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Feb. 1 2010 12:00 AM

Reading the news of the day can leave you feeling as if life is pretty heavy, and between careers and kids, we have plenty of baggage to carry. But even the heaviest of burdens is nothing a strong set of shoulders can’t manage.
Strengthening the upper body means working on four major areas: chest, back, shoulders and arms. These quadrants are intertwined so most exercises do double duty by engaging multiple body parts. Understand how you can carry the weight of the world with this intel from the exercise experts at Life Fitness.
One to Two Times Per Week:
 

  • Chest: Your chest includes some of the largest muscle groups in the upper body and the basic push up or chest fly is the best ways to give it a workout. These versatile moves also allow for adjustments to target specific muscles. For example, you can bring your hands together to give your triceps more burn.
  • Back: Training your upper, mid and lower back muscles not only gives you a stronger core, but makes your waistline appear more trim. Rowing-style exercises are the easiest way to strengthen this area. Try incorporating the seated row or rear deltoid row into your routine every week.
Up to Three Times Per Week:
  • Shoulders: Your shoulders play a role in almost every move your upper body makes so give them extra oomph by spending time with the lateral raise and overhead press machines. Alternatively, you can do these same moves using free weights and sitting on an exercise ball to work your core.
  • Arms: Muscle imbalances can cause pain and even injury so when it comes to your arms, make sure the front and back are getting a workout. Tricep exercises usually involve pushing (kickbacks or tricep pull downs) while bicep exercises do the opposite by pulling the weight (standard bicep curls).

Fit Tips are provided by Life Fitness, a leader in designing and manufacturing high-quality exercise equipment for fitness facilities and homes worldwide. For more information on FitTips and other fitness advice and expertise visitwww.lifefitness.com.

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