What motivates you to move? There are so many hectic moments that fill our day, but it's sometimes a challenge to carve out some play time to destress and recharge. We're constantly rushing through the motions without taking a breath, so it's easy to fall into a fitness rut and unhealthy habits when we are too overloaded.
One of my favorite ways to tone my upper body and have a blast in the process is getting back to basics and taking my workout to the jungle gym. You can target triceps, biceps and upper back muscles just by doing simple pull-ups and arm dips. Or, use a park bench if that's more accessible and practice your pushups and arm dips there. Keeping the reps simple (five reps of 10 moves for each exercise) will make it more realistic and less intimidating to follow through and keep going.
For more upper body work, here's a simple circuit you can do anywhere to toughen and tone your arms, back and core. Then you can add or modify your routine to your fitness level.
Goal-post press: Extend arms out to your sides, shoulder height, elbows bent 90 degrees, palms forward. Raise your arms over head, then lower them to start. (30 reps)
High Knees: Stand and quickly alternate lifting your right and left knee to hip height. (Do as many as you can for one to two minutes.)
Jumping jacks (30 reps)
Planks and knee cross overs: Start in a push-up position. Pull right knee toward left elbow, keeping abs tight and back flat; return to start and repeat, alternating sides. (10-15 reps per side)
Biceps (with two- to five-pound weights): Lift and extend your arms out to your side, palms facing forward and elbows bent at 90 degrees. Keep your shoulders down and wrists in line with your elbows.
Rotate your arms so that your elbows are moving to meet in front of you. Keep your muscles engaged, and move back to the starting position. (Do 10 sets of 10)
Next, hold your weights, extending your arms straight out in front of you, palms facing up.
Bring your arms up into a right angle, then release them back into the starting position.
(Do five sets of 10)
Triceps (with two- to five-pound weights): Hinge forward from your hips, bend your elbows 90 degrees, then unbend your elbows to extend both arms straight back, palms facing each other and squeezing your triceps. Return to the starting position.
(Do three sets of 10)
Whether it's a cool new workout that you've been dying to try, or that open-back dress that shows some skin, find what motivates you to stay on track when it comes to living a healthy, fit lifestyle. That means watching what you put in your body too. vitaminwater zero quenches my thirst, with zero calories.
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