The importance of reinforcing the upper body
Arms and shoulders are important parts of the body: with the passage of time, in fact, they tend to accumulate fat mass. Especially for women, it is important that this part of the body is strong for two main reasons: to protect against fractures in case of falls or accidents and because strong arms and shoulders help to ease strain on the cervical tract.
But what is the best way to give your upper arms a workout? There are various types of exercises that involve different muscles: training biceps and triceps helps to strengthen the arms while training the deltoids tones the shoulders. In this article, we'll tell you which are the best exercises for your arms and how the Curves circuit can help you!
Why is it important to strengthen the arms and shoulders?
Training arms and shoulders is very useful because these muscle groups are involved in most of our daily actions. Therefore, the body needs to be toned regardless of age and not just for aesthetic reasons, but for health and well-being!
Having stronger arms and shoulders helps to improve posture and balance of the whole body makes the back more flexible, facilitates daily movements (finally you won't have to ask for help carrying shopping bags anymore!), as well as lightening the load on your legs. In a word: it makes you more independent!
How to strengthen your upper body at home
Until it is time to get back to your club, here are some exercises that you can do at home to tone up your arms and strengthen your shoulders.
- Push-ups: shoulders should be in line with your hips, back straight and neck relaxed. If this is your first time, you can start by putting your knees on the ground while, when you feel stronger, you will keep them up completely. Repetitions: 15 or 20.
- Dip: sitting on the edge of a chair, put your hands on the seat, with your feet on the ground. Push on the arms and bring the body forward with the buttocks suspended but always close to the chair. Bend your elbows at 90 degrees and bring your buttocks down almost to the ground, then climb up with your arms. Repetitions: 3 series of 15 repetitions, with a break of 30 seconds between each series.
- Vertical French Press: standing up, legs slightly open to the width of the pelvis and slightly bent, belly in and back straight. Grab a half-liter bottle of water with your right hand, bring your arm up close to your ear and bend it, bringing your weight to shoulder level. The elbow must remain pointed upwards. Then extend your arm without moving your elbow and bend it again. Repetitions: 3 sets of 15 repetitions with one arm and then repeat the exercise with the other.
Exercises to open your shoulders
When you can't get to your local Curves club, try these exercises:
- Side elevations: standing up, legs apart and slightly bent. With a half-litre bottle of water in each hand, shoulders outstretched, open your arms outstretched and lift them up to shoulder height. Hold the position for 5 seconds and slowly return to the starting position. 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Military Press: standing up, legs open to the width of the pelvis and slightly bent, back straight. Take a stick and carry it behind your shoulders at collarbone height, elbows bent. Push the stick forward by tilting your torso and extending your arms, keeping your back straight. Keep your legs semi-bent during the movement to protect your back. Return to the starting position. 3 sets of 15 reps.
- Chest Press: Standing, legs open to the width of your pelvis and slightly bent. Grab a half-litre bottle of water in each hand and open arms bent, elbows parallel to the floor. Close your arms (exhaling) and open your arms (inhaling), keeping your elbows parallel to the floor. 3 sets of 15 reps.
The best machines for the upper body at your Curves Club
Once you can get back to your Curves club, make sure you understand how to use the machines that will give you those strong and lean arms.
The hydraulic resistance machines of the Curves circuit are designed and studied specifically to train the female body. Each of them offers a targeted and at the same time complete type of exercise, training both the upper and lower part of the body.
To train arms and shoulders, you can try our specific machine for biceps and triceps:
- Sit at the machine with your feet firmly on the floor
- Place your wrists on the appropriate bearings
- Make a fist with your thumb up and palms facing each other
- Keep your back straight
- Alternating upward thurst with one arm and downward thrust with the other
- Move as fast as you can in both directions
In the Curves circuit, you can also find two specific machines to help you open your shoulders, training and strengthening deltoids and back muscles.
Here's how to use the first one in the correct way to get the most out of it:
- Sit on the machine, leaning your entire back against the backrest
- Keep your head up or put it on the backrest
- Grab the handles firmly and carry them at shoulder height
- Push up until your arms are almost outstretched
- Pull down to shoulder height
Here is how to use our Dip Shrug machine:
- Stand next to the bar with spread legs in line with your shoulders
- Bend your knees to grab the bar
- Establish and maintain a good posture
- Keep your knees slightly bent and keep your hands close together
- Pull the bar towards the center of your chest
- Push the bar down until your arms are almost fully extended
- Avoid swaying back and forth
Curves is a full-body workout, designed to involve both upper and lower limbs. Exercising your body in a harmonious and balanced way helps to ensure correct posture, balance your weight and maintain healthy joints well into later life!
Our workout program offers everything you are looking for to improve the quality of your life by taking care of your body. And you'll notice the difference when you exercise for even just 30 minutes!
The Curves coaches are there to guide you on how to stay fit and healthy at home until all clubs can open again. Not part of the Curves family yet? Find your closest club and make sure to follow their social media accounts!