3 Upper Body Exercises: Bare Your Upper Body, Confidently

By Liz DiAlto

Ideally we’d all like to sport sexy toned upper bodies that have people whispering, “She must work out” when we stroll by.  Throw these three exercises in the mix and you’ll be on your way.  We’re also all about switching up how you do your exercises to surprise your muscles and get ‘em burning so you will NOT be counting repetitions for these moves. Read on…

Start with this quick and fun warm up!

Pushups. We love pushups because they’re very efficient. You’re working arms, chest, back and core muscles. You can do chest push ups (hands wide, about shoulder width apart, elbows come out to the sides as you lower to the ground.) OR tricep push ups, (hands about 6” apart, elbows come directly back parallel to your body on the way down-these are tougher by the way, triceps muscles are way smaller than chest muscles).  Instead of repetitions, try doing as many as you can to failure, then resting until you can do them again.  Repeat 3x.

How to do the perfect pushup!

Bent-Over Row to Reverse Fly. Stand with your feet about hip width apart, hinge at the hips to about 45 degrees (keep your core in tight to protect your lower back).  The row will be easier than the fly, so choose a dumbbell you can fly for at least 10 reps. Start with arms hanging down and row them back (keep elbows in tight and close to the body, and squeeze your shoulder blades together), lower the weights then with arms straight (just a soft bend in the elbow), raise them to the side, again squeezing shoulder blades together, but from a different angle. This will get your upper back looking fit and toned in tanks and strapless tops and sundresses.  Again, do as many as you can to failure, then rest until you can do them again.  Repeat 3x.

Dumbbell Punches. We get tired of the same old shoulder presses, side and front raises too, punches are a phenomenal alternative to feel the burn in what could be your most seductive feature this spring.  Stand with legs a little wider than hip width, knees slightly bent.  We’re going to recommend a slightly heavier dumbbell than your instincts tell you to grab here to really spark some muscle activity in this exercise.  With your core in tight, hold dumbbells with palms facing each other at armpit level, alternate punching side to side (add a core rotation for bonus work if you want!), making sure to rotate the fist so palm faces down at the extended position of the punch-and always return that arm to the starting position before alternating.

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