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8 Arm and Shoulder Workouts To Strengthen Upper Body

8 Arm and Shoulder Workouts To Strengthen Upper Body

Losing weight to reveal a slimmer physique is the quickest way to achieve a beach-worthy body. But not if you’re lacking a healthy physique underneath!

While cutting through fat using caloric deficit (eating less than you burn), you must not neglect strength training. Not only will it speed up your progress by using excess calories, it keeps muscles alive and kicking as you strip away the fat.

Prevent yourself from appearing flat or too skinny after losing weight with the following eight mighty arm and shoulder workouts.

If you want to know more about weight loss, you can’t miss the following article that provides all useful tips you need:

Weight Loss Plan And Program: Create Your Own One

1. Push Ups

shoulder and arm workouts

    Push ups are simply awesome, they can be performed almost anywhere and require no equipment. There’s also a mountain of different variations for increasing the difficulty and muscle focus.

    Push ups don’t just work the chest, the lowering action really works the arms and shoulders too!

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    Focus on performing slow and steady movements and always stop your sets before failure. Once you can complete 20 controlled repetitions for a few sets, you need to make it harder!

    Beginners should focus on push-ups from the knees before progressing to classic push-ups and beyond!

    2. Planks

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      Planks are another incredibly versatile bodyweight exercise. They will strengthen your core abdominal muscles while carving out solid arms and shoulders.

      Begin with regular static hold planks, from a familiar push-up type position. Engage your core, contract your shoulders and arms with a straight back for as long as you can.

      Slowly build up your time under tension. Once you can hold a regular plank for more than 1 minute, consider trying some of these more challenging variations.

      3. Overhead Press

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        The overhead press is the ultimate shoulder strength builder. Your arms and core are also going to feel the pressure too!

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        The basic movement is performed by holding weights in front and in line with your neck, push up to reach the sky and slowly lower down again before repeating.

        Begin using light dumbbells and build up the weight as you get stronger. Eventually, you can swap the dumbbells to a loaded barbell.

        Remember to push yourself gradually, once you can easily complete 10 repetitions it’s time to up the weight!

        4. Chin Ups

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          Chin ups are quite tough, but you will be rewarded with perfectly crafted arms, biceps, and shoulders.

          Performed them by gripping a high bar, arms shoulder width apart and hands facing towards you. Under the tension of your own body weight, raise and lower yourself in a controlled motion.

          Don’t sweat it if you can’t yet perform a single pull-up. Start with negative repetitions by repeatedly lowering yourself slowly. By the time you can perform 10 negative repetitions, you will be ready to tackle a full pull up or two.

          Once you can complete 15+ slow full repetitions, wear a weighted belt to make it more challenging!

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          5. Pull Ups

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            Similar to the chin-up but tougher! Perform the same movement with a wider grip and your hands facing away. This shifts the demand to your shoulders, lateral and back muscles.

            Again, you may need to start with negative repetitions. Once you can complete 6+, you can attempt full repetitions. If you can perform 12+ full reps, start wearing more weight!

            Both chin ups and pull ups become more challenging (or grueling) the slower you complete each repetition!

            6. Dips

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              Like the other bodyweight exercises, dips can be performed in a variety of different ways. They are great for developing strong, defined arms, shoulders and chest.

              Focus on using your arms and shoulder to slowly lower yourself down and raise yourself back up. Start by performing dips using a raised object behind you. Make sure you just stable objects to avoid injury.

              Once you can easily perform sets of 15+ slow repetitions, try raising your feet using another raised object.

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              To make this exercise even tougher you can use a dip bar and even a weighted belt! Remember to progress gradually, it’s a tricky exercise but your results will speak for themselves!

              7. Lateral Raises

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                Lateral raises are a great isolation exercise for arm and shoulder workouts. By focusing on primary using your deltoid muscles your shoulders muscles will “popping” out in no time!

                Grab two light dumbbells and hold each by your side. Lock your elbows and raise the weights together until horizontal, then slowly lower them back down.

                The movement must be slow and controlled to get the most out of this exercise. Once you can perform 12+ it’s time to increase the weight!

                Try switching to front raises by raising the dumbbells in front of you. These will target a different head of the same muscle to achieve well-rounded shoulders!

                8. Bicep Curls

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                  Lacking definition in the arm department? Bicep curls will have your arms plumped up in no time!

