March 26, 2013
Put your upper body to the test with these two moves that strengthen your arms, shoulders and chest while also challenging your core. Give each exercise a try and vote on your favorite!
Begin in a kneeling position, placing your thumbs and forefingers together in a triangle shape directly underneath your chest. With the legs either extended behind you with toes tucked under and heels reaching back or with your legs bent and knees on the ground engage your abdominals and slowly bend your elbows, allowing them to flare outward slightly as you lower. Avoid sagging your low back or hiking your hips upward during the movement as you lower your chest or chin toward the floor. To come up, press through your arms, pushing through the outside surface and heel of your palm until your arms are fully extended, as if you are pushing the ground away from you. Complete 8-10 repetitions.
Begin in a forearm plank with the elbows placed directly underneath the shoulders, keeping the core engaged and shoulders and hips squared to the floor. Slowly press your right palm into the mat underneath the right shoulder and repeat with the left palm coming to a high plank position. As you exhale, release the right elbow and forearm back down to the mat and repeat on the left side returning to a forearm plank position to complete one repetition. Repeat this sequence leading with the left palm, and continuing to alternate sides as you complete 8-10 repetitions.
By the American Council on Exercise