Building your upper body strength doesn’t just benefit your aesthetics but also your bone density as you age, your posture and it can also help with speeding up your metabolism for fat loss as well. Therefore while many women don’t give their upper bodies the attention it deserves (choosing to focus on abs, butt and thighs instead) it is actually important to balance it all out and strengthen the arms, lats, shoulders as well.
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Here are a few of owner and Co-Founder of Flow Athletic, Ben Lucas’ favourite exercises for upper body strength.
Push up on knees or toes
Push ups are a great compound exercise as they recruit a large number of muscles in your body and once and therefore can get you significantly fitter in a shorter amount of time. They are especially good for your arms, abs and lower body
– Kneel on the floor with your hands at shoulder width apart and your knees bent (or stay up in a plank)
– Keep your body straight, engage your core and do not break the hips
– Lower yourself to the floor. Are you are focusing on triceps, your elbows should be going backwards, not side wards
– Now push yourself back up
Dumb bell Bicep Curl (Bicep)
A very common exercise, bicep curls are important for toning your arms, strengthening the muscle which is important for functional movement such as lifting up your groceries, picking up a suitcase etc. and they are efficient because they also work your shoulders, back and forearms at the same time. While they are known as an ‘isolation’ exercise, they do utilize other major muscle groups as stabalisers.
– Stand straight with your feet hip width apart, holding two DBs in front of you. Start with relatively straight arms out in front of your body, but don’t lock your elbows!
– Engage your core and roll your shoulders back
– Moving slowly, bend your elbows and bring the DBs towards your chest while keeping your core and triceps still. Count to 2 on the up phase
– Now slowly release and count to 2 on the down phase
– That is 1 rep
Resistance band wide lat raise
An excellent exercise for your shoulders, waist and hips. By using the band many muscles in your body and recruited to help stabalise you making it a very effective exercise
– Get a long resistance band and step your feet right in the center of it. Then hold the handles with each of your hands
– Engage the core and roll your shoulders back. Knees should have a very slight bend for stability
– Now slowly raise your arms out to the side until they are about at head height
– Now slowly bring them back down in a controlled movement
A great exercise for developing strength in your upper back, your lats, your biceps and triceps
– Hold onto the TRX with your feet hip width apart
– Walk your legs forward and lean back so that your arms are straight, but your body is engaged- so you will want your core to be sucked in, squeeze your glutes, shoulders back
– Pull your arms in so they are straight next to your torso, you will want your chest to be leading forward
– Hold this position for 2 seconds, then slowly lower yourself back down
– If you don’t’ have a TRX, you can use a low bar to do rows, or you can use a high bar to do chin ups if you are more advanced
Another great exercise for your triceps and your core
– Sit on the edge on a bench. Place both hands next to your hips with hands facing forward
– Keep both feet flat on the floor with knees bent and take your weight on your hands
– Lower yourself down by bending at the elbows.
– Push yourself up and repeat. Remember to do this to the count of 2 seconds down and 2 seconds up.