Video: Five Upper Body Moves You Never Want to Skip

ASICS trainer Erin Bailey walks us through her favorite upper body exercises for strong arms.

Erin Bailey

Photo provided

At home or at the gym, this workout is designed to work your entire upper body. Today, I’m sharing my five must do upper body exercises! I keep a pair of light to medium dumbbells (5-10 lbs.) in my apartment so there’s no excuse not to get something in each day.

Equipment tip: You don’t need a lot of weight options for dumbbells at home. Grab a set you feel comfortable doing several different exercises with, then if the weight feels easy, just add more reps!

For this workout, we’re focusing on reps based on time. Each exercise should be done for 45 seconds on, with a 15 second rest to transition to the next exercise. Perform 3-6 sets based on your weight and fitness level.

Exercise 1: Tension curls

You know the basic bicep curl, but today we add a twist. Raise the weights up to your shoulders for one count, and lower down slow for three counts. The added time while your muscles are under tension will increase the effectiveness of the movement. 

Exercise 2: Bent over rows

One of my all time favorite movements to work your arms, shoulders, and back—aka most of your upper body! Make sure you’re keeping your back flat and core tight to get the most out of this move.

Exercise 3: Tricep extension

Those hard to reach triceps will get blasted with this move. Keep your elbows in by your ears, hips tucked in, and core tight to protect your back, and give your triceps an extra squeeze at the top.

Exercise 4: Arnold press

This move targets your shoulders while activating your triceps and biceps to help stabilize the weight. You can try these one arm at a time or go double time for an extra burn.

Exercise 5: Jack Presses

To get your heart rate up and add a final shoulder burn out, we’ll combine a quick and light shoulder press with jumping jacks. Added challenge is to press the weight up for one rep and out in front for the next.

And there you have it: Five upper body moves I’d never skip. Get to it!