The Ultimate Preparing Summer Chiseled Arms and Upper Body Workout for Beginners and Intermediates

If you count yourself among those who want well-worked toned arms, defined shoulders, back, and abdomen strengthened, for a correct posture, find out that you can enjoy all these results shortly. Today I propose an intense training for beginners and intermediaries to prepare and transform your arms and upper body for summer.

If you count yourself among those who want well-worked toned arms, defined shoulders, back, and abdomen strengthened, for a correct posture, find out that you can enjoy all these results shortly.

The development and definition of the upper body have many benefits. First of all, the well-worked muscle mass helps to accelerate metabolism and, implicitly, to burn fat tissue. Then the look of toned arms looks great. And, not to be neglected, most of the movements we make in our daily lives require strength, endurance, and tone.

Whatever your reason for not going to the gym, you can choose to do physical exercises at home. It is difficult to turn physical activity into a habit, but when you know you won’t have to waste time on the way to your gym or your busy schedule allows you to spend only 20-30 minutes playing sports, you don’t have much excuse, not to do it at home.

Today I propose an intense training for beginners and intermediaries to prepare and transform your arms and upper body for summer.

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The exercises I propose today are performed with bodyweight or free weights and target the arms and upper body.

  • 9 exercises
  • 40-sec exercise
  • 10-sec rest
  • Repeat 2 times

1)  Inchworm + Shoulder Tap

2)  Knee Push-Up

3)  High Plank + Arm Raise

4)  Single Arm Hold Plank

5)  Triceps Dip

6)  Downward Dog Push Up

7)  Up and Down Plank

8)  Renegade Plank Row

9)  Superman Lateral Pull

You should begin with a 5-10 minutes warm-up and finish with some stretching exercises.

1)  Inchworm + Shoulder Tap

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The inchworm exercise is a solid movement to add to just about any routine. Because it can strengthen and stretch different muscle groups at the same time (it targets the upper body part: shoulders, triceps, chest, and the abdominals, and also the lower part of your body: hamstrings, calves, and glutes), it’s ideally positioned to be included as part of an active warm-up, or as part of a high-intensity interval training routine. 

How to do it

•      Stand tall, your feet roughly hip-distance apart. Check your posture—your ears should be aligned over your shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles, your abdominals engaged.

•      Take a breath in, then as you exhale, look down at the ground and start reaching your hands toward the floor in front of your feet, allowing your back to bend forward, rolling down one vertebra at a time. Allow your knees to bend slightly, as needed, to enable your hands to reach the ground.

•      Place your hands on the floor in front of your feet. Inhale and walk your hands forward, one at a time, allowing your heels to lift off the floor as your body begins to straighten.

•      When your hands are directly under your shoulders, check your form—you should be in a full plank position with your core, chest, quads, triceps, and shoulders engaged, your body forming a straight line from heels to head.

•      Now tap one time each shoulder

•      Keep your legs relatively straight and begin walking your feet forward, one at a time, toward your hands. This should provide a nice stretch through your hamstrings, calves, and glutes as your hips start lifting toward the ceiling. Exhale as you step forward.

•      Stop when your feet are as close to your hands as you can comfortably bring them. Remember, you can bend your knees slightly to ease the stretch on your hamstrings, but try to keep them as straight as possible

•      Return to standing by slowly rolling your back up from the hips, straightening one vertebra at a time. Inhale as you go. When you’re back in the starting position, you’ve completed one repetition. Continue for time or repetitions, depending on your workout.

2)  Knee Push-Up

Knee push-ups target upper chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles.  This exercise is perfect to be included in both men’s and women’s workout.

How to do it

•      Get on your knees by bending them. Lean your hands on the floor in front of you, shoulder-width apart, and just below the shoulders.

•      Make a hook with your lower legs and keep them slightly in the air. Keep your body straight, with the head and the core in one continuous line. This is the starting position;

•      Grounded on the knees, start bending your elbows as you slowly breathe in until your chest gently taps the floor;

•      Stop for less than a second, then breathing out, slowly return to the starting position, and repeat.

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3)  High Plank + Arm Raise

The rolling movement of the body as you switch arms shifts the load to your core which then works hard to maintain your balance. This is one of those exercises that have an immediate impact on your posture. 

