Want a beach-ready summer bod? Do a total upper body workout that will sculpt your arms, chest, shoulders, back and abs! The great thing about arm and shoulder workouts is that it’s nearly impossible to do them properly without engaging your core muscles. It’s no secret that strengthening your core improves spinal health and physical performance in everyday and athletic activities. Your core muscles include your abs, back and pelvic floor. Even when you’re doing exercises targeting just your core, there are ways to engage your arms to make it a compound movement that will give you both amazing abs and arms. Try the following 5 exercises:
Plank to Downward Dog Taps– Get into a high plank position with your hands directly under your shoulders and your feet slightly wider than hip distance apart. Press back onto your heels with straight legs as your hips lift into the air and tap your left hand to your right toe, or as close to it on the ground as you can. Return to your plank position placing your left hand back on the ground. Repeat the movement as you now tap your right hand to your left toe to complete one rep. Do 10-15 reps.
Back Bow Jacks– Lie face down on your stomach with your legs hip distance apart and your arm straight above your head. Squeeze your entire backside to lift your upper body and legs off the ground. Keep your abs pulled in, your hips pressing down into the floor and your biceps by your ears. Make fists and squeeze your shoulder blades down and together as you pull your elbows down your back. Straighten your arms and hands back out and lower your body back down to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.
Side Plank Weave– Get into a forearm plank position with your right forearm laying horizontally above your left. Keep your feet hip distance apart. Transfer your weight to your left arm as you rotate your body into a side plank with your right arm up to the ceiling and your right foot stacked over your left. Return to your starting position with both forearms on the ground and repeat the transition to a side plank on the right arm facing the other direction. Return to the start position to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.
Teaser Arm Circles– Lie on the ground with your arms over your head and your legs squeezing together. Bring your arms forward as you use your abs to lift both your torso and your legs at the same time until you are balancing on your tailbone in a “V” position. Keep your legs straight and squeeze your inner thighs together. You can modify this exercise by bending your knees into a tabletop position as you come up instead. Lift your chest so that you are not rounding your upper back and reach your arms forward at shoulder height. Use your back muscles to initiate small circles with your arms. Your right arm will circle clockwise while your left arm circles counterclockwise. Do 5 circles and then reverse directions for both arms. Roll your upper body back down with control while simultaneously lowering your legs to the ground and bringing your arms back over your head. Repeat the entire sequence for a total of 5 times.
Spiderman Pushups– Get into a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. As you bend your elbows to lower down into a pushup, bring your right knee to your right elbow. As you rise up, straighten your right leg back to your plank position. Repeat with your left leg as you lower down into your next pushup to complete one rep. Continue alternating side for 10 reps.
What are some exercises you are doing to sculpt your summer body?
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Video: Crystal Chin