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  1. #1
    Bicikli Huszár sudo bike's Avatar
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    Upper Body Exercises

    Cycling has been building my legs very well, but my upper body is not toning as quickly as I'd like it to. What sort of upper body exercises do you do off the bike? What's been most successful for you? I'm not looking to build large amounts of muscle mass, just to lean and tone...

    What's your upper body routine, if you have one?
    "The bicycle is the noblest invention of mankind. I love the bicycle. I always have. I can think of no sincere, decent human being, male or female, young or old, saint or sinner, who can resist the bicycle."

    - William Saroyan

  2. #2
    Senior Member travelmama's Avatar
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    Swim laps with a pull buoy.
    Two Wheels One Love

  3. #3
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    Here's mine, the names of the exercises might not be the official ones, maybe more so a description...i only use dumbbells and cables, i do it in blocks of 4 exercises with no rest in between, once i finish a block i move to the next block, total A or B day takes 30 minutes, then i run 3miles...i personally would rather go with lighter weights than sacrifice form or slow down my circuit

    A Day
    Db Bench 4x10 @50
    Seated Crunch 4x25 @150
    Rope Tricep 4x8 @80,90,100,110
    Curls 4x8 @35

    Chest cables 4x8 @40
    Ab Sides 4x8 @35
    Cable Tri 4x8 @40,50,60,70
    Cable Curls 4x8 @40

    Cable Rows 4x8 @80
    Ab Leg Lifts 4x8
    Lat Pulls 4x8@80

    B Day
    Side Fly 4x8 @20
    Seated Crunch 4x25 @150
    Front Fly 4x8 @25,25,20,20
    Curls 4x8 @35

    Db Pulls 4x8 @35
    Standing Db Incline 4x8 @35
    Ab Sides 4x8 @35
    Cable Curls 4x8 @40

    Ab Leg Lifts 4x8
    Lat Pulls 4x8@80

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    i hate going to gyms....so i do mostly pullups and pushups intermittently when i'm on the trainer.
    for pushups - this may sound weird - but i use a set of pista track bars on the floor as pushup bars.

    silly, but i've gained muscle from it

  5. #5
    Senior Member Chalupa102's Avatar
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    Recently i've been doing high rep and high set workouts with lighter weights. This is my typical workout schedule:

    Arm Day (Tuesday)
    Bodyweight chin ups 5x15 (it usually ends up being 3x15 and last 2 sets of about 10-15)
    Single arm cable curls 5x15
    DB hammer curls 5x15
    Tricep pushups 5x15
    Cable overhead extensions 5x15
    Single arm cable push downs 5x15
    Forearm roll ups 5 sets with 1min rest
    Reverse forearm curls 5x15
    Behind the back cable forearm curls 5x15

    Back and Forearm Day (Thursday)
    Bodyweight pull ups 5x15 (it usually ends up being 3x15 and last 2 sets of about 10-15)
    Machine low rows 5x15
    Single arm lat pull downs 5x15
    Bodyweight horizontal rows 5x15
    Reverse grip cable curls 5x15
    DB forearm curls 5x15

    Chest Day (Friday)
    Bodyweight dips 5x15
    Incline DB presses 5x15
    Decline DB flyes 5x15
    Pushups 5x15

    Sometimes if i don't feel like working out on Thursday, i'll combine Thursday and Friday's workout on Friday.
    - Dan

    Distance cycled for 2012: 2079.8 miles

  6. #6
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    There is no such thing as toning.

    The most efficient upper body exercises are the following:

    - deadlifts
    - pull ups / chin ups (all the way up/all the way down)
    - dips
    - shoulder-width bench press (triceps)
    - dumbell press (shoulders)

    This is all you need to build a strong core.

