Exercises That Strengthen Your Upper Body
So you’ve made the commitment to exercise in 2017. This is a positive step forward for your overall health, but it doesn’t exactly come with instructions. Exercise is a fairly nebulous concept if you didn’t have the time for it for a long time. There are a few broad divisions in exercise. These tend to be based on what is being exercised overall as people focus on particular aspects of their health. Other divisions are based on the exact areas of the body being exercised. A good area for a lot of us to focus on in the long run is our upper body strength. Testosterone tends to give a slight edge to men and others with elevated levels of the hormone, but everyone benefits in the long run as age tends to lower everyone’s upper body strength. Working on exercising your upper body regularly can help you gain a bit of strength as well as maintaining what you already have over the course of your life. There are plenty of simple upper body exercises that almost everyone can benefit from too. Let’s look at a few.
This is the classic form of upper body exercise that most people have had to do at at least some point in their lives thanks to physical education. As far as exercises go, it certainly isn’t the most pleasant form of upper body exercise, but it is incredibly simple. You need only lower yourself to the floor carefully while placing your hands roughly equal to shoulder-width. Keep your legs straightened out behind you will holding your back and legs rigid. You then push yourself up until your arms are fully straightened before gradually lowering yourself back to your start position. Most fitness experts recommend doing this fifteen to twenty times before taking a brief break and then repeating the exercise again. The repetition will help build upper body strength easily enough. Additionally, push-ups have many variations that can support various fitness levels and allows for comparatively easy entry into this kind of exercise.
Weighted Arm Raises
Going through even simple motions with additional weight can help to build your upper body’s musculature. A relatively simply exercise involves using simple, single weights that you can hold in each hand. These are typically lighter, but good for comparatively low impact exercise that helps to build leaner musculature. In general, the exercise is quite simple and characterized by holding weights and each hand that you settle into the start/rest position around your hips. It is important to ensure that you’re supporting yourself properly by keeping your feet at roughly shoulder width so it is easier on your body when you lift the weights. To start, you bring the weights up from the rest position to where they are in front of you and even with your shoulders to exercise one set of muscles. This position is held for a few seconds before you return your arms to the rest position. Pause for a few seconds and then lift your arms up and out until that are stretched out to either side of you and even with your shoulders before a further pause and returning to rest position. Similar to push-ups, this is typically repeated roughly fifteen to twenty times before a break and swapping to another exercise or repeating it one more time.
There are multiple versions of this exercise that work different muscle groups, but the general theme remains the same. Rather than requiring you to have an outside set of weights, you use your own bodyweight to help you build strength. Dips involve supporting your body between two bars while raising and lowering yourself carefully to gradually work the muscles. In general, you’ll likely want to be at a gym to find an appropriate support for this exercise or to have one in your own home. To start, place yourself between the bars and take a firm grip of them. Extend your arms to the point that you can almost lock them in place, and lift your legs up from beneath you. You then lower yourself carefully while keeping your back in alignment with the rest of your body. Once your elbows are bent to a roughly 90 degree angle, you begin to push yourself back up slowly. This is repeated ten to fourteen times. Be very aware of your potential for supporting yourself when doing this exercise and seek help or a machine meant to support this kind of exercise if you’re uncertain on being able to do this on your own.
Learning to exercise your upper body will help you to both remain active and maintain a healthy upper body strength throughout your life. We’ve discussed multiple exercises that can be used for this purpose, but not all of them are suitable for everyone. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor before beginning any course of exercise. They can generally help point you in the right direction for exercises that are good for your particular situation. Exercising can be difficult, but it will prove useful in the long run.