The exercises below are just a few examples of upper body strengthening exercises.
Push-Ups work the chest, front of the shoulders, back of the upper arms and core. This is one of the most effective exercises because it includes so many muscle groups.
- For less resistance, start by using the wall. Stand an arm's length away from the wall with your feet shoulder-width apart.
- Place your hands on the wall slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and bend your elbows so that you slowly lean towards the wall. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
- Push your upper body back to the original position while exhaling. Repeat.
- Increase difficulty by moving to the floor on your knees or toes.
- While on the floor, it's important that you keep good spine alignment. Do not let your stomach dip to the floor.
- Keep your ears in line with your shoulders and breathe as you go up/down.
This exercise can be done with resistance bands or it can be done using hand-held weights or a row machine. You will work your upper back and the front of the upper arms while performing this activity.
- Anchor the band at your left foot.
- Hold the band or weight in your opposite hand and pull up and back in a diagonal plane to activate your upper back and arm muscles.
- Anchor the middle of the resistance band across the soles of your feet, legs out straight.
- Hold one end of the band in each of your hands. Sit up straight with your chest lifted, head up with eyes looking forward, neck and shoulders relaxed.
- Exhaling, slowly bend your elbows as you pull your hands and the ends of the band toward your body. There should be tension on the band throughout the exercise movement.
- Keep your elbows close to the sides of your body. When your hands are all the way to your body, pause for a moment, then slowly return to the starting position. Repeat.
Arm Lateral Raise
This exercise requires the use of a resistance band or tube. You will work your shoulders while performing this activity.
- Step on the middle of the tubing and hold the handles in each hand down at your side.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes pointing forward with a slight bend in your knees.
- Lift your chest, pull your shoulder blades together and look straight forward.
- Exhale and slowly raise your arms out to the side of your body, no higher than shoulder level.
- As you raise your arms, your palms will be facing down.
- Inhale and slowly lower your arms, stopping several inches from your hips.
- Do not hunch your shoulders as you raise your arms.
- Do not raise your arms higher than shoulder level.
- There should be tension on the band throughout the movement.