Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on January 21, 2021

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!

    Advertising

    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

    6cae9b11a0227d0485291b6e5dee684c

      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

      642eb79048cf6efe8a3bfadb56ff831f

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

        Advertising

        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

        2e05111a5f42c15f932dac08347b9402

          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!

          Advertising

          5. Pull Ups

          cafe78e7cf53ef4f4f67edea2c23243d

            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

            7f1e131e3fc1a5681eb13d88332972ae

              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.

              Advertising

              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

              02abf62c66155b1732be19ef16f186f4

                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

                cac5cb84c1d091dd5f350405508fe8ca

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

                  Advertising

                  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.

                  More by this author

                  Joseph Summers

                  Health and Fitness Enthusiast

                  How to Lose 10 Pounds in 3 Weeks: 20 Simple Tips How to Get Six Pack Abs Without Leaving Your Couch 10 Quick Easy Workouts To Get Rid Of Back Fat At Home 6-Minute Morning Workout To Help You Stay Healthy Effortlessly 8 Arm and Shoulder Workouts To Strengthen Upper Body

                  Trending in Exercise & Training

                  1 15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine 2 10 Ways to Quickly Boost Your Workout Motivation 3 15 Important Benefits of Stretching Before, After, and During a Workout 4 The Ultimate Workout Routine for Men (Tailored for Different Fitness Level) 5 5-Day Workout Routine for Women to Get Strong and Toned

                  Read Next

                  Advertising
                  Advertising
                  Advertising

                  Last Updated on April 19, 2021

                  15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                  15 Static Stretches to Totally Enhance Your Workout Routine

                  Stretching is one of those aspects of fitness that many people conveniently forget about. Perhaps you’re one of those who consider stretching nothing but a mere chore meant for ballerinas and gymnasts. While they are great for both, static stretches can offer a boost to any workout routine for people of all fitness levels.

                  Irrespective of your reasons for working out, be it for sports or personal fitness, one thing is certain: stretching can help you. Static stretches come with myriads of benefits, such as improvement in flexibility and reduction in muscle tightness, which ultimately allow you to go through your workout routines with greater efficiency.

                  For the purpose of this article, we’ll zero in on several great static stretches and take a look at the benefits and when they should be done.

                  Benefits of Static Stretches

                  Static stretches come with tons of benefits that can help you make the most of your workout routine. Some of them include:

                  Improved Flexibility

                  If you want to perform better, flexibility is of tremendous importance, irrespective of the specific workouts you do. Luckily enough, static stretches are all you need to get all the flexibility you desire.

                  Flexibility, also known as the range of motion (ROM) around a joint, has been shown by several studies to be improved by static stretching.[1]

                  Although the specific mechanism through which this occurs is still unclear, static stretches have been shown to greatly increase muscle and joint flexibility[2] and tissue length[3], which work in tandem to make your workout more effective.

                  Prevent Injuries

                  If you’re looking to push yourself to your training limits without coming down with injuries, then stretching will do you a great service. Research has shown time and again that performing the right stretches pre- and post-workout greatly helps with injury prevention.[4]

                  Think of it this way:

                  When you stretch, you literally push your joints and muscle fibers to their limit. This increases the stretch tolerance in these muscles and joints over time, and the increased tolerance allows you to perform more rigorous exercises without negatively impacting your body or risking an injury.

                  Increased Blood Flow to the Joints

                  Another benefit of stretching is increased blood flow – and by extension, nutrient supply – to the joints and muscles of the target areas. This, in turn, improves the performance of these muscles and joints due to the availability of more nutrients, improved oxygenation, and removal of metabolites.

                  For static stretching, though, the mechanism of action isn’t as straightforward. When stretching statically, blood flow (capillary oxygenation) temporarily reduces due to vascular compression.

                  Advertising

                  However, immediately after releasing the stretch, the blood flow to these areas nearly doubles the pre-stretching levels.[5]

                  Improvement in Recovery

                  If you’ve been working out for some time, then you’ve probably discovered that a rigorous workout session can leave you battling sore muscles for days.

                  Recovery essentially means getting rid of this soreness and returning your muscle fibers back to their tip-top condition.

                  Research has shown that practicing static stretches after your workout session helps to reduce muscle soreness. And while some may argue that this effect is minimal, the fact still remains that stretching does help shorten your recovery time.

                  Stretching allows tissues to be better hydrated after the induced tension is released, and this encourages reduced inflammation and faster repair of such tissues.

                  Other reasons why you really should incorporate stretching into your workout include:

                  • Improved relaxation
                  • Increased movement efficiency
                  • Reduction in the risk of lower back pain
                  • Reduction in muscle tension
                  • Improvement in neuromuscular coordination
                  • Improvement in balance and postural awareness
                  • Relief from cramping

                  15 Static Stretches to Enhance Your Workouts

                  Here are some amazing exercises that will keep your body in tip-top condition and take your workout routine to the next level.

                  1. Neck Stretch

                    While sitting tall or standing, place your right arm gently on the right side of your head, and place the other arm out to your side. Slowly pull your head towards your right shoulder until you can feel the stretch on the left side of your neck. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing, and repeat for the opposite side.

                    Many people tend to hold stress and tension in their neck and shoulders. If you find this is the case, this is one of the best static stretches to use for a muscle release in this area.

                    2. Chest Stretch

                      Stand upright, with your fingers interlocked behind your back, near your buttocks. While keeping your shoulder blades together and your back straight, push your arms up behind you until you feel the stretch in your chest. Hold for about 20-30 seconds before releasing.

