Strong for Life: Upper-Body Workout
The upper body is a notoriously weak area for most women but it's also an area that responds quickly and beautifully to strength training. Follow these 6 exercises to renew upper body strength.
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Sit on the edge of the ball as shown, feet together, a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the waist, letting arms hang down on either side of legs. Squeeze shoulder blades and raise the weights out to the sides until parallel to the floor. Pause, then lower weights to the starting position.
Tones: Upper back muscles
Triceps Press Back
Sit on your stability ball as shown. Hold the dumbbells in front of you with your arms bent at 90-degree angles, elbows at your sides. Keeping your back straight, bend slightly from the hips. Straighten both arms and extend the weights behind you, turning palms up toward the ceiling once arms are fully extended. Pause, then return to start.
Sit on the ball. Hold dumbbells down at sides, palms facing out. Keeping elbows at sides, lift the dumbbells up to your shoulders. Pause, and then lower.
Lie back on the exercise ball (start on your back on the floor if this is too difficult). Hold the dumbbells straight up over your chest so their ends face each other and your palms face the ceiling. Lower arms so your elbows point toward the floor and the weights are even with your chest. Press arms back to the start.
Tones: Chest, triceps
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, back straight, and knees slightly bent. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back straight, bend 90 degrees from the waist and allow arms to hang down toward the floor, palms facing legs. Squeeze shoulder blades together and bend elbows, raising the dumbbells up to either side of your torso. Pause, and lower back to the starting position.
Tones: Back, biceps