Part 2 of our workout with the Pros!
Building a strong upper body is essential to enhancing your curves and giving the look of a tiny waist. Moving on from our blog post about our athletes favorite leg workouts, we want to share with you the ideal upper body exercises and how our bikini, fitness and figure athletes perform them. Leading up towards a bikini competition you will definitely want to include these moves:
Kettle Bell Swings:
Place one kettlebell between your feet. Push back with your butt and bend your knees to get into the starting position. Make sure that your back isflat and look straight ahead. Swing the kettlebell between your legs forcefully. Quickly reverse the direction and drive though with your hipstaking the kettlebell straight out. Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs and repeat.
Straight-Bar Cable Row:
- Sit down on the bench and place the bottoms of your feet in the foot holders.
- Bend slightly at the knees and grab the straight bar with both hands, grip should be about shoulder width apart.
- Let your shoulders shrug forward and then pull the bar to your chest.
- As you pull the bar in push your chest out and try to squeeze your shoulder blades together in the back.
- Let your arms return back in with the straight bar. This completes one rep.
Barbell Shoulder Press:
1 ) Sit on a bench with back support in a squat rack. Position a barbell at a height that is just above your head. Grab the barbell with a pronated grip (palms facing forward).
2 ) Once you pick up the barbell with the correct grip width, lift the bar up over your head by locking your arms. Hold at about shoulder level and slightly in front of your head. This is your starting position.
3 ) Lower the bar down to the shoulders slowly as you inhale.
4 ) Lift the bar back up to the starting position as you exhale.
5 ) Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions. Variations: This exercise can also be performed standing
Facing a high pulley with a rope or dual handles attached, pull the weight directly towards your face, separating your hands as you do so. Keep your upper arms parallel to the ground
1 ) You can perform T-Bar rows by straddling a rowing machine and placing your feet firmly on the machine's foot supports. While keeping your back straight, bend down and grasp the bar with a shoulder-width grip, and then raise the bar off its support just a bit
2 ) While maintaining the stance shown in Figure 11, use your back and lats to lift the bar upward until it touches your lower chest. Squeeze your shoulder-blades together at the top, as shown in Figure 12, and then lower the bar slowly under control until it reaches the position shown in Figure 11.
3 ) When you lower the bar, be sure to keep the bar from touching its support at the bottom--this keeps the tension on your muscles throughout the exercise.
- Pick a couple of dumbbells and stand with a straight torso and the dumbbells by your side at arms length with the palms of the hand facing you. This will be your starting position.
- While maintaining the torso in a stationary position (no swinging), lift the dumbbells to your side with a slight bend on the elbow and the hands slightly tilted forward as if pouring water in a glass. Continue to go up until you arms are parallel to the floor. Exhale as you execute this movement and pause for a second at the top.
- Lower the dumbbells back down slowly to the starting position as you inhale.
- Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Variation: This exercise can also be performed sitting down.
1 ) Begin with a bar loaded on the ground. Approach the bar so that the bar intersects the middle of the feet. The feet should be set very wide, near the collars. Bend at the hips to grip the bar. The arms should be directly below the shoulders, inside the legs, and you can use a pronated grip, a mixed grip, or hook grip. Relax the shoulders, which in effect lengthens your arms.
2 ) Take a breath, and then lower your hips, looking forward with your head with your chest up. Drive through the floor, spreading your feet apart, with your weight on the back half of your feet. Extend through the hips and knees.
3 ) As the bar passes through the knees, lean back and drive the hips into the bar, pulling your shoulder blades together.
4 ) Return the weight to the ground by bending at the hips and controlling the weight on the way down.
1 ) For this exercise you will need a heavy rope anchored at its center 15-20 feet away. Standing in front of the rope, take an end in each hand with your arms extended at your side. This will be your starting position.
2 ) Initiate the movement by rapidly raising one arm to shoulder level as quickly as you can.
3 ) As you let that arm drop to the starting position, raise the opposite side.
4 ) Continue alternating your left and right arms, whipping the ropes up and down as fast as you can.
Seated Flat Bench Leg Pull-In:
1 ) Sit on a bench with the legs stretched out in front of you slightly below parallel and your arms holding on to the sides of the bench. Your torso should be leaning backwards around a 45-degree angle from the bench. This will be your starting position.
2 ) Bring the knees in toward you as you move your torso closer to them at the same time. Breathe out as you perform this movement.
3 ) After a second pause, go back to the starting position as you inhale.
4 ) Repeat for the recommended amount of repetitions.
Variations: You can also perform this exercise on a mat on the floor just by placing your arms to the sides. In this case, the legs will be stretched and elevated slightly over the floor. Also, as you become more advanced you can hold a dumbbell in between your feet or attach a pulley to them for added resistance.