Want some help getting your upper body in shape for summer? Try the following advice and exercises to sculpt and tone your upper body and keep it that way for good. It will require a combination of modifying your nutrition slightly and adding some great upper body exercises to your workout.
To sculpt and tone your upper body, your caloric intake must be less than your caloric expenditure. Assuming you are maintaining your weight with your current calorie intake, your goal should be to take in 500 calories less and burn 500 calories more each day to lose 2 pounds of fat per week (one pound of fat is equal to 3500 calories). This can be easily done by cutting back on the portions at each meal and adding an extra 30 min. of cardiovascular exercise each day.
If you want to be more exact there are multiple apps and websites that can help you track your information. More is not better in this circumstance. If you try to cut your calories too, much your body will go into starvation mode and want to store fat. Also, try to make sure you are eating something every 4 hours. Small meals throughout the day work best.RELATED: RECOMMENDED PLANS FOR YOU
The following exercises will help you sculpt and tone your upper body into the shape you’ve always wanted
For best overall results, stick with 3 sets of each exercise for 12-15 repetitions. If you want to build more size in any particular area, perform 3 sets of 6-8 repetitions with heavier weight on that exercise(s). If you would like a sleeker look, perform 2 sets of 20-25 repetitions on each exercise. Perform the exercises back to back with minimal rest between each one.
|Exercises:||Key Points:||Involved: Major Muscles||Involved: Minor Muscles|
|REVERSE PULL UP||Place a bar or pole between two chairs or in a squat rack so it won’t roll off. Lay on your back between the chairs so your chest lines up with the bar. Grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width. Keeping your belly button pulled in and shoulder blades down, pull your chest up to the bar. On the return, stop just before your torso makes contact with the floor. Start with the legs bent and feet underneath the buttocks and progress to straightening the legs out to make it harder.||Latisimus Dorsi, rhomboids, trapezius, teres major, teres minor||Biceps, Forearms, Upper back.|
|PUSH-UPS||Begin from the top position with the arms and hips straight and the abs tight. You may begin doing them from the knees for an easier progression. Lower your chest towards the floor, keeping the neck straight, until the shoulders are even with the elbows. If you feel a stretch in the shoulder, don’t go this far. Your forearms should be perpendicular to the floor when you are in the bottom position and keep your elbows out and perpendicular to your body. Return to the top.||Pectoralis major.||Triceps; Anterior deltoids; Pectoralis minor, Shoulder girdle muscles.|
|UNDERGRIP PULLDOWNS||Using a cable machine, take an under hand grip a little wider than shoulder width on the bar so your palms are facing your towards your face. Keeping the back arched, pull the bar down under your chin while bringing the elbows into the side. There should be downward rotation of the scapula to initiate the movement. Pull down so the bar touches the base of your skull.||Upper back, Biceps||Latisimus Dorsi, Forearms.|
|INCLINE DUMBBELL FLYES||Sit with your head raised up higher than your hips at an angle of 30-45 degrees, on an incline bench. Hold the dumbbells at arms length above you; your palms facing each other. Lower the weights out and down to either side in a wide arc as far as possible. Your palms remain facing each other throughout the movement. Bend your arms slightly to reduce the stress on your shoulders and elbows.||Upper pectoralis major.||Anterior deltoids, biceps.|
|STIFF-ARM PULLOVERS||Lie on your back with your arms extended above your head. Keeping the elbows slightly bent and using a shoulder width grip, bring your arms directly overhead and down by your sides. Return until a stretch is felt in the triceps and repeat.||Upper/Mid back.||Pectoralis Major/Minor, Triceps.|
|DIPS||Lean forward with your chin down, and your elbows out. Lower yourself until you feel a stretch across your chest and shoulders.||Lower pectoralis major.||Triceps, Anterior deltoids, Pectoralis minor, Shoulder girdle muscles.|
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