Tone Your Arms And Shoulders With These Exercises
With many workouts focusing on your abs or tightening your glutes, it’s no surprise that your arms often get neglected. You need to do an upper body workout too though, in order to ensure that your whole body gets a workout. We’d all love to have sculpted arms and shoulders, particularly in the summer when you want to head out into the sunshine in a short-sleeved t-shirt or a sleeveless dress. Furthermore, shoulder and arm exercises are also idea for improving poor posture and keeping your muscles flexible. Remember that for the best results, you should use exercises that target more than one muscle; spot reduction isn’t going to produce the same toned arms as a multi-muscle workout will. For the following exercises, start with two to three sets of 12 to 15 reps, at least twice a week, and then gradually increase your reps or add another set as your arms get stronger.
Two of the best exercises for your shoulders are lateral raises and the overhead shoulder press. You can add variations and increasing reps and weight to make these more difficult once you’ve had time to adjust to the workouts.
This arm exercise works your lateral deltoids and is a simple one to begin with. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and let your arms hang by your sides; slowly raise your arms to each side, keeping your elbows straight, until your arms at shoulder height. Lower them back and repeat, but don’t raise your shoulders as you lift your arms. You should start with a light weight but not too light that the exercise becomes easy straight away. You need to be challenging your muscles and gradually increase the weight each week.
Overhead shoulder press
Once again, begin by holding dumbbells in each hand, hold your arms to your sides with your elbows bent at right angles so that your wrists are above your elbows. Slowly press your dumbbells upwards until your arms are fully extended, hold and then slowly lower. You can also add a bicep component to this move by starting with your arms down in front of you and your palms facing forward. Curl the dumbbells up to your shoulders and then move into the overhead press by rotating your arms as you press the weights up.
Start by sitting on the bench with your palms down and your fingers wrapped over the front edge of the bench. With your legs extended in front of you and knees just slightly bent, slide forward off the bench so that you’re supporting yourself with your arms. Slowly dip down until your elbows reach a 90 degree angle and then push back up again. Be sure to tighten your abs and glutes as you do this, keeping good posture all the while. Don’t roll your shoulders forward.
Bicep curls may be a good place for you to start an upper body workout, then you can develop from there. The reverse plank pull-up targets not only your biceps but also your shoulders and deltoids. You can use anything from a Smith machine at the gym to a bar at the playground! Stand under the bar and hold it with your hands, palms facing up. Then walk forward until you’re fully extended in a reverse plank – you need to create a straight line with your body. Slowly bend your elbows and pull yourself up towards the bar, then lower yourself whilst maintaining control.