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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 18, 2019

                  11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

                  11 Best Core Strengthening Exercises to Do At Home

                  No matter where you are in your fitness journey, chances are you wouldn’t mind a little more definition in your midsection.

                  Whether you have a six pack or a beer belly, those abs could probably be a little bit sharper. Not to mention developing better core strength is hugely important when it comes to improving your overall strength and athleticism, as well as protecting you from injuries.[1]

                  The good news? Your abs and core muscles can handle a lot of training.

                  While most of your muscle groups do best with just two training sessions per week,[2] you can hit your abs every other day to great effect. You don’t even have to leave the house!

                  Here’s my guide to the 11 best core strengthening exercises you can do at home with no equipment.

                  1. Planks

                  Let’s start with the mother of all core-strengtheners, the plank.

                  Planks not only work your abs and obliques, they challenge those core muscles deep inside your body that help promote stability and power. They can also reduce back pain and improve your balance and posture.

                  Get down into pushup position, feet behind you, hands under your shoulders. Lock out your arms and legs, squeeze your core muscles, and hold your body stiff (like a plank!) for as long as you can.

                  For a more challenging variation, try a forearm plank with your arms out in front you. Lay your forearms on the ground for support, with your elbows under your face rather than aligned with your shoulders.

                  2. Side Planks

                  To hit your obliques even harder, try this challenging variation: the side plank.

                  From plank position, rotate onto one side. Prop yourself up on your elbow and one foot with your body straight and stiff.

                  Don’t forget to squeeze your core as you hold this position for as long as you can.

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                  Switch sides and repeat to avoid creating muscle imbalances.

                  3. Reverse Crunches

                  The regular stomach crunch is a fine exercise, but when it comes to abs and core strength, you’ll want to opt for moves that are a lot more challenging.

                  When you can crank out 50 crunches without a problem, it’s probably time for something new.

                  The reverse crunch packs a wallop for your lower abs and can be done anywhere, anytime, just like the standard crunch.

                  Lay on your back with knees bent in crunch position. Place your hands flat on the ground by your side and lift your pelvis, bringing your knees up toward your face, then back down again.

                  Engage your lower ab muscles to do the work, not your back. Repeat for a few sets of 12-20 reps.

                  4. Flutter Kicks

                  The lower abs are a problem area for a lot of people, so we’ll want to work them hard.

                  If that sounds like you, flutter kicks are just what the doctor ordered.

                  Lay flat on your back in leg raise position, hands at your sides or pressed into the floor. Raise your legs together about 6 inches off the floor, then alternate lowering one and raising one a few inches in rapid succession.

                  It should look like you’re kicking the air, and it should give you quite a burn in your abdominal area.

                  5. Arms High Sit-Ups

                  Imagine a crunch, but way harder!

                  Lay down on the ground in sit-up position, knees bent, feet flat on the floor in front of you.

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                  Raise your arms up to the sky and keep them elevated as you perform a few sets of sit-ups.

                  Engaging your arms in this way makes the move extraordinarily difficult and taxing. You’ll get a lot more mileage out of this move versus traditional crunches.

                  6. L-Sits

                  The L-Sit is outrageously difficult to perform well, but if you can build your strength here, the benefits are phenomenal.

                  To perform an L-Sit, you’ll need a stable surface to press off of. You can do them on the floor, but it’s a little easier if you can elevate yourself on a pair of dumbbells, two sturdy chairs, or a similar apparatus.

                  Sit on the floor with your legs out in front of you. Lock your arms in place at your sides, palms on the ground or surface, and press. Bring your legs into the air, perpendicular to your upper body, using the tension from your locked arms.

                  Hold this position as long as possible for an intense strength building workout.

                  7. Stomach Vacuums

                  And now for something different!

                  It’s easy to work your front-facing abdominal muscles, but there is another muscle group in your core that’s frequently overlooked: The transverse abdominis.

                  This muscle isn’t visible through your skin, but it’s incredibly important in stabilizing your body, creating good posture, and holding your belly in tight to your spine.

                  To strengthen this muscle and get a flatter stomach, try stomach vacuums.[3]

                  Standing straight and tall. Exhale all of the air out of your body and simultaneously pull your belly in tight. Imagine sucking your belly button back into your spine.

                  You’ll feel the transverse abdominis engage. Hold as long as possible, rest and then repeat.

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                  8. Star Planks

                  Planks are too effective to not utilize multiple variations of them in your routine.

                  The star plank engaged similar muscles to the traditional plank, but is a lot harder to hold for time.

                  From the push-up or standard plank position, walk your feet out wide and your hands, as well.

                  Your body should form an X position. Elevate your core off the ground, squeeze tight, and hold for as long as possible.

                  9. Boat Pose

                  Yogis know all about core strength, so if you want a tighter tummy, you should take a page out of their playbook.

                  Boat pose is an extremely difficult isometric hold that builds exceptional balance and core power.

                  Star in sit-up position. Crunch yourself up toward your knees, then lift your feet off the floor until they’re about level with your face. Balance on your butt, squeeze your core, and hold this position as long as you can.

                  Your body should form a V with the only point of contact being your butt on the ground. Holding boat pose should be extraordinarily challenging!

                  10. Mountain Climbers

                  Ab work alone won’t shred stomach fat. But when you combine abs and cardio, that’s when you’re onto something magical.

                  Mountain climbers fit the bill if you’re looking to blast your core and also work up a good sweat.

                  Get down into plank position. With your arms locked and your body tight, drive one knee at a time off the floor, up toward your chest, and then back to its original position. Repeat in quick succession.

                  It should look like you’re climbing a hill, and it should exhaust you in a matter of seconds!

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                  11. Russian Twists

                  Finally, let’s give the obliques a little more love.

                  Get down into sit-up position and perform a crunch toward your knees. From here, lean back so your torso is at a 45 degree angle to the floor, clasp your hands in front of you, and twist side to side in rapid succession.

                  You’ll feel your obliques engage after just a few reps.

                  For a more difficult variation, lift your feet off the floor similar to boat pose while perform the move, or perform the twist using a heavy medicine ball for added resistance.

                  The Bottom Line

                  The biggest piece of the puzzle when it comes to six-pack abs is a low body fat percentage. That’s best accomplished by sticking to a smart diet and building your fully body strength.

                  However, if you want to improve your athleticism, overall strength, or even your longevity, you can afford to work your abs a bit more frequently — 3-4 times per week is perfect.

                  If you hit them hard enough, you’ll probably see some great improvement in definition as well!

                  Cranking out endless crunches is one way to go about core training, but there are so many better and more challenging moves you can try without ever having to leave your living room.

                  Give them a shot!

                  Featured photo credit: Luis Quintero via unsplash.com

                  Reference

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