This Is The Single Best Upper Body Exercise, According To Men’s Health Fitness Director BJ Gaddour


Kirsten Macnab |

Learn why this is the Men’s Health fitness director’s favourite upper body exercise

By BJ Gaddour

I was recently asked: “If you could only do 5 moves for the rest of your life, what would they be?”

For the upper body, it would be the overhead press followed by the chin-up and then the dip. For the lower body, it would be the Bulgarian split squat and hip thrust.

Why the overhead press? Because next to the deadlift, it’s the ultimate test of total body strength IMHO.

It also requires full range of motion at the shoulder joint and will make you better at every other pressing exercise (chest presses are overrated).

And it has the ability to impact your upper body more than any other exercise as it develops the entire shoulder girdle, the triceps (which comprise 2/3 to 3/4 of your upper arm mass), and your trunk.

Any overhead press variation will work, but the classic barbell military press is my favourite. Having your feet blocked together allow you to “zip up” your entire midline for more core stability and strength and to protect your lower back.

Here I’m doing sets of 6 reps with a slow 4-second negative and dead-stop/pause at the bottom. It’s only 65 kilograms¬†(it looks heavier due to the bumper plates I’m using). But it certainly “feels” heavier than 65¬†with that slow and controlled tempo. I also do normal speed reps. Both work and have their place.

THE UPPER BODY MOVE TO RULE THEM ALL! I was recently asked: “If you could only do 5 moves for the rest of your life, what would they be?” For the upper body, it would be the overhead press followed by the chin-up and then the dip. Why the overhead press? Because next to the deadlift, it’s the ultimate test of total body strength IMHO. It also requires full range of motion at the shoulder joint and will make you better at every other pressing exercise (chest presses are overrated). I also think it has the ability to impact your upper body more than any other exercise as it develops the entire shoulder girdle, the triceps (which comprise 2/3 to 3/4 of your upper arm mass), and your trunk. Any overhead press variation will work, but the classic barbell military press is my favourite. The feet-blocked together allow you to “zip up” your entire midline for more core stability and strength. Here I’m doing sets of 6 reps with a slow 4-second negative and dead-stop/pause at the bottom. It’s only 145-pounds as it looks heavier due to the bumper plates I’m using. But if certainly “feels” heavier than 145 with that slow and controlled tempo. I also do normal speed reps too. Both work and have their place. #MilitaryPress #OverheadPress #Shoulders #Performance #Aesthetics #Muscle #Strength #BJGaddour #WorkoutWednesday

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Originally published on menshealth.com

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