Fit Tip: Shaping Summer Arms
“Sun’s out, guns out” is a phrase we hear a lot this time of year! Bright, sunny skies call for tank tops and short sleeves, so it's the perfect time to step up your upper body strength training game. Aesthetics aside, although it's nice to look toned and sculpted, our upper body also does a lot of work for our body and deserves to be taken care of.
For many of us it's sitting at a desk for work, or long commutes in the car; for others it's lifting and holding babies or chasing kids. For almost all of us, it's too much time looking at our phones or computers. Whatever the reason, our backs, arms, chest and shoulders get tight and stressed, so the importance of upper body training cannot be understated.
While we think about our "guns", as our arms, training our back, chest and shoulders is equally important. But doing the same old bicep curls, bent-over rows, and chest presses can get boring. Both for our brains and our bodies! Here are a few ways to mix up your upper body strength training routine and get Summer Shape Up Arms.
- Mix up modalities
Bodyweight moves like pushups and tricep dips are great for strengthening multiple muscles at once, as are dumbbell exercises for more isolation. But adding in cable work, resistance bands, balls, and balance tools can add an extra level of difficulty to push both your upper body and core.
- Focus on full range of motion
Range of motion (ROM) is something we talk about a lot in fitness, but what does it really mean? The technical definition is measure of movement around a joint, and when it comes to flexibility, mobility, and overall health, we want full range of motion. Think of your upper body exercises as both strengthening and stretching, contracting and lengthening, and you'll really get the most out of each rep.
- Angle it up!
Working at different angles can really challenge us in different ways. Try presses and extensions at both an incline and decline angle and add in rotations to traditional dumbbell exercises for an extra burn throughout your workouts. See below for an upper body dumbbell workout to shape those arms for summer!
Summer Shape Up - Arms
Do each move for 45 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest, then repeat.
- Bent-over row and rotate elbows forward and back.
- Bicep Curl and rotate out.
- Tricep overhead extension and rotate elbows out and in at the bottom.
- Chest press up, Chest Fly down.
- Quadruped wide row and kickback.
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