While different exercises focus on different muscles, all the parts of the body are still required to work together, making upper body exercises essential for the successful athlete. Strong arms are important in running, biking, lifting and aerobics.

Strengthening your upper body, especially the shoulders and back, will give you the posture to fight unnecessary injuries and maintain form in workouts. Toned and strong arms will help you in other exercises that rely heavily on your legs. Working the upper body also has its benefits in strengthening abs and core muscles and burn calories at a faster rate.

Solid posture is important for aesthetic appeal and to prevent back pain even when you’re not working out. The best way to achieve proper posture is to tone back and shoulder muscles, strengthening them to hold the top half of your body up.

A strong upper body will help you maximise the benefits of even the most leg heavy exercises. Many elliptical machines have spots for you to pump your arms, so solid shoulders and biceps will help you move at a faster pace and burn calories at a higher rate.


1-Arnold Dumbbell Press:

This move engages your biceps, shoulders and triceps.

arnold press

How to:

  • Set up for the exercise by grabbing a pair of dumbbells and standing straight up with your feet around shoulder width apart.
  • Raise the dumbbells to shoulder height on each side and twist so that your palms are facing your body.
  • The dumbbells should now be positioned in front of your shoulders. Your back should be straight and there should be a slight bend in your knees.
  • Keeping your eyes facing forwards, slowly raise the dumbbells above your head while turning your wrists so that your palms are now facing forward (away from your body).
  • Keep raising the weight until your arms are almost fully extended.
  • Do not pause at the top of the movement, begin lowering the dumbbells back down to the starting position – twisting at the wrist until your palms are facing your body once again.
  • Repeat this movement.
  • Do 3 sets of 15 reps each.