I have made up a list of the seven most important muscle groups, ranging from greatest importance to least importance, when it comes to adding size to your upper body.
The first muscle group that comes to a beginner's mind when considering which muscle group will give he or she the well-developed look of a bodybuilder is usually the upper arm and more specifically the biceps. This is probably because when someone asks to see your muscle, most people don't go and flex their beefy deltoids; they flex their biceps.
The idea that adding bulk to your arms will give your entire upper body a major increase in size is a common misconception that many beginners have. The muscles of the upper arm only make up a small part of the upper body, and although a nice set of arms may look good during the summer months, they don't really add much size to the upper body.
In my opinion, the most important muscle group to adding size to your upper body is the deltoids. A well-developed pair of deltoids will create the illusion that your upper body is much larger that it really is. The deltoids also help give your upper body a V shape and will give the appearance of broad shoulders.
The deltoids contribute to both the front and back of the upper body and if they are not well developed your entire upper body will suffer. Some exercises that will help to develop the deltoids are dumbbell side laterals and front dumbbell raises.
The Poe Show:
Episode #5: V-Taper Back Training!!
Check out Brandon's tips and tricks on building a great v-taper. His back training techniques have given him development at a young age, showing a prominent waist to shoulder symmetry.
The main muscle group of the chest is the pectorals. A well-developed chest is very important because it will add major size to your inner upper body. In addition, the chest is a very visible part of the upper body.
An exercise that will help to develop the pectorals is the bench press; the bench press works the entire pectorals. Another exercise that will help develop the inner pectorals is the narrow grip bench press.
Click Image To Enlarge. The Chest Is A Very Visible Part Of The Upper Body.
3. The Trapezius
Developing the traps is important because they greatly contribute to your back and give you large muscular shoulders. Developing the traps also will thicken your neck and make you look much larger.
The traps will also contribute to the classic V shape that everyone wants their upper body to have. Some exercises that will help to develop the traps are the military press and the standing barbell press.
The lats are very important to back development and help give you that classic V shape. A large back will improve your entire upper body and make you look much more muscular. A great exercise that helps to develop the lats is pull-ups.
This may be surprising to many beginners but the triceps make up more of the upper arm then the biceps do. The triceps are important to develop because they make up 2/3 of the upper arm.
In addition, a well-developed pair of triceps will contribute greatly to chest development since the share many of the same exercises. Some exercises for the triceps are the narrow grip bench press and triceps extensions.
Click Image To Enlarge. The Triceps Are Important To Develop Because They Make Up 2/3 Of The Upper Arm.
6. The Biceps
The biceps are one of the smallest muscle groups in the entire body, yet when fully developed they look great and bring attention to your upper arms.
The biceps may not add much size to your body but if well developed, they can pull together a lacking physique and are necessary for any bodybuilder.
Tri-Phase Training Video Series:
Phase #1: Volume Training!
In this fourth episode, watch and learn as Scivation's Marc Lobiner and Derek Charlesbois explain Tri-Phase Volume Training, doing an Arm Day volume workout on Day Four!
The abs are like the frosting on a cake, they are nice to look at but really won't increase the size of your upper body much. They are what brings the entire upper body together.
No one wants to go the beach and after all his or her hard work have everyone be distracted from his or her great body by a fat gut. The key to great abs is a low body fat percentage. Most males will be able to see their abs at around 8% or below and females at around 15% or below.
Crunches will help to tone the abs but I do not recommend using weight because you will get a gut full of abs. This may look all right at the beach but when you have your shirt on it will just look like a beer belly.
I know this is just about building the upper body but thought I'd add this. Bodybuilding is an art of looking bigger than you attually are on stage. It wins contests. from my experiance so far if you make your legs bigger it will make your upper body look bigger,