Upper-Body Exercises
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Upper-Body Exercises


I really wish I could teach you all the finer points of weight training through this book, but it is impossible to learn without personal training from a professional. But I do think it is useful to take a look at what weight-training exercises I recommend the most and to get an idea of how to do them. The information presented here is intended to give you a general idea of how to exercise correctly with weights. Make sure you go through all these exercises first with a personal trainer or experienced health care professional. Do not try to do these on your own first, especially if you have never lifted weights before or have not lifted them for over one year. For each exercise in this appendix, do an easy warm-up set of 8 to 10 repetitions. They do 8 to 10 repetitions of heavier weights. The last 2 or 3 reps should be difficult, and you should feel like your muscles are maxed out: they should hit muscle failure-the point where your
muscles cannot contract anymore. If you feel more than just regular muscle soreness, stop right away to avoid injury, and get advice.

Upper-Body Exercises

Both men and women must do a variety of upper-body exercises. Women often neglect these exercises for fear of becoming overly muscular. But it is important to work out the major muscle groups in the upper body regardless of gender. This is essential for stimulating your fat-burning hormones and for maintaining strength and muscle mass while losing weight. As mentioned before, most women will not get overly muscular from doing upper-body exercises.

1. Standing Biceps Dumbbell Curls

Put a single-eight-dumbbell in each hand. While keeping your elbow still at your side, lift the weight upward toward your chest with your left arm and then return it to your side. Repeat, using your right arm. Alternate lifts with the right arm and left arm.

2. Bent-Over Rows

Bend over as pictured in the illustration above. Bend your knees about 20 to 40 degrees and lower the weight bar until your arms are extended fully. Stay bent forward at the waist to about 20 to 40 degrees above the plane of the floor. Keep your bend at an angle that feels comfortable on the lower back. Now lift the bar up toward the lower chest and squeeze the shoulder blades together as you lift the weight toward the chest. You should maintain a small natural curve in the back while doing this exercise.

3. Lateral Raises

  • Start with a dumbbell in each hand at your side, with your elbows extended straight while standing up straight. Now raise the weights out from your sides to an angle that is parallel with the floor, so that your arms are perpendicular to your body.
  • Slowly and gradually bring the weights back to your sides and repeat.
  • Caution: if you have shoulder problems, do not raise the weights higher than what feels comfortable or up to shoulder level. This is to avoid compression of the supra spinous and rotator cuff tendons of the shoulder.

4. Dumbbell Bench Press

  • Life face up on a bench with legs flat on the ground or flat on the bench and with a dumbbell in each hand that has the ends aligned with the length of your body.
  • Keep your upper arms parallel with the floor, so that your elbows are slightly above your chest. Slowly bring the dumbbells up so that the ends touch at the end in front of you. Then slowly and gradually return to the start position.
  • Caution: Do not let the elbows drop below chest level. If you have shoulder problems, then
    keep the elbows above the plane of the floor and do shorter arc presses upward.

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