Having a strong upper body has a multitude of benefits. It improves posture and mobility, reduces the risk of injury and helps to keep the bones healthy.
Strong arms, chest, shoulders and back can also improve your mental well-being—let’s face it, reaching fitness goals can make you feel like a million dollars. With this in mind, here are the top four exercise machines to whip your upper body into shape.
Lat Pulldown Machine
You can’t go wrong with a lat pulldown machine for a stellar upper body workout, as it not only exercises your back but also helps to shape your shoulders and arms.
Sit with your knees below the pad at the front of the machine and place your hands on the bar. Next, pull the bar down until your elbows are touching your rib cage before releasing and repeating the exercise.
As its name suggests, this machine engages the latissimus dorsi muscles in your back and the posterior of your rib cage. Beginners are advised to start by holding the bar with the palms facing their chest and the hands relatively close together to make the exercise easier.
Incorporate a rowing machine into your workout will do wonders for your upper body.
This machine mimics the motion of rowing a boat, making it a great piece of equipment for improving upper body strength as well as your overall physical health. Sit on the machine with your feet on the floor, your back straight and knees bent.
Grab the handles (or oars) keeping your arms extended. Straighten your legs as you bring the handles toward your chest. The activity of rowing works out the rhomboids in the shoulders, the lats in the lower back and the trapezius muscles in the upper back, toning the biceps, pecs and abs.
This machine also strengthens the hands and wrists as you have to use a strong grip throughout the exercise routine.
Seated Chest Press Machine
The seated chest press machine works on the same principle as the lying bench press. It is also very easy to use. Sit with your back against the padding and your feet flat on the pedals before pressing the handles outward as you exhale.
Inhale as you bring the handles back toward your chest. Just like push-ups, this machine builds the chest, biceps and triceps.
Ultra versatile, the cable machine can be used to both strengthen the upper body and give you a full-body workout. Featuring adjustable cables and weight stacks, this piece of equipment can be used to target different muscle groups.
Unlike dumbbells where you are always working against gravity, a cable machine offers vertical, horizontal and diagonal resistance for a more thorough workout. In addition, the cable machine can be used standing, sitting or kneeling to work different muscles.