Friday, August 26, 2011

My 3 Favourite Upper Body Exercises

It's Friday!  Time to share some of my favourites ;)

A few weeks ago I posted my 3 favourite lower body exercise, so it is only fitting that I follow up with my fave upper body exercises.

I am particularly fond of these exercises as they require very little equipment, can be done anywhere at anytime and can be modified to suit every exercise level.

Get ready to sculpt those pipes, twice a week is all it takes.  I am pretty sure that your arms are going to make Madonna jealous :)

Bent Over Row
This is a fantastic exercise for your upper back and biceps.

  • Make sure that you have a slight bend in your knees
  • Pivot from your hips, keep your spine neutral with your upper body parallel to the floor
  • Relax your shoulders,  inhale to lower the weights and exhale to raise them
  • When your row up, keep your elbows in and close to the body

Do 1-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

The Plank
You know this one is a favourite from the Plank Challenge.  It targets the arms, shoulders and the core.

  • Pull your belly button into your spine, but don't hold your breath
  • Ensure that your wrists are directly under your elbows
  • Relax your shoulders and neck
  • Keep your body is a straight line from shoulders to toes.  Don't raise your hips.
  • To modify, place your knees on the mat

Hold for 60-90 seconds and repeat three times.

Overhead Press (or Military Press)
This exercise targets the shoulders and biceps.  It could also be performed using dumbbells, but I really like the bands for variety.

  • Make sure your feet are slightly wider than shoulder distance with knees bent
  • Press the arms over head in front of the face (you should be able to see your hands when you look up)
  • Exhale to press up and inhale to release bringing the elbows just below shoulder height.
  • Keep your neck and shoulders relaxed (this is a common theme ;)
  • Tummy is tight and hips are tucked under

Do 1-3 sets of 10-12 reps

What are your favourite upper body exercises?

Stay Healthy,

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