Whether your a guy that wants to build strength and muscle mass, or a woman looking to get stronger and tone her upper body, a effective upper body workout can make the difference in your success. Try this workout to gain upper body mass, tone your body, and strengthen your chest, arms, and core.
Keep in mind that an upper body workout isn’t just for those that are doing only strength training – it’s important for runners as well. A toned upper body can help your running form, making it more efficient. When you run, your arms do more than just swing back and forth. If you have ever watched an elite runner race, you’ll notice their running cadence matches the movement of the arms like perfect clockwork. That’s because she’s using her entire body to run as fast and efficiently as possible.
As you run, your arms save energy for your legs as they drive your body forward. With a strong upper body, you’ll boost endurance as well as tone your arms, shoulders, and chest.
How To Do It – Upper Body Workout
Perform exercises two to three times per week, preferably on cross-training or easy running days.
Warm up with 5 to 10 minutes of cardio (easy running, cycling, rowing, uphill walking) and cool down with 5 to 10 minutes of easy stretching.
During your workout, always focus on breathing and good form.
When using weights, choose ones that are heavy enough that you feel a deep burn around the 10th rep.
Perform two to three sets of 15 reps of each exercise.
Your Upper Body Workout Exercises
Lie down on a flat bench with a weight in each hand and your feet in the air, and place your knees at a 90-degree angle. Slowly raise each weight above your chest while exhaling. At the top of this movement, turn your palms inward as you continue to straighten the elbows until the weights touch and palms face each other. As you inhale, slowly spread the weights apart and rotate palms forward to return to the start position. Perform 15 reps.
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, with a dumbbell in each hand. Slowly lift the weights in front of you until you’ve lifted them to the height of your shoulders. Then lower them. Now, raise your arms to the side of your body until you’re shaped like a “T”. Hold for a moment then slowly lower them down. This is one total rep – do 15 of them.
Lay flat on your stomach, with your toes pointed down on the floor, and your hands underneath your shoulders. Push up until your arms are straight while also keeping your body straight as well. At the top of this movement, hold and then slowly lower yourself back down to the floor. Do 15 of these reps. Optional – you can add additional resistance by putting your feet on a stability ball rather than on the floor – this is a great way to also build additional core strength.
Place your palms on a bench, and your feet on a stability ball, and your bottom off the bench. You should be shaped like an “L”. Lower your hips down while bending your elbows. Hold for a moment and lift back up. Do 15 reps of this movement.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. You want an underhand grip on the dumbbell. Slowly curl your right arm up until your fist is up at the height of your shoulder, then lower your arm down. Do this with your left arm. That is one rep – do 15 of them.
All of the above exercises can be done in your home with minimal equipment. You only need a stability ball, a simple bench, and a set of dumbbells. If you’re pressed for space, you may want to use a set of adjustable dumbbells, which gives you the flexibility of a full set of dumbbells, but they only take up the space of one dumbbell set. At Fitness 4 Home Superstore, all three stores in the Phoenix area carry a full selection of dumbbells, benches, and fitness accessories – stop in today and fast track your home upper body workouts!
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