Tren superior: ¿Qué es y cómo se entrena?

Upper body: What is it and how is it trained?

Upper body training is essential to develop strength, endurance and a balanced physical appearance . In this post, we will explain what the upper body is, how to properly warm up and stretch, and how to train effectively using different methods and materials.

Upper body, what is it

What is upper body?

The upper body refers to the upper part of the human body , including the muscles of the chest, back, shoulders, arms and abdomen. Training these muscles not only improves strength and aesthetics, but is also crucial for performance in many sports and daily activities.


Both the pectoralis major and minor are located within the upper body. While the former is the main chest muscle, responsible for movements such as pushing forward and downward, the pectoralis minor sits below the pectoralis major, helping to stabilize the scapula.


The latissimus dorsi is a large back muscle that is involved in adduction, extension, and internal rotation of the shoulder.


The upper, middle and lower trapezius extend from the base of the skull to the middle of the back and are crucial for the movement and stabilization of the shoulders and head.


This muscle covers the shoulder and allows abduction, flexion and extension of the arm.


The biceps brachii, located in the front part of the arm, is essential for elbow flexion and forearm supination. Just below the biceps brachii is the brachialis which contributes significantly to elbow flexion.


Located on the back of the arm, it is essential for elbow extension.


The forearm flexors and extensors are muscles that control the movements of the wrist and fingers.

Upper Abdominal Muscles

The rectus abdominis , especially the upper portion, is important for trunk flexion, while the external and internal obliques (the lateral muscles of the abdomen) allow rotation and lateral flexion of the trunk.

Muscles that make up the entire upper body

How to warm up and stretch the upper body

Before starting any upper body workout, it is essential to perform a proper warm-up to prepare the muscles and prevent injuries. Stretching is also crucial to maintaining flexibility and facilitating recovery.

Warm-up for the upper body

A good warm-up for the upper body should include dynamic movements that increase blood flow to the muscles and improve joint mobility. Here are some recommended exercises:

  • Arm Rotations: With your arms extended at your sides, make small and then large circles, first in one direction and then the other.
  • Shoulder Rotations: Raise your shoulders toward your ears and rotate them back and forth.
  • Incline push-ups: Perform push-ups against a wall or elevated surface to warm up your chest and arm muscles.
  • Dynamic stretches: Includes movements such as cross-arm swings and lateral stretches.

Stretches for the upper body

After training, static stretching helps reduce muscle tension and improve flexibility. Here are some effective stretches:

  • Pectoral stretch: Place your arm at a 90-degree angle against a wall and rotate your body in the opposite direction.
  • Triceps stretch: Bring one arm above your head and bend it back, pushing lightly with the other hand.
  • Lat stretch: Sit on the floor, stretch your arms forward and lower your torso toward the floor.
  • Deltoid stretch: Bring one arm crossed in front of your body and push with the other hand.
Woman stretching her upper body

How to train the upper body

Upper body training can be adapted to different fitness levels and goals. Below, we explore various exercises and methods to effectively train the upper body.

Upper Body Exercises Without Material

For those who prefer to train without equipment, bodyweight exercises are a great option. Here are some effective exercises:

Push-ups: A classic exercise that works the chest, shoulders and triceps. Vary the width of your hands to target different muscles.

Dips between chairs: Use two chairs to work your triceps and chest.

Plank: Maintain a plank position to strengthen your core and shoulder muscles.

Pike push-ups: This exercise is performed by placing the body in an inverted "V" position, with the hips elevated, and lowering the head to the floor to work the shoulders and triceps.

Exercises to train the upper body without material

Upper Body Exercises with Dumbbells

Dumbbells allow a wide variety of movements and are ideal for increasing endurance and strength . Here are some recommended exercises:

Dumbbell bench press: Lie on a bench and press the dumbbells up, working your chest and triceps.

Dumbbell Row: Lean forward and raise the dumbbells toward your waist, focusing on your lats and biceps.

Shoulder press: Push the dumbbells up from shoulder height to work the deltoids.

Biceps curl: Raise the dumbbells toward your shoulders to work the biceps.

Exercises for the upper body with dumbbells

Upper Body Exercises with Rubber Bands

Rubber bands are a versatile tool that can be used anywhere. Here are some exercises you can do:

Band Chest Press: Hold the band behind you and push forward, working your chest and triceps.

Band row: Hold the band at a fixed point and pull towards you, working your back and biceps.

Band Lateral Raises: Step on the band and raise your arms out to the sides to work your shoulders.

Band Triceps Extensions: Step on the band and stretch your arms up to work your triceps.

Upper body exercises with elastic bands

Upper Body Exercises for Soccer Players

Soccer players need a strong upper body to improve their performance and resist impacts. Here are some specific exercises:

Chest Press: Improves chest and triceps strength, essential for resisting pushes.

Plyometric push-ups: Help develop power in the upper body.

Renegade row : Works the core and back muscles, improving stability.

Medicine ball torso rotations: Improve core strength and rotation.

Upper body exercises for soccer players

Upper Body Exercises for Cyclists

Cyclists need a strong upper body to maintain good posture and control the bike. Here are some specific exercises:

Dumbbell chest press: Works the chest and triceps, crucial for supporting body weight on the handlebars.

Lateral Raises: Improves shoulder strength and stability.

Barbell row: Strengthens the back and shoulders.

Side Plank: Improves core strength and lateral stability.

Upper body exercises for cyclists

Upper Body Exercises for Runners

For runners, a strong upper body helps improve efficiency and posture during running. Here are some recommended exercises:

Push-ups: Strengthens the chest, shoulders and triceps.

Rowing with elastic bands : Improves back strength and posture.

Dumbbell Shoulder Press: Strengthens shoulders and improves stability.

Plank with arm lifts: Improves core strength and trunk stability.

Upper body exercises for runners

Upper Body Exercises for Women

Women can benefit greatly from balanced upper body training. Here are some recommended exercises:

Dumbbell chest press: Improves chest and triceps strength.

Dumbbell row: Strengthens the back and improves posture.

Lateral raises: Tone the shoulders.

Dumbbell biceps curl: Strengthens and tones your arms.

Upper body exercises for women

In conclusion, upper body training is essential for comprehensive physical health , optimal sports performance and balanced aesthetics . Incorporating a variety of exercises, from those without material to those that use dumbbells or rubber bands , allows you to effectively work all the muscles of the upper body. Furthermore, adapting these exercises to the specific needs of different athletes, such as soccer players, cyclists and runners, guarantees a more effective and functional training.

Don't forget to warm up and stretch properly to maximize benefits and prevent injuries. Visit our website in search of material and start strengthening your upper body today!

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