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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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                  Last Updated on September 4, 2020

                  How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

                  How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle to See Results Fast

                  There’s a lot of confusion, mystery, and desperation around how to lose fat and gain muscle. We applaud body transformation pictures we see on Instagram, Facebook, and magazine covers but are never able to replicate the results ourselves.

                  Well, that mystery is over because I will tell you exactly how to achieve those results in this article.

                  The journey to getting there is straightforward but not easy. Most people give up too early in the game, when they stop making visible progress.

                  Keep reading to learn how to utilize your metabolism and the laws of muscle building to lose fat and gain muscle fast.

                  Skyrocket Your Metabolism to Lose Fat

                  Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time is one of the biggest misunderstandings of body transformations because they are opposite metabolic processes.

                  To lose fat, you must have calorie deficits each day, and to gain muscle, you must be in a caloric surplus, but you cannot do both at the same time.

                  When you look at pictures, it looks like it can be done simultaneously, but what is actually happening is a change in fat and muscle percentages.

                  If your weight stays the same through your journey, and you lose body fat, your percent of lean muscle mass automatically goes up by default. You didn’t gain any muscle, but your fat and muscle ratio percentages have shifted.

                  Calculating Your Calories to Lose Fat

                  There are many good calorie calculators out there that will give you an estimate on how much to eat to start losing fat for weight loss. You usually need to cut about 10 to 15% of your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure) calories to start the process.

                  You can find a visual explanation of TDEE below[1]:

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                  Use TDEE to learn how to lose fat and gain muscle.

                    Remember that the calculators are just an estimate. It’s up to you to track your measurements and to adjust your caloric intake to ensure you’re getting the results you’re looking for.

                    Metabolism calculators take into account four different ways your body burns calories to come up with your TDEE, or how many calories you burn in a day:

                    • Resting metabolic rate
                    • Thermic effect of food
                    • Thermic effect of activity
                    • Non-exercise activity thermogenesis

                    Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR)

                    This is your baseline metabolism at rest, or how many calories your body needs to survive if you spent the entire day lying in bed awake.

                    RMR accounts for about 60 to 75% of your total daily energy expenditure. Your RMR is mostly determined by how much you weigh.

                    A heavier person has a higher RMR than a lighter person, even if the lighter person has a higher lean muscle mass, because the metabolism of muscle only contributes to about 20% of your total RMR energy expenditure[2].

                    Thermic Effect of Food (TEF)

                    You’ve heard that to lose weight and gain muscle, you should be eating lots of protein. This is true for a number of reasons:

                    • Lowers your intake of other types of foods, like processed carbs.
                    • Increases satiety, so you continue to feel fuller, longer.
                    • The building blocks for your muscles are found in protein.

                    About 30% of the calories from protein intake are burned off during the digestion process, which includes absorption and waste removal of it. Eating more protein as opposed to other macros increases the amount of calories burned during digestion. That’s why you feel fuller with a higher protein diet.

                    Thermic Effect of Activity (TEA)

                    The calories burned in TEA are relatively minor in your entire TDEE equation. TEA is any calories burned during official exercise, like going to the gym, doing an aerobics class, or going for a run. It covers any exercise you do outside of your normal activities.

                    Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT)

                    The calories burned in NEAT is the big game changer for most people and can vary up to 2000 calories burned per day between people with identical RMRs[3].

                    For the majority of us, when we’re done with our workouts for the day, we don’t do much else for movement. We spend about an hour in the gym, and instead of using the other 15 hours awake as an opportunity to move and burn more calories, we spend it sitting.

                    This is how there can be such a big difference between the amount of calories burned between two people who have the same RMR.

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                    Outside of your gym workout, any additional body movements count towards burning additional calories. The quickest way to add this to your day is to make everything you do as inconvenient for yourself as possible.

                    Examples of inconvenient activities that count towards NEAT include:

                    • Taking the stairs versus the elevator
                    • Parking farther away
                    • Getting up to change the TV channel versus using the remote
                    • Pacing and walking while on a phone call instead of sitting down

                    Increasing your NEAT goes a long way to helping your burn calories faster, leading to quicker fat loss. For more ideas on how to make life a little more inconvenient to up your activity level, check out this article.

                    The Laws of Building Muscle

                    Congrats on reaching the stage where you want to tone and get some definition! Learning how to lose fat and gain muscle isn’t an easy process, so if you’ve taken it on, that’s a huge step.