  7. #7
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    go heavy or go home! :-) if you want to see results try a 5x5 program 5 sets of 5 reps at the highest weight you can manage for the entire session. be intense! but don't hurt yourself! :-)

    pullups
    elevated (feet) pushups
    dips
    curls
    3 shoulder movements for the front; side and rear deltoids
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  8. #8
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    my favorite exercises in no particular order:

    * bent over barbell row ( i use 250 - 300 pounds now, used to go up to 500 lbs when on steroids )
    * barbell shrug ( used to go up to 550 lbs )
    * standing dumbbell shoulder press ( kinda embarrasing, won't even tell u how much i use now hehe - coming back from injury )
    * one hand pull down ( again coming back for injury, used to go up to 220 lbs with one hand - slightly less than my body weight )
    * power clean ( got hurt before i could get good at it, only went up to 225 lbs )
    * cable crossovers for chest ( went up to about 170 lbs each hand, that's more than the full stack - had to add weights to it )
    * one arm press down for tricep with regular and reverse grip ( nothing interesting there )

    there are two exercises that i used to be big on that i have stopped doing - bench press and weighted dips. while these exercises are effective they are almost guaranteed to produce injury and as such not worth it. on the other hand exercises like bent over row are only guaranteed to produce injury if you don't have good form.

    also swimming is an excellent way to supplement resistance training for upper body but not a substitute. i get the best "pump" from swimming.

    since i quit steroids the biggest change i have made to my routine is i eliminated all exercises involving any sort of benches, seats and supports. i used to do chest on a bench, shoulders on a seat, and t-bar rows on that icarian machine where you lay down on it. no more. now i do everything standing up on my feet. the point is that a "bench" or "seat" doesn't exist in nature - it's not a natural way to train your body.

    technically speaking a bicycle isn't a natural way to train either - perhaps running up the stairs would have been better - but i would rather be enjoying beautiful landscapes than concrete walls.

    another major change i made is i moved away from "isolation" exercises and towards "full body" exercises such as power clean. i have stopped doing curls completely. my biceps get enough work on bent over rows and pull downs. guys who do isolation exercises are usually weak like little girls, even if they get big biceps. the only way to get strong is with stuff like power cleans.

    also a really good exercise is weighted chin up. only problem is that one hand pull down is even better.

    please be advised that i have been working out in the gym for more than 10 years before i ever attempted power cleans. realize that some exercises are not for beginners ...
    Last edited by NEUROSPORT; 04-06-10 at 06:34 AM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I was benching heavy but now I bench smartly. also, elevated (feet) pushups rock the upper chest and front deltoids.

    I'm diggin the "body weight" movements cuz I feel they are more natural as well.

    about the pullups, etc. there used to be obstacle course near my summer job and my favorite station was the rope. I would grab a knot above my head and do my pullups with that. oh, and the other great place for pullups is at the top corner of a swingset. the triangle is just right and if you get under it facing out the angle of the poles really lend themselves to the movement because the bottoms flare out and away from you. try it sometime!

    maybe what I did was grab a side pole and that slanted center pole. I forget now exactly which 2 poles I used hahaha. something like this

    http://media.nola.com/politics/photo...3c44_large.jpg

    I have also made great improvements in muscle mass winding back the aging clock with this type glute machine:
    scroll down to - GymCompany Glute Selectorised Strength Machine

    http://www.gymspecialist.co.uk/?c=Gy...pment&start=57
    Last edited by rumrunn6; 04-06-10 at 06:47 AM.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  10. #10
    Primate Metzinger's Avatar
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    Not currently a gym member, but I've been playing with some exercises that I can do elsewhere.
    Yoga.
    Push ups, done ultra slow at wide hand spacing, on or off exercise ball.
    Chin-ups, done from a staircase with overhand grip and a slow crunch at the top of each rep.
    Dips, using the backs of chairs, again with the crunch.
    Ab work, front and side, on ball.

    I find the compound exercises to be quite draining, esp. when doing a few sets, and consider them meaningful.

