Quick upper body exercises you've got to try

October 2, 2015

With your busy lifestyle, regular workout sessions can be difficult to schedule. Check out this guide for some quick upper body exercises that can really make the difference.

Quick upper body exercises you've got to try

A medium-challenge routine for healthy, active people

These exercises are perfect for:

  • Middle-aged people with busy lives
  • Sedentary people in good health
  • Active, healthy seniors
  • People who have noticed a recent decline in energy

What's needed:

  • Light dumbbells
  • Towel
  • Mat
  • Supportive chair
  • Wall space

Chest squeeze

Tones chest and shoulders

  1. Stand holding a light dumbbell in each hand. Bend your arms at a 90-degree angle and extend them to the sides so your upper arms are parallel to the floor, palms facing forward.
  2. Squeezing your chest muscles, bring your elbows toward each other until they are about shoulder-width apart.
  3. Return to start.

Back fly

Tones upper back and shoulders

  1. Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the weights at about chest level and about 30 centimetres (12 inches) from your body, palms facing each other and elbows slightly bent (imagine you're hugging a beach ball).
  2. Bend forward from the hips (don't hunch your back) about 7.5 to 13 centimetres (3 to 5 inches). Keeping your back straight, squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull your elbows back as far as comfortably possible.
  3. Pause, then return to start.


Tones shoulders and upper and midback

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart with your left foot about a stride's length in front of your right foot, keeping your knees slightly bent. Raise your arms in front of you as though sparring. Your elbows should be bent, with your left hand in front of your face and your right hand just below your chin.
  2. Punch straight out in front of you with your left arm (don't fully extend or lock the elbow), then bring it back to start.
  3. Repeat, then switch sides.

Flutter curl

Tones biceps

  1. Stand with your knees slightly bent and your feet hip-width apart and hold a pair of dumbbells down at your sides with your arms rotated so that your palms are facing out as far as comfortably possible.
  2. Keeping your back straight and your elbows tucked close to your sides, slowly curl the weights up toward the outsides of your shoulders.
  3. Pause, then return to start.

Lift and arch

Stretches chest, shoulders and abs

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs crossed and hold a towel overhead with both hands so your arms form a V.
  2. Keeping your lower back in the neutral position (don't arch it), lift your chest and arch your upper back slightly as you gently pull on the ends of the towel.

Rag doll

Stretches back and shoulders

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair and slump your body forward over your legs so your chest rests on your knees and your arms hang down.
  2. Wrap your arms under your knees and press your back up toward the ceiling (your chest will rise off your legs).
  3. Hold, repeat three times.

De-hunch stretch

Stretches chest, shoulders and upper back

  1. Sit on the edge of a chair with your legs open and your pelvis tilted slightly forward.
  2. Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together and down away from your ears.
  3. Extend your arms at 45-degree angles from your body and then slightly behind you, palms facing forward.
  4. Hold, repeat three times.

Sit and reach

Stretches back, shoulders and sides

  1. Sit straight in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and place your left hand on your right upper arm.
  2. Twist to the left and grasp the back of the chair with your right hand, bringing your chin over your left shoulder as you turn.
  3. Hold, then switch sides.

Getting in shape has never been easier! Keep these quick exercises in mind and incorporate them into your healthy lifestyle.

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