8 Exercises For Seriously Toned Arms And Shoulders

Upper body strength, we’re coming for ya!



Ondela Mlandu |


There must be many times when you feel that these tops are otherwise perfect, except that they don’t have sleeves to hide your arms, back, and shoulders. Don’t worry, I get you! There’s a certain confidence that comes with knowing that you can wear strappy tops without having any bulges.

These workouts will help you get sleek, sculpted, and toned arms, back, and shoulders and you can do them in the comfort of your own home. Personal Trainer Lauren da Silver from Adventure Bootcamp shows us eight moves to master, to get seriously strong arms, back, and shoulders. Let’s go!

1/ Plank sidewalk

  1. Make sure you have some space either side of you for this exercise. Start off in a Plank position with straight arms.
  2. Keep your body straight “plank-like” shape
  3. Then step your left hand out to the side at the same time as stepping your left foot out the same distance.
  4. Follow by stepping your right hand and foot across to meet your left. Move sideways to the left for 4 or 5 steps then change the direction and move back to the right.
  5. Continue moving side to side whilst maintaining a good plank position for the duration of the exercise.
  6. Perform 8 reps (4 reps each side) 8 sets

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2/ Swimmers

  1. Start off on the floor lying face down with your arms stretched out overhead. Lift your upper body into a back arch by lifting your chest away from the floor and contracting your glutes and back muscles. Keep your chin tucked so that you are looking towards the floor.
  2. From here, lift your right arm up away from the floor and at the same time lift your left leg away from the floor. Aim to lift both limbs approximately one foot off the floor.
  3. Then as you lower your right arm, lift your left arm. Similarly for the legs, as you lower the left leg, lift your right in a controlled swimming-like motion.
  4. Perform 8 reps each side 8 sets

3/ Pilates breaststroke

  1. Begin lying face down (prone) with your nose hovering just above the mat as your chin is tilted downwards to ensure that your neck is lengthened.
  2. Your legs must be apart (abducted) and parallel to the floor.
  3. Bend your arms with your elbows in at your sides, palms facing downwards.
  4. Reach both your arms straight out in front of you simultaneously.
  5. Circle your arms around towards the side of your body lifting the mid-back, return to starting position
  6. Perform 8 reps 8 sets

READ MORE: The 12 Best Chest Exercises To Add To Your Upper-Body Workouts ASAP

4/ Shoulder Press with leg lift

  1. Hold a dumbbell in each hand and stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, lift the right leg and hold
  2. Bend both elbows and raise your upper arms to shoulder height so the dumbbells are at ear level
  3. Push the dumbbells up, directly over your head, and then lower the dumbbells back to ear level.
  4. Perform 8 reps (4 each side) 8 sets

5/ Bicep and deltoid Squeeze

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart
  2. Lift your weights up with your palms facing forward and elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Make sure that you keep your shoulders down.
  3. Next, move your arms away from each other, squeezing the shoulder blades, and then bring your arms towards each other so that your elbows meet in front of you.
  4. Perform 8 reps 8 sets

READ MORE: 12 Best Bodyweight Back Exercises For A Strong Upper Body

6/ Upright row

  1. Stand with legs at a comfortable distance apart—shoulder-width is about right.
  2. Grab dumbbells and allow it to hang in front of you at the length of your arms. Your palms should be facing your body.
  3. Standing up straight, Shoulder-width apart, breathe in and tighten the abdominals, keep the back straight, chest up, and eyes forward.
  4. Lift both dumbbells straight up toward the chin, leading with the elbows and keeping the dumbbells close to the body. Breathe out during the effort. Your arms should go no higher than parallel with the shoulders.
  5. Pause at the top of the lift.
  6. Return both dumbbells back to the starting position, breathing in as you lower it.
  7. Perform 8 reps 8 sets

7/ Bicep curl into a punch

  1. Perform a bicep curl
  2. Extend arm outward while rotating to make a punching motion
  3. Repeat with the other arm
  4. Perform 8 reps (4 each side) 8 sets

READ MORE: These Are The 6 Full-Body Home Exercises The Springbok Women’s Vice-Captain Swears By

8/ Tricep extension

  1. Stand upright with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
  2. Keeping your back straight, bend forward at the waist until your torso is nearly parallel with the floor.
  3. Keep your head up and your arms bent at your side so that your arms are aligned closely to your body, forming a 90-degree angle. This is your starting position.
  4. Using only your triceps, exhale as you extend your arms fully backward, bringing them nearly parallel with the floor.
  5. Hold for a moment and then slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position.
  6. Perform 8 reps 8 sets

READ MORE ON: Arm Workouts Back Workouts Fitness Upper Body Workouts Workouts





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