  11. #11
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    oh yeah, those compound movements are killer. some are too much for me and so I still like a lot of the isolated singular movements.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Metzinger View Post
    Ab work, front and side, on ball.
    while core strength is very important the foundation for it must come from lifting weights with your hands while standing on your two feet. for example when i do standing shoulder press i feel it in my abs very well.

    if after doing exercises like shrugs, squats, standing presses, power cleans etc you still want more core strength you can do some exercises unilaterally ( one hand at a time ).

    i saw some psycho in my old gym back in Brooklyn doing 4 plates on a T bar with one hand - i was surprised his spine didn't snap in half from the torque he put around it from performing the row unilaterally.

    i don't do unilateral rows myself - it is the one exercise that is too hard for me. rowing just 100 pounds unilaterally is harder for me than rowing 300 pounds with both hands. many people do this exercise while trying to block out the pain in their back from their minds - that is beyond stupid. actually the 4 plate guy was teaching some juiced up kid how to do the exercise - the kid ( early 20s ) was was reaching for his back in pain between the sets but kept doing it - not very smart !

    if you want the most rounded core strength you should try doing most exercises both normally and unilaterally - but be very careful on unilateral as it puts asymmetrical load on your back and you can get hurt quick.
    Last edited by NEUROSPORT; 04-06-10 at 05:09 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    get a set of free weights and a thing to do pullups in your doorway.
    pullups
    pushups
    shoulders (deltoids) have 3 distinct sections to work
    overhead presses - front - side
    lean over and do a row for the back of your shoulders - one side at a time
    heavy weights and do 5 sets of 5 reps (go heavy or go home)
    find a way to do some dips - maybe 2 kitchen chairs with your legs out front (careful - don't go too low but work the triceps and lats)

    http://www.musclehelp.com/initiative...ion/musclesedu
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  14. #14
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    In no way is the upperbody as important, as strengthening both The Posterior & Anterior Chain. Emphasis should be placed here when it comes to strength training. The Posterior Chain consists of the (Hamstrings, Glutes, Hips, Legs, Lower back/Erector spinae), “A strong man is strong on the back of his body.” The Anterior Chain consists of the (Abdominal muscles, the Illiopsoas, Hip flexors and the Rectus Femoris). Front & back of the core/lowerbody.

    When it comes to an upperbody workout, I feel too many people perform way too many exercises, too much volume, when a lot of time could be saved. (Although in no way is any respect lost)

    A good upperbody workout will be based around one compound exercise, either: 1. Bench press or 2. Floor press or 3. Indoor Arm cycle. A compound exercise is one exercise that is literally going to hit all the muscles in the upperbody.

    Then all you need is 2-3 additional strengthening exercises something for the upperback/lats (One-Arm Dumbell Rows?) and shoulders/deltiods/chest (Upright Rows/Press-Ups?) Yes, this would be only 3 or 4 exercises for the whole workout (2-5 sets per exercise/5-12 reps per set). No strength endurance sets/reps here.

    Don't ever forget the core of the body. Not in a million years. That is where real power is generated.

    An upperbody routine may look a little something like this:

    Bench press: (Shoulders/deltiods/chest): (3-5 sets x 8-12 reps)
    Upright Rows: (Shoulders/deltiods/traps/abs) (x-5 sets x 12 reps)
    Push-Ups: (Shoulders/triceps/deltiods (x-5 sets x 30+ reps)
    One-Arm Dumbell Rows: (Upperback/Lats) (x-4 sets x 8 reps)

    I hope your not getting any images of what a bodybuilder looks like. Far from it. Your not going to kill yourself, just work hard enough for your body to register a new stimulus.

    Upperbody doesn't take preference over strengthening the Posterior chain or The Anterior Chain. Gains in great strength can't come via just cycling & running alone.

    Use http://www.youtube.com/ & http://www.exrx.net/Lists/Directory.html for exercise instruction.
    Last edited by $ick3nin.vend3t; 05-04-10 at 02:32 PM.

  15. #15
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *****3nin.vend3t
    Upperbody doesn't take preference over strengthening the Posterior chain or The Anterior Chain. Gains in great strength can't come via just cycling & running alone.
    TBH, Upperbody, Posterior chain, Anterior Chain shouldn't take preference over the core/powerhouse when it comes to the gym IMO. I'm sure some will disagree.

