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Upper body strength workout

Just wondering if anyone knows, from experience, of a good way to tackle flabby arms via weight training. I have such poor upper body strength that I can barely do any reps on the upper body machines. Often, one weight seems too easy but the next step up feels impossible. What does one do in that situation, lots of easy reps or a few difficult ones? What is the best/fastest way to build up muscle?

Mon. Aug 29, 10:28pm

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I've noticed that by doing pushups I build up strength really really fast. I started not being able to do any and I slowly worked my way up to 20. I use to be able to do 40 so I'm working on getting there again. :o)

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 8:01 AM

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arm strength

I agree with the push-ups, however, if you have no strength at all and have never strength trained, try initially building by doing reps of bicep curls, with a resistance band, shoulder presses, and dips. These tone the major groups.

I feel that free weights build muscle and strength faster than machines because you are forced to have good form and posture on your own.

Bi curls: Use a resistance band and stand on it with equal length sides to pull up on. do 3 sets of 12. If its too easy, do three sets of 17 until you can handle free weights. Then move up in weight but keep the 12 reps 3x.

shoulder press: sit on a bench with tummy lifted and back straight or stand. take two 3 -5lb weights in each hand and bring your arms up bent at the elbows 90 degree angle so you look like a pitch fork with palms facing up and
arms open. Do the same 12 reps 3x bringing the weights up and togetherover your head and down to the 90 angle with control.

Dips: sit on the edge of a bench or chair. Scoot your bum off the chair and support yourself with your palms on the end of the chair. You r knees should be bent and you are supporting your weight with the hands on the chair with fingers pointing towards you. Dip down using your arms to but not lower than 90 deg. and come up. Be sure you are not using your legs to push up but your arms. Think of your legs as being bolted uselessly to the ground- these should be work.

IMPORTANT: Mix it up. Let your muscle groups rest between sets to get the most out of them by doing one set of each exercise and moving on to the next in a circuit. Do 3x a week and you will see dramatic improvements.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 8:32 AM

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Tricep Dips

Do you have an alternative way to firm up the triceps? I've been trying to firm up my triceps as long as I can remember. Dips are too hard on my shoulder joints.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 10:11 AM

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sure i do...

stand bent at the waist with free wieght and one arm extended behind you, palm facing down at the same height- not higher than your bent back- you could overextend-

then keeping that elbow close to your body and level with your back, bend the arm at the elbow and drop the weight down- the hardest is the way up for triceps, squeeze at the top. do 12 reps 3x switching arms between sets.

you can do this with both feet on the floor or one leg kneeling on a bench or hard surface.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 1:42 PM

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sure I do...

Thanks very much. I've been doing these, but from your description, probably not enough. I've been doing one set of 20. Will switch to 12 reps 3x. Maybe that's the key.

Thanks again!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 1:49 PM

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increase weight

I thought i would bulk up last year when i started doing my arms but i was up to 15 lbs on each arm for bicep curls and they just looked strong and slender. Dont be afraid of increasing weight!

Another exercise which works the whole sha-bang is called Gables, my wrestling guy friend showed me. You take two free weight iron donuts (the ones that go on the dumbells with holes in the center.) hold your arms in front of you about a foot from your body with your elbows out to the sides and hands turned on an upwards angle holding the donut but not straining yor wrist.

Then start churning/rolling your hands (think of that disco move with the circling fists and the Travolta style point out) over the other without clanking the weights. Do this at a medium pace for 1 minute without stopping

Switch muscles at the end of the minute by stopping and turning your palms downwards keeping the height and position from your body and reverse directions.

Start with 1.5 minutes on each arm (alternating direction every minute) and work up to 6 minutes, 3 on each arm. The idea of Gables is to work all the arm msucle groups in a short time by consecutively tiring one and then another out- so you use them all trying to keep the pace and the weights up and controlled.

You should feel yourself getting tired in one area and then another but dont stop before the minute even when it burns- the next muscle group will kick in! It worked for me and definitely for my strong, athletic friend!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 2:32 PM

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Gables & Iron Donuts

I'll have to get out my Saturday Night Fever music. Sounds like a fun exercise and worth trying! Thanks for the idea.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005, 11:04 PM

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