Do you want to have toned and athletic arms? Women have a harder time keeping our upper bodies tight when compared to men because we don’t have as much upper body musculature.

How can women say no to jelly?

Devote at least one full workout to work just the upper body.

We tend to put off working on the upper body thinking that this won’t get help get rid of a muffin top or the problems on the hip area, but the truth is that when you work out the upper body the oxygen cost (read calories burnt) can be high because of two things: a)  upper body exercise has a lower mechanical efficiency, which puts a lot of strain on relatively smaller muscles compared to the lower part of the body and b) there’s a greater recruitment of additional musculature to stabilize the torso.

Feel the burn
To make the most out of the upper body workout, it is critical to work at high intensity. The following routine consists of super sets, back-to-back exercises of opposing muscle groups. This gives muscles some time to recovery but not too much that you lower the intensity.

Guidelines
-
Beginners: Start with one super-set and progress accordingly.
- Intermediate/advanced: Do the workout as directed and adjust the weight accordingly.
- Make sure that the last two reps are hard to perform at the weight that you selected.
- Keep good posture and maintain proper technique for each exercise
- The days that you work your upper body weight routine, it’s great to add a moderate to high intensity aerobic activity or you can do jumping rope, jumping jacks, squat jumps or burpees at the end of each super set for 30 seconds to get  a full aerobic and anaerobic workout.
- You can use a weighted bar or any type of bar where you can change the weight

The Exercises

(Day one: 2-3 super sets; 12-15 reps; rest for 30-45 seconds at the end of each superset) (Day two: 3-4 super sets; 8-10 reps; rest of 60 seconds at the end of each super set) (Day three: 4-5 super sets; 6-8 reps; rest for 90 seconds at the end of each super set)

Chest press to lat roll over: 1.) Keep your butt on the floor and press the bar straight up. 2.) Roll the bar straight ahead as far as you can bracing your core. Roll back to the starting position using your core muscles to pull yourself back.

Bent-over row in and to the sides to Russian shoulder press: 1.) Bend at the waist slightly and pull the bar back in a row directly toward your midsection. Keep your back arched. For each set, alternate between a narrow and wider grip. The narrow grip will focus more on the lower part of the trapezius and the wider grip will emphasize the lats and the other muscles of the back. 2.) Hold the bar with one hand in the middle of the bar with your weight shifted towards your opposite hip. Press the bar overhead and simultaneously shift you weight towards the hip on the side your are driving with.

Tricep press to shoulder press with rotation: 1.) Using a narrow grip, press the bar straight towards the sky. 2.) From a military press start position press the bar straight overhead. Twist to both sides with your core braced.

Overhead triceps extension to biceps 21: 1.) In a standing position, bring the bar behind your head bending at the elbows. Straighten your arms using your tricep muscles. 2.) For this bicep blaster, do 7 reps with just the lower half of the curl motion. Then do 7 reps with just the top portion of the curl motion. Finish with 7 reps with the full curl, completing the 21 in the bicep 21.

Marta Montenegro inspires people to live healthy lives by giving them the tools and strength to find one’s inner athlete through her personal website MartaMontenegro.com. She created SOBeFiT, a national fitness magazine for men and women, and the Montenegro Method DVD workout series – a program she designed for getting results in just 21 days by exercising 21 minutes a day . Marta is a strength and conditioning coach and serves as an adjunct professor of exercise physiology at Florida International University.

Marta Montenegro is an exercise physiologist, certified strength and conditioning coach and master trainer, who teaches as an adjunct professor at Florida International University. Marta has developed her own system of exercises used by professional athletes. Her personal website, martamontenegro.com, combines fitness, nutrition and health tips, exercise routines, recipes and the latest news to help you change your life but not your lifestyle. She was the founder of nationally awarded SOBeFiT magazine and the fitness DVD series Montenegro Method.

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