Tuesday, January 4, 2011

4 Exercises To Help You Shape And Tone Your Upper Body

I'm posting some of my favorite routines to help you get in the best shape of your life this new year. Here are 4 exercises that will help you shape and tone your upper body. I recommend you do 3 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise. You should select a resistance with which the last 3 repetitions are hard to complete. Do this routine every third day for the next 6 weeks and you will be amazed at your results.



LAT PULLDOWN

The lat pulldown is a great exercise for strengthening and developing the muscles in your upper back which are critical in having good posture. People whose shoulders are slumped forward most likely have under-developed upper back muscles. First sit down and adjust the thigh pad to a position that firmly fits over your thighs. Then select a resistance with which the last three repetitions are difficult to complete. If this is your first time doing this exercise is may take experimenting at several weights before you find the right resistance for you. Next, grip the bar a little wider than shoulder width, sit down on the seat and place your knees firmly under the pad. Start with your arms fully extended and your chest held high. This is your start position. Now, pull the bar slowly down to the base of your neck while squeezing your shoulder blades back and together. Slowly return the bar to the starting position. (It should take about 3 seconds to pull the bar down and about 2 seconds to return the bar to its starting position). Proper breathing is very important so, remember to exhale as you pull the bar down and inhale as you return the bar to the starting position.

DUMBBELL ROW

The Dumbbell Row is also for the muscles of the upper back. Hold a dumbbell in one hand, and place the opposite knee on a bench. Lean forward and place your other hand on the bench. Step to your side with the other leg and bend your knee slightly. Proper form is very important on this exercise so, be careful that your lower back is not rounded. Hold the dumbbell fully extended beneath your shoulder. This is your starting position. Now slowly pull the dumbbell to underarm height and squeeze your shoulder blade toward your spine and return slowly to the start position. The breathing pattern is to exhale as you pull the dumbbell towards you and inhale as you return to start.














DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS

The dumbbell chest press is one of the best exercises for developing and strengthening the muscles of your chest and the front of your shoulders. Again, you will have to experiment to select the proper weight to use. Pickup a dumbbell in each hand and sit on the end of a bench. Place the dumbbells end -up on your knees, then lay back on the bench and position the dumbbells at your sides at chest height; this is your start position. Press the dumbbells up over your chest until your arms are fully extended being careful not to lock your elbows. Slowly return the dumbbells to the start position. Your breathing pattern is to exhale as you press up and inhale as you return to the starting position














LATERAL RAISES

The lateral dumbbell raise develops and strengthens your shoulders. Start by holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of you. Position your feet shoulder width, slightly bend your knees, and hold your chest high. This is your starting position. Bend your elbows slightly and raise your hands out to your sides about shoulder height with your palms facing down then return to your starting position. Be careful to keep your forearm and your elbow at the same level at the finish of this movement. Your breathing pattern is to exhale as you raise your arms up and inhale as you return to start.


Enhanced by Zemanta