8 Minutes to Get Rid of Your Upper Body Wobbly Bits
Whether it's the little black dress in winter or, for men, stripping down to your shorts in summer, those wobbly bits around the upper arms, chest and back can easily spoil the look. Here's our 8 minute body toning workout to banish the wobbly bits.
Any exercise aimed at toning your body needs something to provide resistance for your muscles to work against. Most of the exercises below use hand-held weights to provide resistance: these can be as simple as water bottles (or even tins of food) you can grip comfortably, or dumbbells in the range of 1lb-5lb/0.5-2kg.
Timing and Repetitions
10 reps of each exercise should take about 8 minutes. As with all exercise you should warm-up first. Marching or jogging on the spot for a few minutes interspersed with some gentle stretches will do the trick.
Body toning exercise can be a pretty painful experience if muscles have lain dormant for a while. The problem is, it's not until 24-48hrs after your workout that you'll realise you've overdone it! Body toning exercise should not be painful while you are doing it - if it is you're using too much weight.
If you've not been exercising your muscles recently it's best to start with a weight that feels "very easy" and build up gradually from there.
Exercise 1 - Chest and Shoulders
Lie on your back and grasp your weights with the palms of your hands facing up, and your arms outstretched to the sides. With your elbows slightly bent, lift your arms above your chest until your hands are almost touching. Return to starting position and repeat.
Exercise 2 - Chest and Shoulders
Lie on your back and grasp your weights with the palms of your hands facing up, and your arms outstretched above your head. Grip your weights and bring them over your head and down to your hips, by your sides - a semi-circular motion. Lift back to starting position and repeat.
Exercise 3 - Chest and Back
Sitting with your back straight (preferably supported) and legs straight out in front of you, hold your weights in at your chest with your elbows out to the side (parallel to the floor). Push your arms out straight in front of you then pull them back in. Repeat.
Exercise 4 - Back and Shoulders
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms by your sides, gripping the weights with palms facing outwards. Making sure your movements are slow and concentrated, tense your shoulder and upper back muscles, then slowly "shrug" them up and down.
Exercise 5 - Shoulders and Upper Arms
Stand with feet shoulder width apart and arms raised straight up above your head, grip your weights with your palms facing behind you. Slowly bring your arms forward and down, without bending at the elbow, until level with your shoulders. Lift back to starting position and repeat.
Exercise 6 - Upper Arms, Shoulders and Back
Standing with feet slightly apart, grasp your weights and bend at the waist until your torso is parallel to the floor. Extend your arms towards the floor with palms facing outwards. Lift your arms out to the side, keeping them straight, until parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Exercise 7 - Upper Arms, Shoulders and Back
Standing with feet slightly apart, position your arms straight down in front of you almost against your body - with your weights almost touching. Bend your elbows and lift your weights towards your chin, bringing your elbows out to the side, in line with your shoulders. Return to the starting position and repeat.
Exercise 8 - Arms and Chest
The classic push up. With your hands shoulder width apart place your palms on the floor. Stretch out your body with either your knees on the floor, or if you're feeling ambitious, your toes - so you are supporting your body weight. Keeping your back straight and using your arms lower yourself gently toward the floor until you are hovering just over it. Push yourself slowly back to your starting position and repeat. Remember - don't lower yourself to the point where you come into contact with the floor, it'll be much harder to push back up.
Exercise 9 - Arms
In a sitting position with your back straight, relax your arms in line with your body. Grip your weights with your palms facing upwards and curl them up towards your shoulders, then back down again. Repeat. Keep your torso still and back straight, let your arms do the work.
Exercise 10 - Forearms
Holding your weight with your arm outstretched in front of you, tilt your wrist up and down repeatedly. Try doing this with both an overhand and underhand grip on your weight. Do one arm at a time.
The secret of successful body toning is regularity. If you do this exercise sequence every other day you'll start to see results in a few weeks.
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