Balanced training has become a foreign concept. Muscle building has turned into a quest for bigger biceps and chest, at the expense of physique balance and aesthetics. While there is nothing inherently wrong with wanting a big chest and biceps, overworking one upper body muscle group while ignoring the others is a good way to bring about an injury.

Training imbalances increase incidences of elbow tendonitis and shoulder strains, pains and injuries. To reduce the likelihood of these types of upper body injuries, use the following rules:

  • Balance – Seek to perform about the same number of sets for chest, back and shoulders.
  • Bench and Rows – Seek to perform about the same number or bench press and row sets. This includes variations like dumbbell bench press and dumbbell rows.
  • Overhead Press and Pull Ups – Seek to perform about the same number of overhead press and pull down/pull ups sets. This includes variations such as dumbbell overhead presses and lat pull downs.
  • Arms – Balance your bicep and tricep training. Avoid overworking the biceps.