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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 September 21, 2018

                  How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

                  How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

                  “Can I look like you in 3 months?”

                  The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

                  “If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

                  In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

                  In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

                  Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

                  I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

                  I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

                  We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

                  It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

                  In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

                  The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

                  1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
                  2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

                  This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

                  We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

                  What you really need to build muscle fast

                  Your ground zero

                  It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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                  Everyone has to start somewhere.

                  A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

                  • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
                  • Work ethic of a professional.

                  While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

                  Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

                  A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

                  You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

                  Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

                  Setting the right expectations

                  I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

                  This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

                  Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

                  Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

                  With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

                  To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

                  The muscle growth timeline

                  Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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                  Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

                  The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

                  Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

                  This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

                  Month 1-3

                  Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

                  Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

                  You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

                  Month 3-6

                  This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

                  Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

                  But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

                  Month 6-12

                  “I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

                  The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

                  An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

                  Month 12- 24

                  Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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                  Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

                  Breaking news:

                  You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

                  They haven’t come easy.

                  Month 24+

                  “That’s what works for me!”

                  If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

                  If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

                  Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

                  A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

                  The fat loss timeline

                  If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

                  1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
                  2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

                  Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

                  Month 1

                  “I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

                  Your results will come fast. Too fast.

                  You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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                  The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

                  Month 2-3

                  You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

                  Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

                  Month 6-12

                  At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

                  You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

                  And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

                  The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

                  Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

                  Conclusion

                  “You changed my life!”

                  The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

                  In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

                  Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

                  Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

                  Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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