                    To build muscle, first you want to increase your calorie intake.

                    Based on your TDEE, you want to add about 10% more calories as a starting point. This is enough calories to build muscle, and any excess can lead to fat storage if you’re not training hard enough or aren’t active enough.

                    Again, be sure to track your measurements and adjust your calories if necessary.

                    Second, follow a muscle-building program that you can sustain for at least 3 to 6 months.

                    Consistency is key with building muscles because they need to be stimulated and broken down on a regular basis in order to build back up. You want to strength train at least twice a week for at least an hour each time to start getting results.

                    Of course, more often is better but requires better planning and a more complicated body parts training plan. So, start simple if you’re a novice. It’s not necessary to train 6 times a week unless you’re training for a competition.

                    Progressive Overload

                    Muscle needs to be challenged in order to grow. You need to gradually and consistently increase the amount of load and volume you are lifting.

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                    Load means the amount of weight you’re lifting during weight training. Up to a certain point, it becomes unrealistic to keep adding pounds to each exercise every week, at which point you need to switch exercises and work on your weaker points to break that plateau.

                    However, the goal with load is to keep increasing the amount of weight you lift.

                    Increasing the volume you do is another method to progressive overload. Volume means the total number of reps for that specific exercise. If you’re doing 3 sets of 12 reps, it means you’ve done a total of 36 reps.

                    But increasing volume doesn’t mean doing super high reps of 20+ unless you’re training your muscle for endurance versus strength.

                    You want to use a challenging weight and be able to lift more of it each week through increased reps and sets.

                    Here is a visual explanation of how you can engage in progressive overload[4]:

                    PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS by @jmaxfitness - Visit the link in my bio to claim your free 1-week muscle bu… | Muscle, Gain muscle, Weight training workouts

                      Training Intensity

                      Paying attention to what you’re doing is required if you want to lose fat and build muscle because you want to build and improve the mind-muscle connection to optimize growth.

                      A healthy mind-body connection means you’re able to better feel your muscles working during each lift.

                      You know you’ve picked the right weight when the last 2 to 3 reps of your intended rep range is challenging. On occasion, you want to push past the burn and muscle fatigue for the last reps.

                      This little bit of pushing past the discomfort is the difference between an average body and a body with more definition. Lifting almost to failure increases muscle recruitment, metabolic stress, and anabolic recruitment to grow muscles.

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                      Proper Recovery

                      This is the most overlooked aspect of building muscles. We focus too much on pre/post workout meals, macro tweaking, and supplements, forgetting that we already have the ultimate tool for recovery: our own body.

                      For best recovery practices, allow at least a day, but no more than 3 days of rest between workouts that stress the same muscle group. Overtraining results in diminished exercise capacity, possible injury, and illness.

                      Remember, muscles are broken down in the gym and built outside of it during recovery.

                      Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep, and be mindful of your stress levels to optimize recovery time. A lack of sleep and excess stress will spike cortisol levels, leading to hunger cravings, decrease regulation of burning fat, and cause faster aging.

                      You can learn how to lower your stress levels fast here.

                      Stop Program Hopping

                      Every day, there is new workout, new exercise, new program on a website, in a magazine, or in your social media feed. No wonder we’re tempted to try a little bit of everything!

                      Frequent program hopping stops you from getting any results.

                      When you change programs too often, you don’t make progress on each exercise. It becomes hard to gauge whether you’re getting stronger or even getting results because you’re not allowing enough time for your body to adapt.

                      Strength is a skill that needs to be built and developed by practicing it consistently. If you’re changing the skill set too often, you won’t know if you’re improving, and, therefore, cutting yourself short of future muscle gains.

                      Conclusion

                      The steps to losing fat and gaining muscle are simple, but the journey to get there is not.

                      Tracking and measuring your calories is the quickest way to lose fat, along with increasing your activity level outside of the gym. Having a stronger, more toned body can be yours when you follow the laws of building muscles consistently.

                      Applying these methods will guarantee that you get the results you’re after!

                      More on How to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

                      Featured photo credit: Benjamin Klaver via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1] Cheat Day Design: What is TDEE?
                      [2] International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders: Determinants of energy expenditure and fuel utilization in man: effects of body composition, age, sex, ethnicity and glucose tolerance in 916 subjects
                      [3] Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care: Variability in energy expenditure and its components
                      [4] J Max Fitness: PROGRESSIVE OVERLOAD FOR MUSCLE MASS

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