Exercise in general is important for our overall good health. Upper body exercise is important for a few reasons: good posture, weight loss, body balance and strength, aesthetics. Upper body workouts strengthen our shoulders and back, helping us to have good posture. Muscle tissue can burn calories faster than fat. Upper body exercise contributes to muscle development, which contributes to our efforts to lose weight. Better body balance and strength is achieved through upper body fitness. This happens when a strong upper body is combined with strong legs. The result is a balanced amount of strength and stability. Working out your upper body can make your body shape more appealing. Your shoulders and arms become sculpted, giving them a leaner, sexier shape and your stomach takes on a flatter shape.

Now that we have shared with you the benefits of upper body fitness, we are going to provide you with a few workouts and products that will have you meet your upper body fitness goals.

Upper Body Workouts and Products

Fitness Magazine offers a quick 20-minute upper body routine for those that are short on time. This routine consists of the following: push-ups (20 reps that you can do fully or on your knees), knee-ups (complete as many as possible in one minute), 30 reps of goal post press, jumping jacks (30 reps), 25 reps per side of upper bells, jab/cross (do as many as you can in one minute then switch sides), planks with cross-overs (15 reps per side). You can find the instructions on how to do each of these exercises as well as a video illustrating their proper execution via this link: (http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/upper-body/20-minute-upper-body-workout/).

Push up position row, Superwoman, and Lat Pulldown are three upper body exercises that utilize a pull up machine. This workout will strengthen your back and help prevent or eliminate back pain. It is recommended to do this regimen three times a week (nonconsecutive days), starting with 3 sets of each exercise and working your way up to 12 sets each.

For those with disabilities upper body exercise can be tailored to meet your needs. If you are wheelchair confined, a basic workout using hand weights can be utilized. Hand cycling is another effective form of exercise for those with disabilities. A hand cycle can help you strengthen your shoulder, back, and upper arm muscles, as well as improve your shape by toning your muscles. A variety of upper body exercise can be performed from your wheelchair or seat using a resistance band bar. The length and resistance of these bands may be adjusted to accommodate the varying needs of the user.

We have provided you with the "why's" and "what's" concerning upper body workouts, it is now up to you to determine how you are going to use this information to gain and/or maintain upper body fitness.

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