Improving Upper Body Strength

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by soccerchic, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Hi guys! I'm a sophomore soccer player looking to improve my arm strength. Just trying to get a head start for the fitness test. Since I play soccer, I have really strong leg muscles but my arms are almost like jelly. Pull-ups and lots of push-ups are what I really want to work towards. I don't want to wimp out and do the flexed arm hang! Do you guys have any suggestions on how to build up my strength? Exercises?
    Thanks in advance! :muscles2:
     
  2. Knittle

    Knittle Member

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    Put a pull up bar in the doorway to your room or another room you frequently use. Religiously do pull ups every time you go through the door. I started out at around 5 pull ups and was able to max the test by doing this.
     
  3. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    Like you I'm an endurance athlete (XC, Track runner) who struggles with this kind of stuff. For the pushups, honestly just do the max you can do a couple or three times a day and you will get better. I got from 30 to over 80 within a couple months, but the pullups will probably take me longer (and I can't say I know much of anything about either really). If anybody has advice on pullups it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  4. ajyeld2017

    ajyeld2017 Member

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    Religiously do 25-50 push ups and about 100 sit-ups 2-3 times every day, not just leading up to the test but until you can max out daily.
     
  5. thorgold

    thorgold C4C, USAFA

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    This. Absolutely this. I put a pull-up bar in the doorway next to the kitchen. Right before meals, right after meals, and when I get home I just jump on and crank out a set. Started at 6, can do 13 regularly, and with a bit of effort can get to 15. As for pushups, same thing, but you can do them anywhere. Get out of bed in the morning, do a set. Get home, do a set. Writer's block while writing a paper? Do a set.

    Granted, it's not as efficient as a dedicated strength building program with planned cycles of on and off days, but you'll see results over time by just doing simple, casual exertions. You have two years, so time's not a big factor into your workout regimen.
     
  6. Alpineskier

    Alpineskier Member

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    This is a good site for pushups http://www.hundredpushups.com/ I went from doing 10 really crappy pushups to 50 military pushups going past 90- degrees in about 4 months. As for pullups putting a pullup bar in your house is great but if you cant (like me) I went to the gym and did sets of pullups starting with negatives, jumpups and just hanging their with my arms flexed just to get my upper body used to my body weight. From there I started to use bands (the big rubber bands people use to stretch out) and tie it up on the bar and used the different ones depending on the size. Dont be discouraged if you cant do a pulllup. I am a guy and it took me almost 3 months to do one pullup and 3 months after that I can do 5 (still improving). Also you can look up back and shoulder workouts to help improve your strength. Good job preparing early!! :thumb:
     
  7. nn139

    nn139 USAFA Appointee 2017

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    Not sure if this works for everyone, but doing high-rep, low-weight resistance training has really helped me with pushups. For pullups, I do one set of as many as I can and then do another set after a 10-15 minute break.

    My Stats
    Pushups: 100 in 1 minute
    Pulluos: 20 without a rest
     
  8. afa

    afa Member

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    ok i'll tell you my story. i am a runner (track and xc) so when i decided last year that i wanted to apply to the SAs i really had to get my butt in gear and get in the gym. i started out at 1 pull up. literally 1. you will be surprised just how weak people who don't workout are haha

    but anyways onto the main point. at first all i started out with in mind was pullups and pushups. since you probably can't do a lot of pullups you should start out with just building strength in your back. exercises like lat pull downs, rows etc etc. and if you can get a pullup bar great. don't let the number of pullups you can or can't do at the beginning discourage you. it is very easy to think you won't ever be able to get the avg on the cfa but trust me if i can do it you can too. it took me a good solid 3 months of going to the gym almost everyday and of course you need to alternate your workouts ( i did back workouts every other day)

    summarized version: get your *** in gear now and don't wait till the last minute because it does take time. you will get to where you want/need to be. i went from 1 to 13 now... be consistent and once you see results, which won't be for a while, you will surprise yourself

    ps: you have some time to work on it so if you start now i have no doubt you will be far ahead of the game when the time comes for you to take the cfa
     
  9. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Thanks you all for the advice! :shake:
     
  10. afa

    afa Member

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    sorry i failed to realize that your username was soccerchic :redface:. haha the same still applies though. once again, if you start now you will be way ahead of the rest of the field. have at it and good luck!
     
  11. soccerchic

    soccerchic Member

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    Haha yes! That way people just don't assume I'm a boy:wink:
     
  12. usafahopeful1

    usafahopeful1 Prospective Cadet 2017

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    Good job getting started now! I always said I would and never did enough for pull ups! I still can't do one, but am really working on that.
    Everyone is right about push-ups and crunches, just do them!! And if doing your max of push ups all the time seems daunting, just do 10 or 20 every hour if you can. Sit ups same deal, just more repetitions.
    For pull-ups, look up pull-up resistance bands if you cannot do one. You can actually do reps this way!! If you don't have/can't get a band, do negatives (start at top and let yourself down slowly, start with over 5 sec, work to longer).
     
  13. afa

    afa Member

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    this is some great advice as well. people who know about working out always recommend negatives and these will really help. great tip usafahopeful1 :thumb:
     

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