The Only Upper Body Exercises You'll Ever Need, Part II
By Sheryl Kraft
Do you hate me yet? Are your arms screaming in pain? Or are you stealing a glance at your newly formed muscles every time you pass a mirror and smiling to yourself?
No matter. Here are the remaining exercises to round out your routine. Remember, your bones will thank you. And so will your sleeveless tops.
Now, get working! I'll make you a deal: try these for another week. You'll like me better by then, I'm sure. And then, you won't even have to ask. I'll give you something more—some lower-body exercises to work your legs and booty. You have my solemn promise.
5. Lateral Raise (with 3-8-pound dumbbells)
Muscles worked: Shoulders
Why you need these muscles: For any "pulling" activities.
How to: Keep back straight; raise upper arms to sides until elbows are shoulder height; maintain elbows' height above or equal to wrists. Maintain slight bend through elbows.
6. Biceps Curl (with 3-8-pound dumbbells)
Muscles worked: Biceps
Why you need these muscles: For any activity requiring a "pulling" motion.
Tips: Keep knees loose and slightly bent; keep elbow close to your body.
How to: Hold weights at sides, palms facing in. Slowly curl arms toward shoulders. To add a balance challenge, do while standing on one leg, alternating legs for second set.
7. Triceps Kickback (with 3-8-pound dumbbells)
Muscles worked: Triceps (back of arms)
Why you need these muscles: For any activity requiring you to push something.
Tip: When bending front leg, make sure knee is in line with ankle and does not jut forward.
How to: Starting with slightly bent left leg in front, hold weight in right hand. Straighten right arm, keeping upper arm in line with your body. Bring weight back, hinging from elbow. Return to start for 8-12 sets; switch to opposite leg and arm for second set.
Bonus: Chest Stretch—this is beneficial for posture, to prevent or correct forward-rounded shoulders and for general well-being!
Perfect stretch for those who have been sitting curled over a computer for many hours (read why sitting is bad: ).
With arms elevated and elbows bent to 90 degrees, bring elbows back and pinch shoulder blades together; then press arms back to starting point to stretch chest.