How to Look Good (Part 4)

March 12th, 2009 by Cayla in Cayla, How To..., Photos, Red Tag Crazy, exercise, red tag crazy blog

Okay, so maybe in a perfect world all we would have to do is eat right to look good.  I mean, of course, there are things you can eat that may enhance your ability to gain muscle mass and loose weight. Such as, eat a lot of protein, and eat less junk etc. However, in order for your body to build muscle, you must physically DO something.  This is when you will begin to see the results you are looking for.

There are a few upper body exercises that I hold dear to my heart.  Mostly, because they are the only one’s that I have ever used consistently, as well as the only ones that I have had significant results from.

The standard upper body muscle groups that I like to work are my biceps, triceps, back, chest, traps, deltoids and shoulders.  I have a large bone frame, broad shoulders, and the tendency to gain muscle quickly.  So if I am not careful, I could end up looking like a man real quick like.  The key to a toned body is the amount of reps, rather than the actual amount of weight you are lifting.

For example: I use 5 pound dumbbells for most of my arm exercises; sometimes 10 pounds, depending on which muscle group.  5 pounds doesn’t sound like very much, but when you pair it with 3 sets of 15 reps, or 4 sets of 12 reps, this can get a bit tiring.  If you feel it burning, you know its working.

I am going to walk you through some of the standard upper body exercises that I like to use. I found most of these steps offline, because most of these are popular exercises.  In my next blog I will show you my modified versions of some of these exercises; as well as some other upper body work outs that I created on my own.

  1. Lateral dumbbell rise– traps, shoulders medial deltoids:
    1. Stand with your feet approximately shoulder width apart
    2. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand allowing the dumbbells to hang down at your sides with your palm facing in toward your body.
    3. Next, simultaneously raise the dumbbells by bringing the backs of your hands to the ceiling, keeping your arms as straight as possible throughout the movement.
    4. Bring your arms to a point that is parallel to the floor, hold for a one-count and return to the start position and repeat for the desired repetitions.”
    5. 5 lb dumbbell, 3 sets of 15.
    6. I have another version of this workout that I alternate in between sets.  I will demonstrate my version in my next blog.

lateral

2. Overhead press: Triceps, anterior deltoid, traps:

    1. Stand upright or sit on a bench with the back straight.
    2. Hold a dumbbell in each hand at the shoulders with an overhand grip. Thumbs should be on the inside and knuckles facing up.
    3. Raise the weights above the head in a controlled motion, ensuring that you do not slam the arms upward and stress the elbow joint.
    4. Exhale as you push upward.
    5. Return dumbbells to the shoulders.
    6. Option: Alternate arms instead of both arms at once
    7. I use 5 lb dumbbell 3X15

overhead

3. Bicep curls: 20 pound bar; biceps

    1. Stand with feet about hip-width apart, abs engaged as you hold the weight in front of the thighs.
    2. Squeeze the biceps and bend the arms, curling the weight up towards the shoulders.
    3. Keep the elbows stationary and only bring the weight as high as you can without moving the elbows.
    4. Slowly lower the weight, keeping a slight bend in the elbows at the bottom (e.g., don’t lock the joints and try to keep tension on the muscle)
    5. Repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-15 reps.
    6. You can also do this with 2 10 pound dumbbells

bicep

4. Skull Crushers: with barbell (triceps)

    1. Lie on the floor or a bench and hold a light-medium barbell with the hands close together, about shoulder-width apart.
    2. Extend the arms straight up over the chest, palms face out and thumbs wrapped around so that they’re next to the fingers.
    3. Bend the elbows and lower the the weight down to a few inches above the forehead or until the elbows at about 90-degree angles.
    4. Squeeze the triceps to straight the arms without locking the joints.
    5. Repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps

skull-crusher

5. Back extensions: lower back.

    1. Lie face down on a mat and place the hands on the floor or behind the head (more advanced).
    2. Contract the abs and keep them contracted throughout the exercise.
    3. Squeeze the back to lift the chest a few inches off the floor.
    4. Lower and repeat for 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps total on each arm.

extension

Stay tuned, my next blog will show pictures and descriptions of my modified versions of some of these exercises!

1 comment

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How to Look Good (Part 4) (1)

Nico March 31, 2012 at 4:15 am

Hey girl! Thank you for the compliment, that’s rllaey nice. And I’m so happy you like my blog! Good work on the running! Things that have helped me increase my mileage are definitely the following-Good music: do you have any music that motivates you to run further? Sometimes it helps me to just make it through a couple extra songs-A workout partner: if you run with someone that pushes you to work harder sometimes the competitive spirit in me will make up for the rest and I can push myself harder. It helps to distract my mind if anything!-Interval training: Go to the track once or twice a week and do 1.5-2 miles by running one lap (a littler faster than usual) and then walking one lap, and repeat until you have hit your mileage. This will increase your muscle endurance and hopefully make it easier to do more miles-Run one mile, walk as long as you need to after (5-10 minutes) then run another mile. If you do this it might be easier to do two miles. Sometimes you just need a mental break! I hope one of these will help! Let me know how things go, I would love to hear about your progress! Good luck!

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