Training is hard enough already, so knowing the moves that will get you the best and most efficient results is always a good thing. So, we’ve looked at a few of the most popular upper body moves and found a few tat could be improved or even completely swapped out. Here are the top 3 swaps for your workout routine to get your upper body fired up!
1. The Mini Tweak: Swap Lateral Dumbbell Raises for 1-Arm Lateral Raises
Lateral raises are famous for their ability to work your deltoids, but making the swap from the two-arm method to a single arm has a two-fold benefit. Firstly, using only one arm engages your core, specifically your obliques, forcing your body to balance out the weight differential. Also, by using one arm at a time, you are focusing more on the individual muscle meaning you can train more evenly and effectively strengthening your weaker side.
The two-armed dumbbell row is a gym staple for working your back muscles and arms. However, this move requires equal work from both sides independently, meaning if you are weaker on one side, you’ll feel it and that could effect your progress. The bent-over row, using a barbell, works the same muscles but requires more “trunk” stabilization meaning you’ll be able to lift heavier loads compared to the dumbbell unilateral cousin.
3. The Full Swap: Swap out Chest Flyes for Push Ups
“While exercises like chest flyes and cable crossovers are great for eliciting a high degree of muscle activation in the pectoralis major — the primary muscles of the chest — push-ups are a more functional exercise that effectively train one of the body’s five primary movement patterns.”
Jessica Matthews, senior advisor for health and fitness education for the American Council on Exercise (ACE). Essentially,this means that a push-up trains your body better for everyday activity like pushing a shopping cart or playing basketball, in addition to body sculpting. The push-up also require the body to stabilize itself while doing the move meaning you are engaging your core and working your body more fully than the dumbbell flye or cable flye crossover.
Just a few ideas to improve work in the gym or rev up your workout. Try these swaps next time your training and see the way they work for you!