Increase Upper Body Strength With These Moves

By Cathy Frank

Resistance training is increasingly important as you age.  It helps build and maintain strong bones and vital muscle tissue, preventing sarcopenia—the gradual muscle tissue loss that begins at age 30 and beyond. 

Women, especially, need to give attention to upper body strength, since it seems to decline rapidly with age. Practicing a good upper body strengthening program regularly will keep you strong and active for years to come.

OVERHEAD SHOULDER PRESS
To begin you will need a set of dumbbells.  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Keep a slight bend in your knees.  Bring the dumbbells up to a 90 degree position.  Next, raise the dumbbells up over head until they meet in the middle above your head.  Return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

SIDE LATERAL SHOULDER RAISES
To begin you will need a set of dumbbells. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Keep a slight bend in your knees.  Lift the dumbbells from your sides.  Maintain a slight bend in your elbows throughout the movement.  Bring the dumbbells up until your arms are parallel to the floor, then return to the starting position.  Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

 

PUSH UPS
To begin lie face down on the floor, then start by pressing your hands to the floor while you lift your body weight up.  You can use your knees for support or come up onto your toes.  Your body should be parallel to the ground.  Return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

BICEP CURLS
Holding a barbell, stand with your feet shoulder with apart; curl the barbell up as high as you can without allowing your elbows to leave your side.  Return to the starting position. Perform 3 sets of 15 reps.

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