Last week I shared some lower body exercises that I have found to be very effictive in keeping my behind together. Today, I have flipped the switch *drake voice.* Below are 5 upper body exercises that are getting the job done for me. Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are right around the corner. These are just a few of many reasons and incentives to get or stay in shape.
Do I REALLY need Upper Body Exercises?
I know a lot of ladies want to make sure their back side looks nice, but some tend to forget about their upper body. Do you know why upper body workouts are so important? If you do, skip on down to which exercises I love and find helpful! If not, let me share a few reasons why you need to keep your upper body in shape…and no, its not only because you dont want your arms to look like the turkey your mother-in-law made for Christmas Dinner.
To start, it’s important to support your body as a whole. Upper body workouts are great for improving your posture both while sitting and standing. This means it will also improves your stance when you’re stregnth training and working out your lower body. Paying more attention to your upper body also promotes balance for your major muscle groups. Who wants a strong and fit lower body paired with a weak and floppy upper body? I’ll be honest, this was me for a while. But the more I stepped out of my comfort zone and worked more on my upper body, the more I noticed a positive change in preformance and appearance as a whole.
Tips and tricks that are quick but still get the job done is something that is very important to me. I know there’s shopping, wish lists and things to do. I’m also aware that some of us don’t have much time to actually hit the gym. Thankfully, you will be able to do these upper body exercises at home or the gym. AND they will definitely have your arms and back feeling the burn too!
I enjoy doing bicep curls. They really help strengthen and tone the arms. This muscle group is primarily used to flex the elbow. A lot of people tend to think this exercise is pointless and isn’t necessary. Actually, bicep curls are beneficial because they of the muscle group worked are used every day.
This exercise is great for those days when you don’t have a lot of time to spend working out and just really need to get the job done. It’s quick and efficient and you’ll definitely feel the burn a day or two later.
In my upper body workout, I like to do 3 sets of 20 reps. I like to start out with light weights (5lbs) on each side.
2. Lateral Raise
Lateral Raises are good for tightening the upper back and toning the triceps. I love that this is another exercise that can but customized and done ANYWHERE.
Similar to bicep curls, I do 3 sets but with 12 reps. I suggest starting with 2.5lbs-5lbs. When I first started out doing Lateral Raises, I remember thinking I was a “big girl” and could handle starting out with more weight. I mean, lateral raises do look like a fairly simple exercise. But “going for the gusto” right away could easily lead to injury. Start off small and work your way up.
3. Tricep Extension
Tricep Extensions work the triceps, forearms, and deltoids and pecs. This exercise is totally customizable and can be done standing or laying on your back. You can also tailor it to your liking by using kettle bells, the cable machine, dumbbells, or a weighted bar.
Similar to the bicep curls, I would still caution to start off low and slow with the weight. My favorite way to do these is either laying down or with the cable machine.
I usually do 3 sets of 15 reps.
4. Lateral Pulldown
I enjoy doing lateral pulldowns. This exercise is fairly simply to do and target your shoulders and back. I prefer to do this exercise while sitting on a bench at the cable machine. If you want to switch things up, you can do this exercise with free weights or dumbbells. You can also do them standing straight or bent over at the waist. Changing up your grip + position is alway a good alternative. You can do them using a narrow or wide grip or even do over hand or underhand positioning.
When I first started doing these, I was sure to start with lower weights. Actually, I still keep the weights pretty low with this exercise at about 20lbs. I only do about 10 of these in 3 sets. I also try not to take too long of a break between sets to keep my momentum up.
5. Russian Twist with Weights
I absolutely love Russian Twists! They work out your entire upper body- yours, abs, obliques, back, and arms. This is also one of those moves you can do ANYWHERE. It requires little equipment and is extremely simple to do. All you need for this exercise is a mat and weights, either a weighted ball, dumbbell or kettlebell.
It is important to watch your form when doing this exercise. Using improper form can lead to back injury and will be ineffective in helping you work the correct muscles. With all of the other exercises, I’ve attached a video for you to see how to properly do them. I think that because this exercise seems so simple, its one the can easily be messed up and done incorrectly. Please pay attention to avoid any harm to your body.
I like to do about 15 reps and 3 sets of these.
I really hope you guys enjoyed the few upper body exercises that I’ve shared with you all. I felt it would be perfect to share during this time to fight the fat form all the good eating we’re doing at family gatherings. Plus, its a good kick start for any weightless or health goals you have for 2019.
Be sure to let me know what upper body exercises you’ve incorporated into your routine below!