On Thursday, we experienced a basic legs workout. Today, let’s focus on upper body, specifically, arms.
You don’t need a lot of weight to strengthen your arms. Push-ups, even on a bench, or against a wall can strengthen your pectorals. Of course, as you practice these exercises over time, they will get easier, and if you want to add weight or increase the difficulty and intensity, that is encouraged. As you progress and are ready.
Today’s workout is 7 exercises. You will do 3 sets of each exercise, resting a minute between each set. Complete all 3 sets of one exercise before moving onto the next set.
This workout is a long one. Take your time with it. This is where muscle growth and strength happens. By taking our time to do the exercises correctly, with good form, and deliberately focusing on our muscles as we work them.
Arms Day- 10×3
Warm up with a 5-10 minute cardio (burpees would be an EXCELLENT choice), then stretch out your arms and chest really well before diving into the workout (Bird Preening, Itchy Back Stretch, Gregg Cook-“Mobility god” Shoulder Exercise)
Rest one minute between each set. Complete all 3 sets before moving to the next exercise.
3×10 Push-ups– to modify: do them on your knees, on a bench/counter incline (I was at this level for a LONG time after I injured my shoulder), or even against the wall. Stand about 2 feet away from the wall, keep your elbows close to your body and lower yourself to the wall, then push yourself away from the wall. When you get comfortable with that level, move to an incline, such as a bench, counter, table, or chair.
3×10 Bench Dips
3×10 Lion Push-ups
3×10 Condor Combos, each direction
3×10 Rising Tide Planks
3×10 Ostrich Push-ups
3×10 Skull-crushers: All right, I can’t find ANY videos or tutorials of doing skull-crushers without a barbell. Geez, people, use your imagination! The closest I have to a demonstration is my Zoo-Makers. At the end of a zoo-maker, you do a skull-crusher with the medicine ball. For this exercise, you may want a weight- it can be anything- a dumbbell, a medicine ball, a gallon of milk, your water bottle. But the most important component is keeping your elbows close to your head, and tightening your core while performing this exercise. Stand tall and hold the weight with both hands. Lift directly over your head with arms straight (this is the skull-crusher part- if you drop the weight, that is). Bending only your elbows, and keeping your elbows close to your head, bring the weight back behind your head, until your arms are at a 90 degree angle. Straighten your arms back to the overhead position. Don’t forget to breathe and keep your body in a straight neutral stance.
Don’t forget to stretch out after your workout, too. Stretching after your workout will help prevent severe soreness. You can use any of my stretches from the warm-up, or this one I found on the interwebs.
If you do end up feeling sore, try soaking in epsom salt, stay hydrated, and don’t be afraid to USE those muscles. I’m not talking rock climbing, but stretch them out, carry objects, and reach for things. If you have a foam roller, use that on your sore muscles to release some of the tension. The soreness will only last a couple of days, so you will be good to go. But warming up and stretching before and after your workout are your best ways to prevent severe soreness.