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Best Ways to Improve Upper Body Power & Strength

Lower body training should be the primary focus for athletes (because athletes derive their power from their legs).

However, upper body training is very important, too.

Good upper body strength/power allows athletes to fully take advantage of their lower body strength/power. Because most athletic movements use the entire body, an athlete wants to make sure their entire body is strong and powerful.

If there’s ever a “weak link” in the chain, an athlete will never be able to fully express their true power.

Without further ado, here are the best ways to improve upper body strength & power.

Horizontal Pushing

Horizontal pushing is the act of pushing the arms away from the chest (as opposed to over the head).

This movement involves essentially every upper body muscle on the front side of the athlete’s body. That includes pecs, anterior delts, serratus anterior … additionally, the triceps are involved too.

For strength, the bench press – or any of its variations, such as the neutral grip floor press or the dumbbell floor press – is king.

The push-up and its variations are incredibly useful too, because they involve two extra components: core strength and body control. Athletes cannot have enough core strength and body control.

For power, the medicine ball chest pass is number one in allowing athletes to express their upper body “pushing” power. Plus, it’s super safe and carries a low risk of injury!

Horizontal Pulling

Horizontal pulling is the exact opposite of horizontal pushing: pulling the arms back to the body.

Here, we’re looking at the traps, posterior delts, most of the rotator cuff, and the biceps.

While we’re not overly concerned with developing power in this movement, we do want to get strong with it. This is because, the stronger you are at horizontal pulling, the less likely you will injure your shoulders while “pushing”.

We train horizontal pulling to make sure we don’t get injured and can keep training hard at everything else.

For strength, nothing beats the row. The dumbbell row is safe, scalable, and can make you incredibly strong in this movement. And just like with the pushup, the bodyweight row is similar to other row variations, but requires more core strength and body control.

At GameChanger, our upper body training is centered around these two basic movements.

They get athletes stronger and more powerful in the shortest amount of time and with the least risk of injury.

For more information on our athlete programs (and to get a free assessment), click below!

High School Athletes → CLICK HERE
Middle School Athletes → CLICK HERE

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