doing: Pull-Ups
The second most under rated upper body exercise is seen more often, but is never done correctly. When done in a controlled manner and full range of motion, the pullup (or chinup) is the best back builder you are not doing. Just like the weighted or bodyweight dip, pullups are used by athletes for sport purposes, bodybuilders who know the growth benefit of pullups, and strength athletes who need a stronger back. Recently, crossfit has dominated the interest of most recreational lifters as it's weight loss benefits are well known, but teaching pullups in a horrible manner (and many other lifts such as deadlifts) has plagued the fitness industry. Hell, you can't even ask a crossfitter how many pullups they can do without getting some crazy high number. Between this issue and the fact that pullups are damnright hard, many either stray away from them or do them incorrectly. When done in a controlled manner through a full range of motion, pullups are one of the best (if not the best) exercise for your back, biceps, and core. Despite it's vast amount of benefits, doing the exercise incorrectly diminishes most of it's benefits.....so doing the exercise correctly is recommended (if not already common sense).
Between doing dips and doing pullups, you will not only have exercises that build both the vast majority of your front and back side of the upper body, but you will also have exercises that engage the abdominals greatly. Being efficient with your training, or in this case exercise selection, is one step in getting the most out of your workouts.
When selecting exercises never stray from the basics. The basics have stood the test of time and have made some of the greatest athletes in all sports.