The importance of having a strong upper body
Strengthening your upper body is essential for your overall health. Not only does your upper body muscles help you have a strong posture and allow you to perform every day and sports activities at an optimal level, but exercising upper body muscles can reverse some of the muscle loss and deterioration that comes with aging.
Unfortunately, lean muscle mass diminishes with age. If you don’t do anything to replace the lean muscle mass lost, then chances are your body fat percentage will rise. Also, as your upper body strength deteriorates as you age, you’re more prone to injuries, so it’s important to add some time to train your upper body as part of your workout routine.
Squashing the stigma around building muscle as a woman
Don’t be afraid of gaining muscle mass! Many women are worried that Strength Training will lead to them looking ‘bulky’ but fear not, hormones ensure women can’t put on muscle like a man. As women don’t have the same amount of testosterone as men, it ensures you don’t get bigger, but will get stronger and more toned with Strength Training.
Having a higher muscle mass increases your basal metabolic rate (BMR) which means your body finds it easier to burn calories. This then leads to fat loss when complimented with a healthy diet. So, Strength Training helps you to burn fat leading to better results.
The best exercises to build a strong upper body
If you have a chronic condition, if you're older than 40 or you haven't been active recently, check with your doctor before beginning a Strength Training or new fitness program.
At Curves, we offer a full body workout including machines that focus on upper body strength. We recommend our members to complete at least three Strength Training sessions per week.
Discover below how to properly use the Curves machines that focus on strengthening your upper body.
If you need help with any of the exercises, your Curves trainers are always happy to help.
Sit firmly in the machine with hips and back against the seat.
Place elbows between the pads so that elbows are even with the middle of your chest.Gently grasp the handles to maintain alignment.
Bring arms forward slightly to start.
Use your pectorals to pull arms together.
Push the machine back to the starting position.
Sit firmly in the machine, allowing your entire back to rest against the seat.
Allow head to remain up or rest it against the seat.
Grasp handles firmly and bring them to shoulder height.
Push up until your arms are almost straight.
Pull down to shoulder height.
Sit in the machine with your feet flat on the floor.
Place your wrists between the wrist pads.
Make a fist with thumbs on top and palms facing each other.
Keep your spine aligned.
Alternate arms as you pull up with one arm and push down with the other.
Move as fast as you can in both directions.
Sit with your hips and back against the seat.
Grasp handles so hands are aligned with the midline of your chest.
Keep your elbows aligned with your chest for each repetition.
Quickly push hands forward.
Quickly bring handles back to starting position and repeat.
If you’re looking for a full body workout in only 30 minutes and to train your upper body, get the advice and support of a coach, and so much more, please contact your nearest Curves club or book a free consultation now!