Get a strong upper body with this quick five-move workout that targets your arms, shoulder, back, and core. Pickle jars and heavy boxes? No big deal! Read on for the workout, and get ready to impress.
- Begin in plank position with straight arms and legs. Your wrists should be directly below your shoulders. If this is tough to hold, rest one or both knees on the floor.
- Keeping your core engaged, inhale as you bend your elbows out to the sides, lowering your torso toward the floor. Keep your body in one straight line, and don’t let your lower back sag or your hips hike upward.
- Exhale to straighten your arms, coming back to plank position. This counts as one repetition.
- Complete as many reps as you can, aiming for 20.
- This simple move does wonders for strengthening your arms, but it’s important to do it correctly.
2. Superman Exercise
- Lie face down on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position.
- Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated U shape with your body — back arched and arms and legs several inches off the floor.
- Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one.
- Twelve reps completes a set.
- Your arms will thank you for this momentary rest, and your shoulders will benefit from this definition-building move.
3. Side Elbow Plank
Reps: 30 Seconds Each Side
- Begin by lying on your side and bringing your right elbow to directly under your right shoulder. Stagger your feet so your left foot is just in front your right one. Engage your core, press your right elbow in into mat, and rise into side plank.
- Reach your left arm up toward the ceiling, which will help you lift your waist.
- Hold for 30 seconds, and work up to holding the position for one minute. Repeat on the other side to complete a set.
4. Tricep Dips
- Position your hands shoulder-width apart on a secured bench or stable chair.
- Slide your butt off the front of the bench with your legs extended out in front of you.
- Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints.
- Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench.
- Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position. This completes one rep.
- Keep your shoulders down as you lower, and raise your body. You can bend your legs to modify this exercise.
- A set is 20 reps.
- This simple body-weight exercise tones the back of the arms quite nicely. You can also do this move with your hand on the floor and your knees bent.
5. Bent Over Row
- Lean forward and bend both knees, remembering to keep a flat back.
- Extend your arms so they are straight. Lift the dumbbells straight up to chest level, squeezing your shoulder blades together as you do. Be sure to keep your elbow in and pointed upward. Don’t arch your back.
- Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position to complete one rep.
- A set is 12 reps.
- This move makes for shapely shoulders and a powerful back.