A great upper body workout should be part of every fitness routine. Upper body strength is important for everyday tasks and toned arms are great for showing off your best summer style. Do these exercises at least three days a week and start to notice a difference in about a month.
Seated dumbbell biceps curl – Choose a weight you can lift to exhaustion within 15 to 20 reps. Sit with your back straight and your feet planted firmly on the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms should be facing up. Begin on an exhale, bend your elbows toward your shoulders. Remember to keep your spine, shoulders, core and wrists engaged and straight. Inhale and slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position. Repeat for desired number of reps.
Hammer bicep curl – With this variation of the bicep curl the dumbbell is held in much the same way you would hold a bottle. As you lift the round edge rather than the bar moves toward your shoulders. Perform while standing or seated giving careful attention to your form to emphasize biceps work.
Dumbbell Skull Crusher – The exercise sounds scary but don’t worry it is great for chasing away bat wings only. Use a bench or stability ball along with your dumbbells. Lie on your back with feet flat and a weight in each hand. Bend your arms so that the dumbbells move in a controlled motion toward your head. Now slowly straighten your arms so that they are fully extended above your head. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps.
Overhead extension – Stand with knees slightly bent, feet hip-width apart. With a grasp on your dumbbell the hands should be high above your head with elbows tucked toward your ears. Bend your elbows to a 90 degree angle so that you are lowering the dumbbell toward your shoulder blades. Fully extend your arms again and repeat for the desired number of reps.
Overhead press – Stand with knees slightly bent and feet hip-width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing you at your sides. Lift each weight to shoulder level being sure to keep your thumbs pointing up. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of reps. You can also perform this exercise while seated on a bench.
Straight arm side raise – Stand with a dumbbell in each hand, your hands should be at your sides using an under grip so that your thumbs are pointed outward. Using a slow, controlled movement raise your arms so that your body forms the letter T. The arms should extend fully from your shoulders before returning to the starting position. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Combine this workout with some cardio – maybe a few jumping jacks or running with high knees between sets – for a full body workout that gets results fast.