Achieve Superior Upper Body Strength: The EDGE in Fitness

Having a good upper body is what gets you through the day. It’s movement and strength that opens doors, helps you lift grocery bags into your car and even gives your children a shoulder ride. You don’t need a gym membership or equipment to find this power. This is the first of two workouts that will take you on a journey to get you better arms and shoulders – giving you the EDGE you want in your training.

Warm-Up: Ignite Your Muscles

Starting With a Spark

First, get your muscles ready for the heavy lifting with a good warm-up. Do 5 to 10 minutes of light cardio – run on the spot, jump through sets of jumping jacks or groove to your favourite track. This is critical to get your heart rate and circulation going in preparation for your heavier lift.

Dynamic Stretching: The Flexibility EDGE

After you’ve done your cardio, spend time on dynamic stretches, especially for your shoulders, arms and chest. Arm circles, shoulder rolls and chest opens all get you ready for the work coming, as well as making you less likely to injure yourself.

The Heart of the Workout: Building Strength

Exercise 1: The Bicep Curl

The bicep curl is probably the first exercise you will ever do when you begin to strength-train. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand palm up, elbows tucked by your side. Keeping the elbows still, perform 3 sets of 12 repetitions. Your biceps will burn in the best possible way.

Exercise 2: Tricep Dips for the EDGE

Bringing the edge of a chair or bench into play can take this setup to ‘ultimate tricep dip’ status. It’s a key move to work those often-neglected muscles at the back of the arms, so vital for those all-important complete biceps. Do three sets of 12 reps.

Exercise 3: Shoulder Press

The shoulder press is a great exercise for developing strong shoulder muscles. Doing this exercise with dumbbells, 3 sets of 12 reps, will develop muscular strength and make your shoulders look great – and strong enough for whatever life throws at you.

Exercise 4: Lateral Raises

A well-rounded upper body workout is not complete without lateral raises. Working the muscles, they are best done in 3 sets of 12 reps, a surefire way to give your body the extra boost when pursuing shoulder endurance and strength, a legitimate way to round off your arm and shoulder sculpting list of requirements.

Cooling Down: The Soothing Finish

Cooldown is essential for recovery. Static stretching for 5-10 minutes, including stretching of the shoulders, arms and chest, will help with the recovery of your muscles, avoid injury and keep them flexible and strong.

Embracing the Journey

Perhaps most importantly, remember that the road to stronger arms and shoulders is your own, and the only way to get ahead – and stay ahead – is to listen to what your body tells you, how to adjust your weights and reps, and when you’ll need to take a rest day along the way.

The EDGE in Fitness: Why It Matters

When the goal is strength and physical fitness, your edge is that thing you go the extra inch for if you want truly superior results. Added mileage from a proper warm-up, explicit and deliberate structure in your exercise, or unrelenting commitment to cooldowns and recovery are all edge. It’s about breaking through the limits of your physical ability, not just by doing whatever, but by doing it intelligently, respectfully and with wisdom and understanding for your own anatomy. Strong arms and shoulders are the things that let you live a life that’s better than just bearable, that’s actually doable and even enjoyable, in the day-to-day and beyond.

May 30, 2024
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