Many women obsess over their love handles or jiggly thighs but give little thought to their upper bodies. Yet, strengthening your arms, shoulders, chest and back can do more than just help you open stubborn jars. Upper body workouts improve balance and posture and make it easier to do daily activities around the house and yard.
You don’t have to hit the gym for a strong upper body. Start by doing push–ups at home. Too tough? Use a wall, bench or your knees to do modified versions. Or grab a pair of light hand weights to try these exercises:
Alternating shoulder press
Stand tall with your chest lifted. Hold weights up to your shoulders, with elbows bent and palms facing inward. Pivot toward your left side as you press the weight in your right hand overhead toward your ear. Lower your hand back down and repeat on the other side. Do 12 reps.
Rear lateral raise
Stand with your feet apart and knees bent. Bend forward until your torso is parallel to the floor and your arms hang down, with palms facing inward. Keeping your torso still, raise your arms straight out to the side until they reach your shoulders. Pause, then return to the starting position. Do 12 reps.
Overhand bent-over row
Stand with your feet apart and knees bent. Bend forward with your arms hanging down and palms facing inward. Pull weights up toward your ribs, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Pause, then lower to the starting position. Do 12 reps.