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Dec. 27, 2012

Upper Body Exercises

Push Ups Push Ups


The Push-Up is a classic exercise for shaping, developing, and lifting the chest, plus building overall body strength. It also sculpts and tones your arms.


Kneel with your arms straight but not locked, wrists in line with your shoulders, fingertips facing forward, and your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. One at a time, extend your knees behind you until you are balanced with your knees on the floor (not shown).

The Move

Slowly lower your chest toward the floor. Bend your elbows and keep your palms in their fixed position. When your upper arms are parallel to the floor, press back up to starting position and repeat. Try not to bend or arch your back as you push up. Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Advanced Tip

This exercise is more challenging if you perform it as shown. Lie chest down, with your hands at shoulder-level, palms flat on the floor. Keep your legs straight with your toes tucked under your feet. Straighten your arms as you press your body up from the floor. Try not to bend or arch your back.

Shoulder Press Shoulder Press

Shoulder Presses

By adding some muscle and a little more width to your shoulders, you can create the illusion of a smaller waistline and a more proportionate physique. Additionally, with an improved shoulder line, your posture will look better, helping you move with greater confidence. The Shoulder Press, which is an effective way to endow your shoulder line, will help you accomplish all of this.


Stand with your feet a comfortable distance apart, with a dumbbell in each hand at head level, with your palms facing forward. Keep your back erect.

The Move

Press the weights upward to an overhead position. Lock your elbows at the top of the movement. Try not to lean forward. Slowly lower the dumbbells to the head-level position and repeat the exercise for the suggested number of repetitions.

Advanced Tip

The best way to turn this exercise into an advanced move is to stand on one foot as you complete the move. Switch feet halfway through each set.

Bicep Curls Bicep Curls

Biceps Curls

The Biceps Curl is perfect for sculpting, toning, and developing the front portion of your upper arms, and to some extent, your forearms. Nicely developed arms get a lot of attention and can be one of the most dramatic parts of the upper body. You'll need a pair of dumbbells that feel challenging when you lift them for 10 to 12 repetitions.


Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart. Grasp a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing front. Keep your elbows close to your sides, your back erect, and your abs tight throughout the exercise.

The Move

Flex at the elbows and curl the weights up toward your shoulders. Tense your biceps at the top of the exercise. Slowly lower the dumbbells back to the starting position (avoid letting your arms fall to the starting position). Repeat the exercise for the recommended number of repetitions.

Advanced Tips

An advanced technique is to perform curls while seated on a stability ball. Not only will you develop and strengthen your biceps, you'll also work your core (your abs and trunk muscles), since they are activated as you work to stay stable on the ball. You can also try raising one leg to increase your balance.

The Biggest Loser Fitness Program

Courtesy of The Biggest Loser Fitness Program© 2007 by Universal Studios Licensing LLLP, The Biggest Loser and NBC Studios, Inc., and Reveille LLC. All rights reserved. Consult your medical professional for guidance before changing or undertaking a new diet or exercise program.

back to health Learn More: Core Exercises >

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