Muscle targeted: Shoulders, triceps, glutes, lower back, core.

How to do it

•      Begin in a plank position with your weight resting on your forearms and your body in a completely straight line from your shoulders to your ankles

•      Tighten your abs and without letting your hips shift, raise one arm out straight in front of you. 

•      Pause, then lower it back to the starting position.

4)  Single Arm Hold Plank

Plank To Single-Arm Hold is a core body move that strengthens your abdominals, shoulders, and lower back while training your body to have better balance and stability.

How to do it

•      Start in a push-up position with the hands under the shoulders and the legs extended directly behind wider than shoulder-width apart. 

•      Squeeze the thighs and glutes while lifting one hand off the mat bringing it to the hip and pressing the other hand into the ground.

•      Keep this position for 20 s

•      Repeat the move on the other hand

5)  Triceps Dip

The triceps are made up of three heads, hence their name, and if you want to increase the strength and size of your upper arms you need to work all three. Fortunately, you can do just that with one exercise – the triceps dip.

How to do it

•      To begin the exercise, you need to place your hands on a chair, on a bench at least shoulder-width apart. Now you have to slide off your butt off the bench and extend your legs out.

•      Now you have to straighten your arms while keeping your elbows a bit bent to keep tension on your triceps and not on your elbow joints.

•      Now start bending your elbows to bring your body towards the floor and bend it until they’re at 90 degrees with the bench. Make sure you keep your back close to the bench.

•      Now when you reach the bottom, start pressing down into the bench while straightening your elbows to get back into your original position.

6)  Downward Dog Push Up

Looking for a total body exercise that stretches and strengthens? Try the down dog push-up. This exercise tones your upper and lower body while loosening up your hips and hamstrings.

How to do it

•      Begin in push up or plank position, engage the abdominals and low back, and lengthen the neck to create a long line from the top of the head to the base of the pelvis.

•      Push your pelvis up and back, hinging at the hip joints while dropping and widening the shoulders.  

•      Pay attention to your spine and only bend the hips as far as the hamstrings allow without pulling on the pelvis and spine. You can slightly bend your knees to access a deeper fold in the hips.

•      While holding the stable position of the hips and legs, bend the arms and shoulders to lower your head toward a spot between the hands and then push back into the stretch of the hips and hamstrings.

7)  Up and Down Plank

Planks are one of the most effective exercises you can do. Why? Because they require a small time investment on your part and offer the chance to achieve substantial results in a relatively short period. This plank variation takes it up a notch and works your shoulders and arms a little bit more. 

Muscles targeted: Abs, core, lower back, triceps, glutes, quads.

How to do it

•      Start in a regular low plank on your forearms, elbows directly in line with your shoulders, and core engaged to keep your spine in a neutral position 

•      From there, take your left (or right) arm and push yourself up to a high plank position on your hands.

•      From a high plank, drop back down to your elbows on the same side you started.  Think of it as a 4-point plank: up/up (left arm/right arm); down/down (left arm/right arm).

•      Keep your core engaged the entire time and your head in a neutral position to maintain spinal alignment.

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8)  Renegade Plank Row

The renegade row (also known as a plank row) is almost a variation of the dumbbell row. It’s designed to target the upper back and, like a plank, designed to target the core. The beauty of the exercise is that in addition to targeting both groups of muscles that are hit during the plank and the dumbbell row, it also develops anti-rotational core strength, which can help with balance and coordination.

How to do it

•      Start in a high plank position, holding a set of 10-pound weights in your hands. Your hips should be lifted and your body in one straight line.

•      Row your right arm up, keeping it close to your body. Your elbow should go past your back as you row towards your chest.

•      Bring your right arm back to the starting position and repeat with your left arm.

•      Make sure you don’t rotate your body or shrug your shoulders as you row and do your best to keep your hips stable

9)  Superman Lateral Pull

This particular exercise is a favorite of mine: it hits every muscle in your back (and even your glutes).

How to do it

•      To begin, lie straight and face down on the floor or exercise mat. 

•      Your arms should be fully extended in front of you. This is the starting position.

•      Simultaneously raise your arms, legs, and chest off the floor. Then extend your elbows back towards your hips and squeeze your shoulder blades together while you exhale.

•      Slowly begin to lower your arms, legs, and chest back down to the starting position while inhaling.

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