Ready to have toned arms and shoulders? Try these four exercises to help sculpt your upper body.
1. Overhead Triceps Extensions
Place a dumbbell in both hands and hold it above your head. Make sure your elbows are bent. Extend your forearms straight up, keeping your elbows stationary. Bend your elbows to return to the start position. If this is your first time doing this exercise, go lighter on the weight and gradually increase the weight over time. Repeat for 3 sets of 10.
2. Bicep Curl
Stand with your feet shoulder’s width apart and place a dumbbell in each hand. Start with your arms down at your side with your palms facing upward. Keeping your ab muscles braced and your knees slightly bent, curl your arms until they are in front of your shoulders. Slowly lower your arms down to the starting position. Do 3 sets of 10-15 reps. When you are ready, increase the dumbbell weight.
Push-ups not only build strength but also targets and tones your chest, shoulders, arms and glutes. To do a traditional push-up, start in the plank position with your palms down and shoulder width apart. Bend your elbows to lower yourself until your chest nearly touches the ground. Pause and then return to the starting position. Remember to keep your abs braced from start to finish. Repeat, aiming for 3 sets of 10 or as many as you can do for 3 sets. If this is to difficult, rest your knees on a mat to do your push-up. You can also try a Incline Push-Up, Stacked-Feet Push-Up or a Push-Up with your feet on a stability ball.
4. Dumbbell Chest Press
Lie on bench, step or stability ball with a dumbbell in each hand (5 lbs is a great starting weight) straight up over your chest with your palms facing out. Lower your arms until your elbows are just below the chest. Ideally your arms should be in a “goal post” position. Press the weights away from your chest without locking your elbows. Repeat for 3 seats of 10.
Tips: If on a bench or a step, make sure your lower back is pressed onto the bench or step. Remember to brace your abs and work on making the movements slow and controlled.
Which exercise will you be trying?
Jackie is an Ohio native who recently moved to Monterey, California. She began her transition to natural hair in December 2013 and big chopped in April 2014. When she’s not blogging, she loves to workout, travel with her husband, spend time with their three dogs and soak up as much sunshine as possible.