If you’re a biker, hiker or walker, your lower body gets regular exercise. But everyday life doesn’t give us much chance to exercise our arms and shoulders. And that can impact us in a lot of ways.
“Any time you swing your arms, use them to throw or pull, or just reach for something, it’s your shoulders that decide how effectively your arms are able to rotate,” says Mike Mancias, athletic trainer for the Los Angeles Lakers and LeBron James. “Training your shoulders helps you move your arms much easier in any direction, giving them more mobility, power and speed.” Stronger arms and shoulders make it easier to lift, press, carry or pull something (groceries, golf bags, grandkids).
Having arms and shoulders that look inspired instead of retired just takes the right mix of moves that approach them from every possible angle. This seven-move series will help you build a stronger upper body at any age — in less time than you’d think.
How to do it: Use very light weights to start, or even no weights at all, to simply get the feel and understanding of the movements. Begin with the first exercise and run through each in order. Rest 60 seconds in between. Once you’ve completed the last exercise, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat the entire routine once more.
1. Standing alternating shoulder presses
- Stand with a light dumbbell in each hand, hands at your shoulders, palms facing the sides of your head.
- Slowly press the weight in your right hand toward the ceiling until your arm is almost straight above you.
- Pause, then slowly lower the weight back down to your shoulder. Now press the weight in your left hand.
- Continue to do the exercise one arm at a time. Repeat 10 to 15 times for each arm.