Hello! It has been a cold weekend here in Austin. I am not complaining since I am sure there are many of you braving very low temperatures. Oh well, I guess tis the season of binge watching Netflix!
Today I am sharing Upper Body Strength Training that I have been incorporating in my workouts for the past few months. My workouts focus primarily on weight training. One of the weakest areas in my personal fitness is my upper body strength. This is common especially for those of us who are frequently hunched over our computers. Our upper body and posture often become compromised. My weakness has been further exaggerated by the damage I have in my right shoulder due to a car accident years ago.
Scott introduced me to the concept of “catching volume” which is how I apply these movements in my workouts. I will choose one of the below exercises, and repeat it throughout my workout.
These Upper Body Strength Training movements can be used during your workout, in a circuit, or as a separate upper body strength training session. The weights are very light so you will want to perform a high volume of repetitions. I typically do anywhere between 70-100 reps on each side. This may sound like a lot, but it breaks down to maybe 4 rounds of 20 reps. The weight is light so you are not overworking the muscles.
Upper Body Strength Training
All you will need is light dumbbells. I am alternating between 3-8 lbs in these exercises. For the push press, you can simply use a stick, a broom handle or a body bar (if you are well equipped or at a gym). Also, grab a small box or step which you will use for the Curl to Press.
Curl to Press
You will want to start with your feet hip width apart. Place one foot on the box. Your booty is tucked under, shoulders are back, and the stomach is drawn in towards your spine. The weight (I used 8 lb.) is down by your side.
Curl the weight in a bicep curl. Turn the weight and push it overhead. Go through the same motions in reverse and return to the original position. Part of the exercise is the lowering movement. Give it even MORE attention, as a controlled return to the start will create an ability to absorb force and train more often.
Lateral Raise (3 Variations)
I choose one variation in any particular workout depending on which I am more in favor of on that day. I am using 5lb dumbbells below.
You will stand with your feet hip width apart. Your booty is tucked under, shoulders are back and the stomach is drawn towards your spine.
Single Arm Lateral Raise
Hold the weight at your sides with the shoulders engaged. You do not want to be sloppy. Form is always important. Raise the weight to shoulder height and then slowly return to the beginning position.
2 Arm Lateral Raise
The same instructions as above. However, you will lift and lower both arms simultaneously.
Bent Over Lateral Raise
From the starting position, you will move into a Position 1 (knees out to the sides). Push your booty back and keep your back arched (Position 2). You will then follow the directions for a 2 Arm Lateral Raise.
Dumbell Side Raise to Overhead Reach
You will follow the instruction above to do a lateral side raise. Continue and bring the dumbells over your shouders. They should stay in line and stay close to your ears.
Position One: Push your knees out into a plié position.
Push Press Exercises
The bar is held slightly above your shoulders. Push your knees out and when you return to the starting positon you will push the bar over your head.
Keeping a wider grip will make this exercise easier. As you profess you can utilize a more narrow grip to increase difficulty. When the bar is over your head make sure the bar is behind your head as shown below.
These exercises are simple and very effective for upper body strength training. Due to the low weight and volume of repetitions I have made large strides in my upper body strength.
Stay warm, and I hope these exercises are beneficial for your next workout. I will see you here tomorrow!
I am linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons today.
Question (s) of the Day: What are your favorite ways to build upper body strength? Have you binge watched anything good on Netfix lately??
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