Most important upper body exercise?

I know most of us here are strong, fit, alpha males, so I hope you can opine - if you could only do one upper-body exercise what would it be? Bench? Bent over rows? Overhead press? For lower body, sure it is the back squat, but for upper body, my vote goes to pullups. I think it is far and away the most practical upper body exercise.

It’s like asking if I only had 1 meal to eat in a day, which one would it be: breakfest, lunch or dinner?

The strong, fit, alpha male doesn’t only do 1 upper body exercise. Neither should you.

Push ups, pull ups, and dips get you 90% of what you need. All can be done with weight and there are a bunch of variations. Add barbell overhead press and you’re golden. Curls are a complete waste of time.

The man knows his stuff… great advice (I used to be a certified personal trainer)

Pull ups

And I disagree about the back squat. If you can only do one lift, I’d want to be doing hexbar squats instead.

If I had to pick, I would say pull-ups, followed extremely closely by push-ups.

Why I give pull-ups the edge–because during the normal course of a persons life, they will use their pull muscles more than they will use push muscles. (Then again, push-ups work a lot of core muscles that pull-ups don’t. Hmmmm…maybe it’s a tie.)

Heavy heavy deads

Think of it this way, if you were in a prison and could do only 1 move what would that be ?

My top priority:

  1. ​Deadlifts
  2. KB snatch
  3. Pullups

The original question was just upper body. If we’re talking one move not limited to upper body it would have to be DLs, maybe clean & jerk. Clean & jerk combines a dead lift, shrug, high pull, front squat and shoulder press. Tough to beat that. It also requires tremendous core/stabilizer strength to catch the weight in the rack position.

How do you squat with that monstrosity?

The clean requires superior skill.I have been lifting for a very long timr(sport specific) yet I never go for moves like that.

The clean isnt very good for building strength either.

Nope,also very likely to injure yourself. KB clean is a different animal though.

Beastly exercise and one that I love!!

Surely u mean hexbar dead or romanian?.. No way u can squat heavy with that bar…

atlas stone to shoulder, best exercise.


you could if you’re on a podium. most people that say that they can squat heavy only actually move about 2-3 inches so i would take it with a grain of salt

best upper body exercise is without a doubt the wide-grip pullup. If you can do 10 of those from a dead hang, time to add some weight and watch the back grow!

as long as you remember to switch hands! can’t have an imbalance because of the dominant forearm…