Natural Fitness Studio

Upper Body

Time to pump up that upper body! Learn four easy exercises you can keep coming back to.
by Joseph A. de Silva

Upper body strength training doesn’t have to build huge pecs to be effective. These easy, at home exercises can help keep your upper body muscles in shape in a hurry.

Bicep Curl (Top side of upper arm)

Bicep CurlThis exercise works the front of your upper arm. Stand upright, holding a weight in your right hand next to your right thigh. Holding any type of weight, bend the elbow, raising the palm towards the shoulder and exhale. Lower the palms back down and inhale. Remember to keep your back straight throughout the exercise, particularly when raising the weight. Repeat 12 to 15 times.

Triceps Extension (Under side of upper arm)

Triceps ExtensionStart with your legs in a staggered stance. Place your left leg forward and your left hand on your knee. Holding some type of weight, place your right elbow by your side at a 90-degree angle and extend the elbow backward, squeezing the triceps while exhaling. Return to the starting position and repeat 12 to 15 times. Switch sides.

One Arm Row

One Arm RowOne of the keys in strength training is balance. If you workout your upper body, you shouldn’t exercise the front without your back. This exercise will target the back and biceps.

Start with the legs in a staggered stance, with your left foot in front of your right by about two to three feet. Bend your body at the waist and lean toward your left leg, placing your left hand on your left knee. Your back should be straight and parallel to the floor. Holding a weight in your right hand (anything from a dumbbell to a can of soup will do), extend the right arm downward and inhale.

Exhale while bringing the right elbow by your side and contracting the back of the shoulder. Perform 12 to15 repetitions then switch sides.

Pushup

Marines do them for a reason. This classic exercise is great for the chest, shoulders and triceps. The starting position is with your arms extended to the floor, hands should be in line with your chest. Your back and legs should be kept straight. If you want to start slow, begin with your knees on the floor.

From this position, inhale and lower your body until you feel a comfortable stretch in the chest, then push back up while exhaling. Perform 12 to 15 repetitions if you can. If you have to start with less that’s fine. Stay with it until you see improvement!

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