Added/Modified on April 9, 2014
Arm, chest, and shoulder exercises emphasize those muscle groups in the upper body region. These muscles allow us to push and pull as well as lift heavy objects. Although men more frequently focus on strengthening the biceps, triceps, pectorals, and deltoids, among others, women can benefit from toning these muscles, too. In fact, strengthening the upper body with arm, chest, and shoulder exercises can ease back and neck pain in both sexes. Combined with aerobic activity, strengthening the upper body can increase the body’s metabolism, burning more fat.
To get strong and sculpted arms, push-ups are for you — they strengthen the back of the arms and the chest. Try to do as many push-ups as you can, progressively increasing the number of repetitions.
Start with legs extended, toes on the floor, hands on the floor with arms extended underneath shoulders. Keep abdominals tight and back straight.
Slowly bend elbows and lower body completely to the floor, exhaling on exertion. Don’t arch your back. Repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.
The next few exercises condition and tone the triceps muscle group in the back of the upper arm. If you experience any discomfort in the wrists, don’t continue the exercise.
Start with legs extended, toes on the floor, hands on the floor with arms extended underneath shoulders. Place your hands together with your index fingers touching and your thumbs touching.
Slowly bend elbows and lower body to floor with the chest almost touching the hands. Remain in proper alignment with abdominals held in tight. Exhale on exertion. Repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.
Intermediate Triceps Dips
This exercise provides an alternative for exercisers who are just beginning a strengthening program for the upper arms. If this exercise seems too easy, skip to the Advanced Triceps Dips.
Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hands on the floor behind you with fingers pointing toward body. To begin, lift hips off floor.
Slowly and gently bend your elbows and lower your body close to the floor. Keep abdominal muscles tight. Extend arms through the elbows and repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.
Advanced Triceps Dips
This exercise uses a stool to provide greater range of motion for the joint action. Because you are lifting your own body weight against the force of gravity, this exercise will recruit more muscle fibers through a fuller range of movement and therefore be more intense.
Sit on the edge of a stool with your hands underneath your buttocks. Position your feet in front of you. Keep abdominal muscles held in tight and spine lifted.
Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body beyond the edge of the stool. Concentrate as you straighten your arms to return to starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 to 12 times.
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