Everyone wants their upper arms nicely toned. Bingo wings, begone! Well, the best way to tone up is not in bicep/tricep curls but in training your shoulders – it automatically makes your arms look better too as the shoulders are the prime mover in your upper body. Work your shoulders – your arms jump along for the ride.
Apart from giving you a sexy silhouette, training your shoulders is also important for your upper body health as shoulder problems are numerous as many of us are desk-bound.
And finally, shoulder exercises are great for our confidence as they help build upper body strength. It’s always fun when you get to help a man put his suitcase into the baggage storage on a plane 🙂
The shoulder joint can be quite fragile, when we lift weights directly overhead the upper arm can jam against the top of the shoulder blade and over time this can cause impingement and tendon pain. That’s why I avoid too much direct overhead work and use this routine instead.
- Hold a weight plate at the sides.
- Start with your arms extended and at chest level.
- From this position lift the weight so that the bottom edge of the plate just goes past the top of your eye line.
- Return and repeat!
- Holding your abs tight will help keep your back neutral and avoid excessive curving.
Landmine (Angled press)
This is my favourite pressing exercise – it’s effective and is much easier on the shoulder than direct overhead pressing. Attach a barbell to a secure anchor (some gyms have a specialised socket), load it with a light weight, grab it and press!
Keep your back straight, abs engaged and a slight bend in the knees. Lean a bit forwards to keep balanced. Remember to breath – exhale on the push!
Band pull apart
This is just the best exercise for toning your upper back and arms. It’s also great for shoulder health too!
- Hold a fitness band at shoulder height with your arms extended.
- From your shoulder blades, pull the band apart whilst exhaling.
- Keep your core engaged and your neck relaxed
So there you have it, a simple and effective routine for your arms and upper body. Quick, fun and effective. You’ll want to wear sleeveless tops all the time!