April 1, 2023

Build Upper Body Strength

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Build Upper Body Strength with the Standing Shoulder Press

The Standing Shoulder Press strengthens your lifting muscles of your upper body, as well as your core. So if you’re having to lift and carry heavy items during the day, this exercise is for you. Choose a weight that allows a controlled 8-12 reps.

Begin standing in neutral posture with your knees slightly bent. Bend your elbows so the weights are in front of your shoulders, with your palms facing in. Pull your shoulders down and back. This is your starting position. Keeping your forearms vertical, push the weights straight up overhead so the weights are level with the top of your head, keeping your torso stable. Pause for a second to break momentum, and then slowly lower the weights to your starting position. As you build strength, lift the weights all the way overhead stopping just short of straight arm.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise. This exercise is for those without injury concerns.

Take your leg strength to the next level…

Get Fit Quick Tip:

Do a Single Leg Squat for leg strength.

Once you’ve mastered the Squat, try a Single Leg Squat to take your leg training to the next level. Here’s how:

Stand on your right leg only. Bend from your right knee and hips, and sit back lowering your body down about six inches. Keep your right knee lined up over your right foot. Maintain proper spinal alignment with your hips level. Now stand up straight again to complete one rep. Do 8-12 times. Repeat, standing on your left leg only. For better balance, extend both arms straight out in front of you. Progress to placing both arms across your chest. For even more of a challenge, reach forward and touch a point such as a chair or cone with your hand while maintaining proper form.


*Consult your physician before beginning exercise.

5 Exercises to Beach-Ready! Written by Crystal Reia

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5 Exercises to Beach-Ready
Written By Crystal Reia

Summer is upon us! Are you hiding behind a slouchy T-Shirt or are you rockin’ that new summer bathing suit?

Look and feel confident this summer with these 5 “Beach Ready” moves! To maximize your workout time try combining your exercises or do full body strength exercises to tone and trim. You do not need a lot of expensive gym equipment to look great! Get your sweat on at the park or in your own back yard! No excuses!

Muscles Worked: Lower body strength/cardio, Quads, Glutes, Core and Delts

Place your right foot on the bench or chair. Your thigh should be parallel to the ground and your hip at a 90 degree angle. This is your neutral position. Push yourself up and off the bench/chair jumping into the air, releasing your supporting leg off the ground, left knee coming up forward and land on the right foot on the bench/chair coming back to your neutral position. At the same time, use your arms, swinging them up and forward straight over your head with each jump. Keep core tight and engaged during the whole exercise.

*This move will tone and tighten your lower body while raising your heart rate up to burn calories! Try a set of 30 seconds on each side to begin.

Muscles Worked: Full body strength/cardio, Arms, Core (Obliques) Shoulder stabilizers, Back

Crouch down, bending your knees and placing your hands on the ground. Crawl out to a full forward plank with your hands as fast as you can. Twist to side plank lifting your left arm/hand to the sky then place it back into forward plank. Repeat the twist to the right and return to your forward plank. Finish the inchworm by crawling your hands quickly back in towards your feet and stand up and jump into the air. Repeat the whole sequence.

*Another great full body move to strengthen your lower body, arms and core; not to mention kick your heart rate up a notch! Try a 60 Second Set.

Muscles Worked: Glutes, Quads, Delts

Starting position: With feet hip width apart, toes pointed forward, (try using 3 or 5 lbs weights) raise your arms with your elbows bent and your palms facing forward and your knuckles towards the sky; never bend your wrists, keep them straight. (Think 90 degree angles with your arms; shoulder to elbow horizontal, elbows pointing sideways; elbow to wrist is vertical)
Bend and squat down with all of your weight well into your heels leaving your arms still, stick your seat out as if you were going to almost sit down on a chair. As you come up out of the squat and stretch your knees give your seat muscles an extra squeeze as you stretch your arms overhead at the same time and bring your weights together (military press). Keep back straight and abs tight. (No arching in the lower back). Tight abs will help support your back.

HINT: You can also change this exercise and target your inner thigh muscles by changing the regular squat to a sumo squat. Starting position would be feet slightly wider than your hips with your toes pointed slightly outwards. Ensure your knees follow your toes as you bend into your squat.

*Combining your strength moves will help to lessen your workout time! Try a set of 12-15 reps.

Muscles Worked: Triceps Group

Sit on a bench or chair. Put your hands on the bench (hands tight into your seat) with fingers pointing forward grabbing the edge. Walk your feet a few steps forward releasing your seat from the bench. Bend your elbows so they are pointing straight back (all weight should be on the back of those arms) Stretch your elbows and return to your starting position.

*Wonderful for toning those arms! Try a set of 10-12.

Muscles Worked: Full Body strength, Chest, Back, Arms (Biceps) Shoulder Stabilizers, Core (Upper and Lower Abs)

ATOMIC PUSH-UP: Kneel on floor behind your stability ball and walk forward over top of the ball into a good forward plank position. (Beginners walk out so that your knees and lower thighs are still touching the ball) If you are more advanced, you may walk out a little further with more weight bearing into your arms. Ensure no arching in your lower back. Crunch both knees evenly into your chest and crunch your ab muscles. Return to your beginning plank position straightening both knees. Do 1 full push up, nose towards floor.

PIKE/JACKKNIFE: From the same plank position above, keep your knees straight rolling the ball towards your feet and draw your seat up into the air (making a triangle shape with your body)squeezing your lower abs. Return back to the original plank position after a good 1-2 second hold.

Repeat the sequence. 1 Atomic Push-Up, 1 Pike

*Try a set of 5-6 to start.

This article is written by Crystal Reia, PTS, PFS, OAS, Personal Trainer and Owner of Your Health-Your Choice, Kitchener, ON, Canada. www.yourhealth-yourchoice@live.ca, www.facebook.com/URHealth, Twitter: @URHealthURChoice.