Arm, Chest, and Shoulder Exercises

Strengthening the upper body can ease back and neck pain.

Arm, chest, and shoulder exercises emphasize those muscle groups in the upper body region. These muscles allow us to push and pull as well as lift heavy objects. Although men more frequently focus on strengthening the biceps, triceps, pectorals, and deltoids, among others, women can benefit from toning these muscles, too. In fact, strengthening the upper body with arm, chest, and shoulder exercises can ease back and neck pain in both sexes. Combined with aerobic activity, strengthening the upper body can increase the body's metabolism, burning more fat.

 For great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

Push-Ups

To get strong and sculpted arms, push-ups are for you -- they strengthen the back of the arms and the chest. Try to do as many push-ups as you can, progressively increasing the number of repetitions.

Step 1

Start with legs extended, toes on the floor, hands on the floor with arms extended underneath shoulders. Keep abdominals tight and back straight.

 

Step 2

Slowly bend elbows and lower body completely to the floor, exhaling on exertion. Don't arch your back. Repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

This information is solely for informational purposes. IT IS NOT INTENDED TO PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. Neither the Editors of Consumer Guide (R), Publications International, Ltd., the author nor publisher take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, action or application of medication which results from reading or following the information contained in this information. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care provider. Before undertaking any course of treatment, the reader must seek the advice of their physician or other health care provider.

Triceps Push-Ups

The next few exercises condition and tone the triceps muscle group in the back of the upper arm. If you experience any discomfort in the wrists, don't continue the exercise.

Step 1

Start with legs extended, toes on the floor, hands on the floor with arms extended underneath shoulders. Place your hands together with your index fingers touching and your thumbs touching.

Step 2

Slowly bend elbows and lower body to floor with the chest almost touching the hands. Remain in proper alignment with abdominals held in tight. Exhale on exertion. Repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

Intermediate Triceps Dips

This exercise provides an alternative for exercisers who are just beginning a strengthening program for the upper arms. If this exercise seems too easy, skip to the Advanced Triceps Dips.

Step 1

Sit on the floor with your knees bent, feet on the floor, hands on the floor behind you with fingers pointing toward body. To begin, lift hips off floor.

Step 2

Slowly and gently bend your elbows and lower your body close to the floor. Keep abdominal muscles tight. Extend arms through the elbows and repeat for 8 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 times.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

Advanced Triceps Dips

This exercise uses a stool to provide greater range of motion for the joint action. Because you are lifting your own body weight against the force of gravity, this exercise will recruit more muscle fibers through a fuller range of movement and therefore be more intense.

Step 1

Sit on the edge of a stool with your hands underneath your buttocks. Position your feet in front of you. Keep abdominal muscles held in tight and spine lifted.

Step 2

Slowly bend your elbows and lower your body beyond the edge of the stool. Concentrate as you straighten your arms to return to starting position. Repeat for 8 to 12 times. Progress to 3 sets of 8 to 12 times.

For more great exercises to improve your strength and fitness, check these out:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lisa Faremouth is a fitness specialist who is a certified exercise instructor and member of the American Council on Exercise and the Aerobic Fitness Association of America. She was awarded a silver medal in the Reebok National Aerobic 1989 Championships for the Midwest region and has served as director of exercise programs for a large health club in Chicago. Through her company, Fitfully Yours, she provides education, consultation, training, and workshops to fitness centers, corporations, and individuals worldwide.