Upper body workouts strengthen the chest, back, shoulders and arms. In order to balance upper body workouts, you have to take into account how often you lift weights. You can do upper body workouts using machines, free weights, resistance bands and floor exercises such as push-ups. For those athletes who lift daily, the best option is to divide the upper body workout into two sections and alternate days. On one day, do exercises that work the chest and biceps, and the other day, work the back and triceps. Work your shoulders both days, the front of the shoulders on the chest day, and the back of the shoulders on the back day. Taking a split approach gives you more time to focus on specific areas and more recovery time for each muscle group.
2. All or Nothing
If you aren't consistent at the gym, another option is to work your upper body all in one day. That way, you make sure you work all your muscles evenly. This tactic ensures a balanced upper body, even for those who only do upper body strength training once a week. If you do choose this method, remember to alternate exercises. Do a chest exercise, a back exercise, a bicep then a tricep exercise. Doing two chest exercises in a row won't get the same results as splitting them up since your chest muscles are fatigued from the first set. Give your muscles a chance to recover before working them again. If you take an all-or-nothing approach, you should take at least one day off before doing the strength training workout again to give your muscles a rest.
3. One Day at a Time
For some, working one set of muscles a day is desirable. For these people, one day is devoted to chest muscle development, the next to back muscle development and the next to arm muscle development. This only works if you are incredibly consistent, since you have to work all your muscles the same to keep a balanced upper body. With this method, you still need to make sure you give each muscle group adequate rest by not working the same set of muscles two days in a row. Also, take at least one day a week completely off to give your body a break and a chance to recover.