Training

Try This Upper Body Blast From PT Reece Williamson

Stuck in a rut with your home workouts? Personal trainer and coach, Reece (@reecewilliamsonn), is here to spice up your upper body workouts with these muscle-blasting moves. All you need is a resistance band, or some weights if you want to take it up a notch.

Before we get moving, here’s some advice on the exercises from Reece:

For each exercise, I recommend working close to failure especially on the last set of each exercise. When pushing your body to the limits and aim to improve upper body strength, I have noticed the biggest change when I reach failure or close to failure. If you’re doing sets of 20 or above, I would recommend following the progression steps I suggested.

Each exercise: 3 sets of each exercise — aim for 12-15 repetitions (if you’re performing more, then look to add weight/increase resistance/slow down tempo).

 

Press Ups

1. Find a suitable space to perform your exercise. When ready place hands directly under your shoulders and start on your knees.

2. If you can, bring knees up to ensure you are on feet and hands. From there, slowly bring your body towards the floor by bending arms and leading with your chest.

3. Keep shoulders back if you can to ensure the focus is on your chest. When ready push off with your chest and triceps – repeat for the given reps.

Progression

1. You could either use a bag, weight or band to increase the resistance of the movement to make it harder.

2. You could slow down the movement to increase time under tension.

Regression

If you can’t do press ups on your feet. Place both knees on the floor, make sure your back is straight and follow the same steps to allow you to complete the push up.

 

Bent Over Row

1. For this movement I am using a resistance band, placing the band under feet and holding onto each end of the band.

2. When ready, retract your scapula (bring shoulders back) and keep back straight.

3. To perform the exercise, drive the elbows up and towards your hips, squeeze your back muscles (especially your lats)

4. Slowly bring the band back towards the floor and repeat.

Progression & Regression

Grab either lower or higher up the band to change the tension.

Other options

You could use weighted items around the house or using a towel to create tension.

 

Shoulder press

1. For this movement I am using a resistance band, placing the band under glutes, bringing overhead and holding onto the band with both hands.

2. Keep core tight and back straight, when ready, push band overhead and tuck head forward at the top.

3. Your elbows should be at 45 degrees to your body and make sure you fully extend at the top.

Progression & Regression

Grab either lower or higher up the band to change the tension.

Other options

1. You could use weighted items around the house or weights.

2. You could perform this standing.

 

Seated Row

1. For this movement I am using a resistance band, sitting down and placing band around your feet, holding the band at both ends.

2. Retract your scapula, keep your chest out and head up.

3. From there, drive with your elbows and pull the band back. Squeeze your back muscles and especially your lats.

Progression & Regression

Grab either lower or higher up the band to change the tension.

Other options

You could use weighted items around the house or weights.

 

Tricep dips

1. Find a seat or couch to perform this exercise on. Place feet in a position where they are going to be straight out in front of you and your hand position should be slightly wider than shoulder width.

2. To perform this exercise you are keeping your body close to the couch and bending your arms to allow the stretch of your triceps.

3. Get as low as possible without losing form, from there drive up and contract your triceps at the top.

Progression

Place legs on a raised surface or add weight to your lap.

Regression

Bring feet closer to your body and couch.

 

Bicep curl

1. For this movement I am using a resistance band, place band under both feet and grabbing with both hands.

2. When ready, tuck elbows in towards body and start with the arms extending towards the floor.

3. Pull the band up with both hands, contracting the bicep as hard as you can at the top. When you are ready, slowly bring the band back to the starting position.

Progression & Regression

Hold band lower down to increase resistance and higher up to decrease resistance.

Other options

You could perform this unilaterally (single arm) or use weighted objects around the house.

 

Tricep kickbacks

1. For this movement, I am using a resistance band. Attach the band to the bottom of a couch or something similar.

2. From there, grab with one hand, keep back straight and parallel to the floor.

3. Pull band slightly, tuck elbow in and up to ensure it is in line with the shoulder.

4. When ready, extend the arm backwards without moving elbow placement and contract your triceps as hard as you can.

Progression & Regression

Hold band lower down to increase resistance and higher up to decrease resistance.

 

Take home message

This resistance band upper body workout from Reece is sure to get those biceps and triceps burning. With room for progression and different equipment, this is one you can try whatever your level or equipment situation right now.

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Evangeline Howarth

Evangeline Howarth

Writer and expert

Evangeline is a Veganuary convert and newbie vegan with a degree in English and French from the University of Nottingham. Having recently ditched the meat and dairy, she really enjoys the new flavours and cooking techniques she’s encountered on a plant-based diet. She’s been shocked by the millions of ways you can use tofu, however still hasn’t found a decent cheese substitute! When she’s not in the office or eating, Evangeline usually out running or sailing. As a qualified RYA Dinghy Instructor and a marathon runner, she knows the importance of providing your body with the right nutrients for endurance sports as well as a busy lifestyle. Find out more about Evie's experience here.


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