    All human movement (extremities) begins with the core initiating the movement.
    Last edited by $ick3nin.vend3t; 05-04-10 at 03:29 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member tallmantim's Avatar
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    Personally, I really like yoga and pilates. They work out, tone and stretch every part of your body, with a focus on your core from pilates.

    I feel much more flexible and stronger in usable strength since doing both a combined 3-4 times a week.

    Osteo told me to be effective (at least for me), you need to do yoga at least 3 times a week (started them to manage back issues). I also swim infrequently (1-2 a fortnight).

    Personally, I'm not a huge fan of weights and would have to give up time on the bike or yoga/pilates to do so - so no gym time for me!

    Note however that I am interested in reducing my upper body size somewhat.

  17. #17
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tallmantim View Post
    Personally, I really like yoga and pilates. They work out, tone and stretch every part of your body, with a focus on your core from pilates.
    +1

    "The Pilates Powerhouse".

    Can't go wrong there.

    Lance Armstrong does pilates.
    Last edited by $ick3nin.vend3t; 05-05-10 at 03:49 PM.

  18. #18
    flaff. crbrown's Avatar
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    If there's a rock climbing gym near you, you could check that out. I can't stand lifting weights, so rock climbing is a fun and challenging way for me to get some upper body work in.

  19. #19
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crbrown View Post
    If there's a rock climbing gym near you, you could check that out.
    +1

    Great rock climbers have insane tendon/general & isometric strength in the upperbody, so its a brilliant exercise.
    Last edited by $ick3nin.vend3t; 05-05-10 at 03:51 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    'fraid not. you're either a good rock climber or not.

    rock climbing doesn't make great climbers.

    people who are great rock climbers have unusual athletic abilities not shared by most of the population.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  21. #21
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    people who are great rock climbers have unusual athletic abilities not shared by most of the population.
    Care to share what those are?.

    We don't have to be great climbers, where cyclists.

  22. #22
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    oh sorry, I think that great climbers are usually very light but also very strong. kinda like a cyclist. I wouldnb't be surprised if a great cyclist or climber was both.

    oh, and certainly one doesn't have to be a great climber to enjoy the sport. I've done some climbing but I need pretty large things to grip and stick my feet on. I'm good at repelling too and heights and exposure don't bother me. I'm good with my hands and gear and keeping cool. but I've never had the forearm strength, for exmaple, to hold myself by what they call french fries. those little bits of rock that one can only get their finger tips on.

    in college, 30 yrs ago, I was once climbing with a guy who really surprised me. he didn't look strong cuz he was thin. turns out he was an amazing climber! and you know what? he was a violinist! I learned a lot that day! :-)
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  23. #23
    Banned. $ick3nin.vend3t's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    oh sorry, I think that great climbers are usually very light but also very strong. kinda like a cyclist. I wouldn't be surprised if a great cyclist or climber was both.
    To be great at both, you need great bodyweight-power/strength ratio. (Relative strength).

    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    ]people who are great rock climbers have unusual athletic abilities not shared by most of the population.
    Because them rare abilities (insane forearm/grip strength) are specifically developed only to the guys that climb regularly.

  24. #24
    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    I do push-pull splits

    Push (MWF)
    BB Squats
    Standing calf extensions
    Arnold presses (alternated with Cuban presses, every other push session)
    Bench presses (alternated with weighted dips, every other push session)
    Standing triceps extensions
    Back hyperextensions

    Pull (TTHS)
    Stiff-legged deadlifts
    Curls (with curl bar, alternated with reverse curls, every other pull session)
    Lat pulldowns
    Standing cable rows
    Weighted crunches

    I do the above as a periodized hypertrophy-specific routine (go here for more details), and then alternate that with a Korte 5x5 routine (that's MWF only, full body, for obvious reasons- 5x5 is tough).

  25. #25
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    Warm up for at least 5 to 10 minutes before starting your weight training workout.Rest at least 48 hours between your exercise sessions to allow your muscles to recover.
    Here I can write some important exercises for upper body. Back and shoulders, Shoulders and upper arms, chests and shoulders.

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