                  Start by using a dumbbell in each hand at your sides. Keeping the rest of your body and elbow in place, lift each lift up to your chest and back down again slowly.

                  Progress up in weight once you can perform 12+ repetitions, eventually, you will be able to use a loaded barbell.

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                  Published on July 13, 2018

                  13 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester

                  13 Pregnancy Yoga Exercises for The Last Trimester

                  Practicing yoga during pregnancy is a great way to nurture you and your baby. It can also help you cope and prepare both your mind and body for any pregnancy demands and challenges that you may face especially during the third trimester.

                  Yoga during pregnancy helps you to create space for both your baby and your internal organs. However, make sure that you only do what feels right and works, avoid muscle strains and extreme pressure exercises.

                  There are plenty of yoga techniques that can help you to prepare for labor in the 3rd trimester. Before you try out yoga, make sure you talk to your doctor. This way, you may know the do and don’t during this stage. The following are some of the common yoga exercises to try out during the third trimester.

                  1. Birth prep exercises

                  This mainly entails simple exercise designed to reduce pains and aches and can as well as help position the baby in a good pelvic alignment. Include this technique in your workout rest brakes, warm-up, and as part of your daily poses.

                  Here’s an example of it:

                  2. Cat cow

                    This is a great pose for lengthening your spine and strengthen your core muscles.[1]

                    This pose is a great technique for all pregnancy stages. It will help strengthen your belly as the pregnancy continues to grow.

                    This asana also relieves the back and allow a better circulation of spinal fluids and blood.

                    Practice belly breathing when performing this pose. It will aid in calming your mind and reducing morning sickness.

                    It should be done about 5 times for best results.

                    3. Warrior II

                      This technique is great for strengthening your core and legs and as well as lengthen your spine. Even though this technique is a little bit challenging, it is said to help alleviate backaches during pregnancy.

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                      4. Bridge pose

                        This pose is convenient if you want to open up your hips and strengthen your glutes, core, and hamstrings.[2] Also, it can be practiced in all the trimesters.

                        Begin on the side and roll to the back as you move your body into a bridge pose. This helps avoid stressing your rectus abdominals.

                        Avoid this exercise if you feel uncomfortable on your back.

                        5. Cobblers pose (Baddha Konasana)

                          This technique is said to improve the health of the reproductive system.[3] During pregnancy, it aids in opening up the pelvis, therefore ensuring an easy and fast labor.

                          It is also said to calm the mind and improve blood circulation. This yoga practice can be performed as follows:

                          • Sit on a mat and stretch out your legs.
                          • Fold your knees and bring your feet at the center.
                          • Then straighten your back.
                          • Using your palms hold your feet for a few seconds.
                          • Release.
                          • Repeat this about 4 times.

                          6. Warrior I

                            This technique helps you explore your upper body. It helps to open up your chest and strengthen your legs. This technique helps restore the health of your spine and help make space for the growing uterus.

                            Also, it helps your mind relax and stay focused and maintain balance. It can be performed as follows;

                            • Place your feet apart in a hip-width position.
                            • Pivot on the left foot.
                            • Make your right foot to face forward.
                            • Lower the pelvis, then assume a lunge.
                            • Look forward and lift your arms above your head.
                            • Hold that position as long as possible.
                            • Release the pose.
                            • Repeat the process with the left foot forward.

                            7. Corpse pose

                              This technique aims at relaxing your body and mind.[4] It boosts your energy instantly and hence it’s convenient for battling any fatigue during the pregnancy.

                              Also, it helps in fighting off any side effects of pregnancy such as pain, morning sickness, and nausea. This pose can be performed as follows:

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                              • Lie on your back.
                              • Let your palms rest beside you while facing upwards.
                              • Close your eyes and then relax- your arms should be alongside your body.
                              • Breathe.

                              8. Spiraling movement

                              This entails moving your pelvis in circular motions and moving your hips. These movements help to massage down the baby’s head onto the cervix.

                              Also, these movements helps you keep your pelvis mobile and relaxed while loosening your muscles and ligaments.

                              You may consider using a fitness ball to help in the movements.

                              9. Child’s pose

                                This is a resting pose. It helps to focus on your breath, breathe more deeply, and also it’s a good position to rest between labor contractions.[5]

                                This is a great position that will help you find peace and promote a healthy and a happy pregnancy. It’s safe for all trimesters.

