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Learn how to tone your arms, shoulders, chest and upper back
Tags:Tone Your Upper Body,acacia fitness,arms,chest,exercise,fitness,health,shoulders,upper back,upper body,workout
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This series tones and sculpts the arms, shoulders, chest, and upper back. You will need a stretch belt or a towel. We start our class with a warm up which is ultimately swinging the arms as we lift our knees toward our chest. Gradually, this movement will increase in tempo and you are going to notice that your breathing and your heart rate and your body temperature will be going up. We do this movement for about 60 seconds. We are very mindful of our posture which is ears over shoulders, shoulders over hips.
To do this movement for 60 seconds not only warms up the body, but also gives you an opportunity to focus on deep breathing which helps connect the mind to the body. This brings you into the moment and holistically prepares you for the activity or this forward ahead. Continue for a few more seconds, pull up through your center body, breathe, enjoy. It's fun to get the body ready for exercise.
Now we will bend over, picking up the weights, the first exercise we are going to do is called triceps fold over. Feet are hips width apart, notice the arms are up at shoulder height. We are lifting, working the triceps back at the arm. Notice that the elbows are straight, the back of the neck is flat, the abdominals are in. We are lifting for about 30 seconds, we hold, and now small presses in towards the mid line of the body. Press 1, press 2, press 3, press 4, press 5, press 6, press 7, press 8, press 9, press 10, press 11, and 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, hold one, roll the shoulders back, try to maintain the position. Raise the arms slightly higher.
Next movement, combining, in, up and hold, in, lift, in, lift. Notice how we both try to maintain the height of the arms, the tricep muscles back of the arm really experiencing the tone and shaping right now as you try to maintain the height of the waist.
Turning the palms up, raising the arm slightly higher, now the movement is a very small, dense stretch, lengthen, lengthen. Notice the triceps now are not only tightening, but they are lengthening; this gives a very streamlined look to the muscle, trying to maintain the hype of the last few. 7, 8, 9, hold the last one, raise as slightly higher and we release the arms down.
Now we take the arms up and we start the front of the arm work bicep curls, we are alternating for about 30 repetition. Same posture, shoulders are pressing down, knees are soft, abdominal muscles are pulling in, feet are hips width apart. We are breathing, feeling full range of motion. It's important here not to swing away, but to just move the arms and move the weight and trying to feel resistance in both directions.
Equal breathing, inhale, exhale, trying to keep the rest of the body still and this is where the core muscles really come into play to hold the torso in position. Notice that we have turned the palms to face each other. This is the hammerhead position and both hand positions work the biceps. Taking a few more reps so we feel the resistance, feel the accumulation of the work.
As we approach the final few repetition, we are going to hold the arms in position, right there, raise the elbows and now we are doing a set of double arm, extend, and bend, extend and bend. Your shoulders are rolling down, the chest is open. The movement is very isolated. Trying to relax the grip around the weight as we move and feeling the result of both arms working at the same time, we hold the last one reposition, pressing the shoulders down, keeping the arms parallel.
This next movement works the chest and the shoulders combine. Small pumping motions up. These sets average about 20-30 reps and it really depends on the size of the weight. We are trying to go for the feeling here which is reaching your maximum potential. Holding still, open inhale, close, exhale, open inhale, close, to inhale, 3, inhale, exhale 4. This works into the pectorals of the chest 5, inhale, 6. Think of reaching forward with your elbows as you close. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, couple more, inhale, exhale. Hold, lift, small presses up, combining shoulder, arm and chest great exercise for a combination of muscle work and we release.
Roll the shoulders back. Take the arms out to the side, pull down, lift up, deep breathing here. This movement really gives you a chance to open up your lungs and feel the experience of the airflow. The great exercise for upper back work as you pull down your working into left isthmuses or leg muscles. These are the muscles under the shoulder blade. As you lift, you are working your deltoid which is top cap of the shoulder. Pull through, try to work in both directions on the pull down and on the lift, holding the last one, small pull downs. Getting a little deeper into the upper back now, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and release.
Last one is for the upper back, notice the starting position, arms extended. Now as we pull the arms up to the sides, try to visualize that you are pinching a pencil between your shoulder blades as you lift, the shoulder blades come close together and as you come down, they release. Notice the back of the neck is very long so the neck muscle is not engaged and these are soft. Liz is demonstrating a little easier version with the elbow slightly bent. Exhale, lift, inhale lower, up. Now small little lifts to finish. 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and we release, great job on that exercise.
Now we balance the strengthening work with stretches. This is a very important component in core fusion. The stretch is after the strengthening work help to shape the muscles. As we interlace our fingers here and we lift our arms, we are stretching the chest muscles rolling the shoulders back, such a great stretch for posture to help keep your shoulders down. Breathe through the stretches, enjoy the feeling of the balance. Now as we take our arms in front, we wrap the right arm under the left, roll the shoulders down, move the hand slightly away from the forehead the arms pull to the right, the head turns to the left, the breathing should flow deeply. Shoulders pressing down.
Such a beautiful feeling to open up after the strengthening work. Come back to center, switching left arm under right, shoulders pressed down, the hands move slightly away from the forehead, take a deep breath, inhale, exhale as you pull the arms towards the left and turn the head towards the right. This stretch is really good for those knot that sometimes you get between your shoulder blades often times from working at a desk or a computer, those muscles get really tight. So these stretches are really therapeutic.
Now you can use a belt or a towel as I am demonstrating to connect the hands behind the back, this is a tricep stretch for the right arm and a rotator stretch for the left arm. Liz is demonstrating more advanced version by connecting her fingers and I am showing you the easier version by using the stretch. It's important when you are stretching not to strain. You just bring your body into the place that's comfortable, related to your range of motion and your flexibility. Change it over to the other side, take the left hand behind the back, reach around with the right hand, connect the fingers if possible, breathe.