Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Spring Break Slim Down: Upper Body

If you are that girl that always blames the "fat arm" for detagging a picture on facebook, these exercises are for you. They are easy to do at home or at the gym and are convenient only taking less than 10 minutes out of your busy schedule.

Push ups- Standard (as many as you can) or the knee version (which you can make harder by elevating yourself on a stair or Bosu ball (half stability ball with flat bottom) if you’re at the gym.

Laundry lifts- Take your laundry basket and lift it by the handles up to your chin with your elbows out. Do this 10-15 times. You can easily change the weight by adding or taking out some clothes! You can use a container of laundry detergent and lift it behind your head, elbows bent and straighten it up over your head.

Tricep dips- Place your hands shoulder width apart behind you on a secured bench, stable chair, or coffee table. Using your arms to support your weight lower yourself like you’re sitting in a chair with your legs bent and feet placed about hip width apart on the floor. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to engage your triceps. Slowly bend at your elbows and lower your body down towards the floor until your arms are at about a 90 degree angle. Slowly press off with your hands, and push yourself straight back up to the starting position. Be sure to keep your back close to the bench and keep your head straight. Make it harder by straightening your legs out in front of you. Make it even harder by lifting one leg out keeping it at knee length with your other bent knee.

Stair push-up- Get into push up position at the base of a staircase. (If it is a gross stair in your dorm or its outside you can cover the first stair and the floor with a towel) Lift yourself up onto the first step with your right hand, follow with your left hand. Do one elevated pushup then bring your right hand back down to the base of the stairs then your left hand. (This exercise is really fun to do on the side of a pool and move up and down along the side of the pool- just an idea for spring break or summer!)

**I strongly encourage you to buy a pair of 5lb weights. You can easily do bicep curls, row, butterfly, overhead raise, etc. You can do these exercises just watching T.V, in the morning before class, or squeeze into your busy schedule whenever!

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