No matter your circumstances, upper body health is imperative. Just think of all the things you do in a day: opening doors, picking up children, placing items on shelves, even pushing yourself up and out of a chair.
Basic upper body exercises are always good, and small variations can make all the difference.
Our move today is a shoulder/chest exercise called straight ups. You will need a light/medium hand weight. Similar to an overhead extension, this move is just slightly more tucked into your body.
Start this exercise by grasping your hand weight in one hand. Holding your chest tall and engaging your core, place your free hand on your hip for balance. Bending in the elbow of the weighted hand, lift the weight to shoulder level, tucking your elbow in close to your torso. Turn your palm to face out away from your body, and you are ready to start moving.
Proceed to lift and push the weight straight up over your head. Once you reach your fullest extension, slowly return back to your starting position. Continue this straight up and down motion for at least eight to 10 times on one arm; take a short break, then repeat on the opposite side. Keep alternating for at least two to three sets on each side.
This isolation move is great for targeting the front portion of the shoulder and upper chest.
Add this exercise to any upper body routine to add variations to your usual, “go to” moves.
Marlo Alleva, an instructor at Gold’s Gym and group fitness coordinator at Fontaine-Gills YMCA in Lakeland, Florida, can be reached at email@example.com.