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Gym & Workouts

I work out a couple of times a week but it doesn't seem to have any impact on my arms or upper body. Are there any exercises I can do to help these areas?

Our advice is simple – you need to add some resistance training into your workouts. Don’t be afraid to lift weights and push yourself until you’ve nothing left to give! Aim for an upper body workout three or four times a week, but don’t forget to combine it with aerobic exercise for an all over workout. It’s probably best to go for a workout routine that includes incline push-ups, single-arm rows and dips, that way you’ll work all the major muscles in your arms.

For your push-ups find a sturdy support between waist and knee height - the lower the support, the harder it’ll be. Rest your hands on the support, with your arms straight and shoulder-width apart. Contract your abdominals and keep your head in line with your spine. Once you’re in position, lower your body towards the support by bending your arms. When your arms reach a right angle, pause and straighten, then repeat. The lower you dip the harder it is.

The single-arm row is a classic exercise – remember to push yourself with increasingly heavy dumbbells as you progress. Stand side-on to a bench or low table with your right hand and knee on the support, back parallel to the floor and a weight in your left hand, arm hanging straight down. Bend the left arm to bring the weight up to the front of the shoulder – don’t twist the body around or move anything other than the working arm. Repeat on the other side when you’ve finished all your reps.

When it comes to dips, hold yourself off the edge of a sturdy chair or step, your bottom hovering off the edge of the chair, supporting your weight with your arms. Bend your knees slightly, with feet on the floor and fingers facing forwards. Keep your shoulders down and relaxed through the entire movement. Now slowly bend the arms to lower the body, while keeping the arms parallel to the body, don't let your elbows swing out to the sides. Continue down until your arms hit a right angle. Straighten up and repeat.

Don’t forget to add some cardio into the routine and hit the pool as well as the gym. Backstroke and front crawl can help tone your upper body too. You can also exercise classes like boxercise and body pump.

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