                                Relax and move your knees apart, then rest your head on your fists, hand, or on the floor. You should avoid this position if your pubic symphysis is sore or open. Relax in this position, eyes closed.

                                10. Chanting

                                Making your own sounds during pregnancy and birth is a powerful way to regulate your breathing, it enables you to focus and relax as you deal with the pain that is associated with pregnancy and labor.

                                Practicing voice sounds can help you open up and have an easier and more comfortable labor. You can do this as follows:

                                • Sit comfortably.
                                • Close your eyes.
                                • Placing your index fingers on the lobes of your ears, take a deep breath.
                                • Exhaling slowly, make gentle humming sounds.
                                • Do this 5 to 10 times.
                                • You can also do this while lying down with arms by the side of the body.

                                11. Standing hip rotations

                                  This moves will help strengthen your pelvis as well as relax.[6] You can do this as follows:

                                  • Stand with feet wide apart but comfortable.
                                  • Slightly bend your knees.
                                  • Place your hands on your hips and rotate your hips.
                                  • Try to keep your upper body still.
                                  • Focus on rotating the hips and the belly.
                                  • Inhale while moving your hips forward and exhale while moving them backward.
                                  • Do this as many times as you wish.

                                  12. Tree pose

                                    This is a balancing technique. It helps strengthening your legs and core. It also improves posture and alleviates back pain. How to perform this pose:

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                                    • Feet on the ground, shift your weight forward and backward until you gain balance.
                                    • Shift your weight to one foot.
                                    • You can also lift one of your foot to your ankle to gain balance.
                                    • Bring the foot higher to your inner thigh.
                                    • Put your hands in a prayer position.
                                    • Hold this for 5 breaths.
                                    • You can also raise the arms above your head.
                                    • Repeat with the other leg.

                                    This technique is safe for all stages during pregnancy.

                                    13. Meditation

                                    Over the years, meditation has been used to manage a lot of conditions such as depression, stress, anxiety, and much more.

                                    During the last trimester of your pregnancy, meditation can help to move gracefully as you approach labor. It will help you ascertain a more peaceful state of mind by avoiding stress and anxiety especially if you are giving birth for the first time.

                                    Develop the habit of practicing meditation on a daily basis.

                                    Guidelines for pregnancy yoga

                                    There are some poses, however, that you should avoid while pregnant. They include plank cross, locust pose, boat pose, plow pose, and much more. Consult with your doctor on the best exercises.

                                    Here’re some guidelines you need to know before practicing yoga:

                                    1. Do what feels right.

                                    Starting yoga especially in your last trimester can be challenging while it’s really important in preparing both your mind and body for labor and pregnancy-related demands.

                                    To avoid accidents or extreme positions, you should practice yoga poses with the guidance of a trained tutor.

                                    When choosing which yoga poses to perform, listen to your body and do what you feel comfortable doing. Since all women do not have the same challenges and experience during pregnancy, avoid doing poses that your friends are doing if they don’t feel right to you.

                                    2. Do fewer poses.

                                    In case you are into physical exercises, it’s important to soften your training to avoid harming both your body and the health of the baby. Also, avoid long hours of training. You can talk to your doctor to guide you on the most convenient techniques to practice.

                                    During pregnancy, your body tends to have higher temperatures and it may feel hotter than usual. It’s recommended to avoid practicing yoga in a heated environment. Perform these techniques in a suitable environment with fresh and adequate ventilation.

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                                    3. Don’t get distracted.

                                    Reduce distraction while practicing yoga. For instance, a telephone can interfere with proper meditation.

                                    4. Stay comfortable.

                                    Wear loose and comfortable clothing.

                                    5. Do not eat before yoga.

                                    Practice yoga on empty stomach. Most techniques are effective in the morning.

                                    6. Always warm up for a few minutes.

                                    You can walk around, loosen your joints, move your limbs and warm up your muscles.

                                    7. Stay hydrated.

                                    Make sure that you are well hydrated especially when practicing challenging and sweaty poses. Dehydration, especially during the last trimester of your pregnancy can have severe sequences such as false early labor or preterm labor.

                                    Yoga techniques are the best kinds of workouts to try out during pregnancy. Especially if practiced together with mild exercises such as walking, it can help the expectant mother deal with both emotional and physical changes with ease.

                                    Also, it will help mothers feel relaxed and stay in shape during the last trimester of pregnancy.

                                    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                                    Reference

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