Whether you just want to look good or you need to build your muscles up to relieve back pain, a good upper body workout is important to your overall health. You don’t have to spend hours every day on this goal if you follow a few of these suggestions. You can incorporate these into a full body workout routine, too.
No Equipment Upper Body Workout:
- Jumping jacks or rope 30 seconds
- Pushups on knees or with hands
- Birds-lift arms up and down like you’re flying
- Chair dips-sit on floor with back to a chair and lift yourself up with your hands.
- Crunches-regular, reverse where you just lift hips off floor, left and right crunches where you touch elbow to opposite knee
Specifically for cyclists:
- Standing shoulder press with weights
- Squat row with cables-hold cables of rowing machine or secured exercise bands and walk backward, maintaining tension, and lower into a squat at the end.
- Prone press-knees slightly bent, lean forward 30-45 degrees using your hips for balance (press backward). Raise arms with elbows near sides and hands at shoulder height, palms facing front. Extend elbows till upper arms near head. Keep arms in line with your ears. Hold a few seconds then return to starting position.
- Shoulder Rotation-use no weights at first or you could injure yourself. Hands at sides, raise elbows to sides while hands pointed down as if your arms are draped over a pole across your shoulders. Elbows at 90 degrees, rotate shoulders until your hands point to the ceiling. Press both straight up and bring upper arms in line with ears. Work back through all the steps
- BEAR CRAWL-propel yourself forward on hands and feet without knees ever touching the ground. This builds strength and endurance in the upper body. A complete workout would be 5 push ups, bear crawl 20 yards and repeat. Rest one minute then repeat but crawl sideways. You’ll be surprised how exhausting this is and also be pleased with the eventual results.
An elliptical trainer will give you an excellent full body workout routine.
Rainy Day Workout:
- Squats are great for a full body workout routine, especially with a new twist: with your back straight, squat as low as you can, rise up and rotate 90 degrees to one side, pivoting on the other side’s foot and squat again. Rotate to other side and repeat. 5 times equals one rep.
- Reverse crunch-lie flat on floor with arms to sides and palms up, hips and knees bent 90 degrees. Contract your abs and curl hips off the floor. Lower hips and repeat 5 times.
- After crunching do 5 push ups
- Mountain climber-in pushup position, tuck one knee under chest as if you’re about to sprint. Drive that leg back while tucking the other under your chest. Four of these equals 1 rep. Do 5 reps for maximum benefit.
The Great Outdoors:
- For the best upper body workout and full body workout routine you can cycle a few miles on a route with adequate uphill intervals. At the end of your ride you can lock up the bike at your gym and swim as many miles as your cycled. This workout is fun and very effective.
- Most community parks now have circuit training. The stations are targeted to certain muscles and look deceptively simple. You’ll know you’ve had a good full body workout routine when you’re done!
- If there is a lake or river nearby you can get a wonderful upper body workout by renting a rowboat, canoe, or kayak.
- Don’t overlook outdoor yoga classes. It may look peaceful and relaxing but your muscles will be anything but when you are finished!
- If you want a full body workout routine that is fun and entertaining, try rollerblading.
- Stair climbing is great for the upper as well as the lower body. Most cities have plenty of stairs and are even building stairways in parks for just this purpose.
- Uphill sprints are fun, exhausting, and great for your whole body. Enjoy the view from the top!
Whether you’re looking for an upper body workout or a full body workout routine you can get in shape and stay that way with these suggestions-and have a lot of fun doing it!