As people hit the gym looking to get in shape for summer, it’s a safe bet many are focused on developing toned abs, a strong back and a toned and tight behind, but forgetting about the arms is a big mistake. Not only are toned arms aesthetically appealing, but a strong upper body improves posture, helps with everyday movement and gives you an edge in sports like running, biking and swimming. Don’t neglect your arms; use these five key moves as inspiration to make upper body strength a priority.
There are many ways to alter the good old fashioned push-up and the triangle variation is great for toning arms. This move targets the triceps, shoulders, chest and core making it a top choice for overall strength. Simply attempt a push-up as you normally would, but bring your hands close together under your chest and aim your fingers inward so that your hands form a triangle.
Dumbbell Press with an Exercise Ball
Upgrade from the bench to the ball to give your body a bit of an added challenge. The standard dumbbell press challenges your shoulders, triceps and chest, while adding the ball will challenge your core as you keep your balance.
Take the stale seated row to the next level and get into plank with some dumbbells. By pulling your elbows directly upward and keeping your arms tucked close to your body you’ll see benefits for your arms, back and shoulders, in addition to the added benefit of engaging other muscles in your core to keep you stabilized.
Triceps dips are great for those looking to strengthen their upper body in a simple but effective way. The move is good for beginners because it’s fairly easy to learn, but not a good choice for those with shoulder or wrist injuries. As the name implies, this exercise primarily targets the triceps and may also strengthen the chest and shoulders as well. For tips on mastering this move, see the full guide.
Like pull-ups, the inverted row targets the muscles in the arms, shoulders, upper back and core, improving posture and strength. Unlike pull-ups, there is no major strain on the shoulder joints and muscles. Another benefit of this exercise is that almost anyone can do it and all you need is a bar.