                      Advertising

                      3. Cross-Body Shoulder Stretch

                      Shoulder Cross-Arm Stretch « CASS FITNESS

                        Stand upright or sit up tall on a chair or mat, and extend one arm out in front to shoulder height. Grab the extended arm with your other arm, and pull it towards your chest while keeping the extended arm straight. Continue the pull until you feel the stretch in your shoulder. Hold for 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                        4. Triceps Static Stretch

                          Lift your arms overhead, with both arms slightly behind your head and bent at the elbow. Use your right hand to pull your left elbow until you feel a stretch in your triceps. Hold for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other arm.

                          Many know this stretch from gym class, but it really is one of the best static stretches for the arms.

                          5. Biceps Stretch

                          Arm Exercises | Seated Bent-Knee Biceps Stretch

                            Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. With your fingers pointing away from your body, place your two palms flat on the floor behind you. While your hands are steadily in place, slowly slide your butt downward toward your feet until you can feel the stretch in your biceps, shoulders, and chest. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                            6. Wrist Stretch

                            11 Best Tennis Elbow Exercises For Pain Free Mobility [PDF]

                              While standing up straight or sitting tall, extend your right arm forward to shoulder height with your fingers pointing toward the ceiling. Grab your right fingers with your left hand, and pull your right hand to bend the wrist until you can feel the stretch. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite arm.

                              7. Side Stretch

                                Stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Take your right arm and reach over your head towards your left side while bending your side. Keep bending your side slowly until you can feel a stretch on your right side. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the opposite side.

                                The muscles down your side body are notoriously difficult to stretch out. This is one of the best static stretches to try on a consistent basis to get them loosened up.

                                Advertising

                                8. Abdominal Static Stretch

                                  Lie down on your stomach with your face towards the ground and your palms facing the floor as though you’re about to do a push up. While keeping your pelvis firmly on the floor, gently push your upper body up from the ground. This should make your feel some stretch in your abs. Maintain this position for about 30 seconds before releasing.

                                  9. Reclined Spinal Twist

                                  Supta Matsyendrasana - Supine Spinal Twist - Yogaasan
                                    Lie down, with your arms extended to the sides and placed on the floor. While keeping the right leg straight, pull up your left knee towards your chest, tilt it toward your right side, and then drop it slowly over your extended right leg.

                                    Keep your shoulder blades flat on the ground, and you should feel the stretch around your back. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the opposite side.

                                    10. Knees to Chest

                                    Knee-to-chest exercise from Physical Therapists' Advice to Manage Pain at Home - The Active Times

                                      Lie on the ground facing the ceiling, with your knees bent. Hold your shins, and pull your knees toward your chest. This should make you feel some stretch in your lower back. Hold for about 30 seconds before releasing. If you’re looking to loosen up your back muscles, this is one of the static stretches you can do daily.

                                      11. Hip Flexor Static Stretch

                                      How to Do the Standing Lunge Stretch

                                        Stand upright in a standard lunge position, and place your two hands on your hips. Step out on your right foot into mini-lunge position, without your knee going beyond your right toe. Hold for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left side.

                                        12. Figure 4 Stretch

                                        How to Do a Figure 4 Stretch | Openfit

                                          Sit tall on the ground with both knees bent and both feet on the floor. Lift your right leg and cross it over your left thigh, while your left knee remains bent. Pull both legs inwards toward your abdomen for a deep stretch of your glutes. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat with the other leg.

                                          13. Standing Quad Stretch

                                            Stand tall while maintaining a straight posture. With your left hand, grab a pole, wall, or anything durable for balance. With your right hand, grab your right foot and pull up your heels until they touch your buttocks.

                                            Advertising

                                            Keep your knees close together while doing this, push your hip forward, and you should feel the stretch in your quadriceps. Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the other side. This is one of the best static stretches for the quads.

                                            14. Hamstring Stretch

                                              Sit on the floor with your right leg extended straight in front of you and your left leg bent. Reach forward with your right hand, and touch your right toes. This should cause a stretch in your right hamstring.

                                              Hold this position for about 30 seconds, and repeat for the left leg. If you’re unable to reach your toes, try holding your shin instead, but seek to go further every time you perform the stretch until you can touch your toes.

                                              15. Calf Stretch

                                                Sit on the ground and extend your right foot straight in front of you. Gently pull your right toes backwards with your right hand. This should cause a noticeable stretch in your calf.

                                                Hold this position for about 30 seconds and repeat for the left leg, if you’re unable to reach your toes, use a rope or towel to pull your toes inward.

                                                Bonus: Stretch With a Resistance Band

                                                Resistance bands offer a unique benefit from free weights and create tension throughout your movement. Get the free 30 Day Resistance Band Full Workout Challenge, and challenge yourself to stretch with a resistance band.

                                                When Should You Do Static Stretches?

                                                Static stretching is great when done correctly and at the right time. Over the years, research has shown that static stretching produces best results when done after working out or on rest days,[6] but not as a part of warm up routines before an explosive workout session.

                                                This is because static stretches have a cool-down effect on each muscle group and are more effective when done after the muscles are already warm.

                                                That doesn’t mean you must never ever perform static stretches before working out, but do it sparingly. Dynamic stretches, which involve more movement, are generally recommended for warming up as it helps the body prepare better for the work ahead.

                                                The Bottom Line

                                                Carving out the body of your dreams isn’t only about lifting weights and running. You need to keep your body “elastic” if you’re going to make the most of your training, and that’s the whole point of static stretches.

                                                Advertising

                                                Starting today, be sure to incorporate these static stretching exercises into your routine, and in no time, you’ll find yourself recovering faster and performing better than ever before.

                                                More Tips on Stretching

                                                Featured photo credit: Alora Griffiths via unsplash.com

                                                Reference

                                                Read Next