The summer might still be a good couple of months away, but leaving your get fit mission for the perfect beach body until the last minute is only going to lead to disappointing results. Why not get a head start and start your work out now, in time for the arrival of warmer weather?
While we’re wrapped up in layers, it’s understandable that toning up and building muscle can take a back seat to more comfortable activities. However, when it comes time to abandon your chunky knits and cardigans, you’ll be glad you followed our tips for building upper-body strength.
Here’s what you need to do:
Focus on one muscle at a time
Understanding how your body works and identifying the muscles that you’re trying to develop is much more effective than simply doing as many reps, on as many machines, as possible.
By isolating different muscles, and a corresponding exercise that works that muscle, you’ll see much better results in a shorter space of time. Make a list of where you want to see changes, such as your biceps, and find exercises that help you to achieve greater muscle mass, such as curling.
Take a look at this guide from the BBC, which highlights different exercises for different upper-body muscles.
Consider working out in the home
Not everyone is comfortable working out in a gym; add to that the soaring costs of memberships and it’s understandable why many people choose to work out at home.
If you’re planning on giving the gym a miss and limiting your workout to things you can do in your own home, take a look at an earlier post on 4 ways to stay active without a gym membership. Simple exercises like press ups against the floor or the wall, are often the most effective methods of building strength; and of course, don’t require any expensive equipment.
However, investing in some equipment will undoubtedly contribute to the results you’ll see. You won’t have to spend a fortune kitting out your own gym either. Strength machines are designed for the very purpose of building strength, although their efficient design means that it’s possible to work the entire body on one machine.
Take a look at the selection available from Savage Strength, which includes compact designs made for home gyms.
Take a dive
Of course, as with any exercises, it’s important not to overdo your efforts too quickly, as this will only lead to injury. Alternate your exercises or weight training with swimming sessions. In addition to being a fantastic cardiovascular exercise, swimming will contribute to your efforts to build upper-body strength, particularly in your shoulders, and provide a welcome rest period from more strenuous weight training.
Starting a new exercise regime now means that you can take your time to adapt it to suit your goals. You’ll also be content with the results you see in time for the arrival of the summer!