Written with love, by Nikki Lian
When we’re out of time and ideas to maintain a good fitness routine, sometimes we prioritize our cardio exercises and abdominal workout. If this is you, chances are your upper body isn’t getting the attention it needs. The majority of my clients come to me wanting to strengthen their upper body and get that shapely-arm look so they can feel confident in their sleeveless tops. Here are some easy, anywhere upper body movements you can add to your workout to tone those triceps, biceps and shoulders so you can look great in your strapless gown!
1. Bicep Curls into A Shoulder Press
Start off with lighter weight dumbbells and work your way up. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart holding your weights palms up. Curl both weights at the same time, and then press the weights over your head. Bring the weights back down to your sides. Repeat 12-15 times. This is actually a compound exercise. So if you already do these two exercises in your arm routine, put them together for more of a challenge. It also helps to get your heart rate up and move your workout along faster when you’re pressed for time.
2. Walk Outs with A Push-Up
Start with your feet shoulder with apart. Squat and walk your hands out into a plank. Once you are in a straight-armed plank position, do the greatest push-up you can possibly do. If it’s all the way to the floor--fantastic! If it’s a decent, half-pushup, you’re doing great! Once you complete your pushup, walk your hands all the way back to your feet and stand up straight. Repeat 10 times at your own pace.
3. Shoulder Crosses
Again, start off with a lighter weight on this one. 5 lbs can get heavy really fast when you’re working on your shoulders. Holding a dumbbell face down in each hand with your arms straightened, raise your arms shoulder level. Keeping your arms straight and palms down and shoulder-level, bring them out to the side. Once your arms are out to the side, reverse the movement until your arms are back down to your sides again. Repeat 8-10 times at your own pace.
4. Weight Jacks
Using 3-5 pound weights, simple do jumping jacks while you’re hold the weights. However, keep your arms slightly bent and control the movement. This is important because if you let your arms flail around with weights in your hand you may hurt yourself. You can alternate this exercise with one of the exercises above.
When you are trying to tone up, it’s best to do higher repetitions with lighter weights. I would recommend 3 sets of each exercise at 12-15 reps. If your arms are lagging and you really want to step it up a notch, you can use any of these exercises and incorporate them in any of your fitness routines. Bring some weights along on a hike, do them when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed at night, or before or after your ab routine!!