The upper body is a rewarding area to work out, since both men and women generally carry less body fat in this area, as opposed to their stomach (men) or lower body (women). In addition, the upper body smaller muscles of the upper body mean that results usually show up quickly, often within a month.
The upper body consists of your chest, back, shoulders and arms (both biceps and triceps). To develop a well-toned upper body, exercise each body part two to three times a week.
We ask Azam Ahmed, a trainer at the Talwalkar Gym in Banjara Hills to show us a few simple exercises which can help you tone up your upper body in no time!
This exercise focuses on improving muscle strength in the arms and retaining the natural contour of the shoulders. The muscles that are worked on through this exercise include the deltoid, trapezius, bicep, tricep and the latissimus dorsi.
1) Sit on a chair with your back upright.
2) Lift the weights in such a way that your wrists are aligned at ear-level. Keep your arms straightened as you do so.
3) Slowly move both arms upwards, making an angle of 90˚ with the shoulders.
4) Slowly bring back to starting position. Repeat.
This exercise can be done by all ages.
Swiss Ball Exercise
This exercise provides good resistance and is very efficient in training the muscles, especially the abs and sides. This exercise also helps tone the upper body.
This exercise works out the following abdominal muscles – the rectus abdominus, transverse abdominus, external oblique and internal oblique.
1) Stabilise yourself on the ball in such a way that the back is fully supported.
2) Slowly start raising the upper body with a continuous contraction.
3) You can also stretch yourself on the ball and does the shoulder press as indicated above.
This exercise too can be performed by all ages, provided co-ordination and balance is intact.
Chest Fly Machine
This is a specialised exercise to tone up and strengthen the chest. It also helps increase or decrease the size of one’s chest. The muscles involved in this exercise are the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor.
1) Sitting comfortably on the chair, place your hands on the handle.
2) Begin by slowly pushing the handle towards you. The wrist to elbow angle should be brought to 90˚.
3) Slowly release the grip and allow the handles to return to original position. Repeat.
This exercise can be performed by all ages and gender.
Remember, to really develop a muscle, the muscles must be exercised and then allowed to rest. Skipping rest can lead to injury or a sore body. Also, changing exercises and varying your routine greatly enhances the effect of your workouts.