Health & Fitness

Want a toned upper body? Then follow these easy at-home exercises

Yoga personality Liv Lo shows us the best exercises to get firmer muscles

Photo: Franchescar Lim

If you’re reading this, congratulations. You are halfway to a fimer upper body. While we all know there’s no shortcut, there is a set of easy at-home exercises you can do to tone em. That's exactly what happened to TV host Liv Lo after she incorporated these exercises into her workout routine.

“My aim was to strengthen my upper body, so I could keep up with demanding high-intensity interval training workouts,” she says. “Over time, my lat areas got more developed.”


With her new knockout body, Liv started getting envious looks more. Now it’s time to experience all that magic yourself by doing Liv’s highly-recommended moves. Targeting your arms, back, shoulders and chest, these exercises require lots of strength and stability.

Besides giving you a defined upper body, they will make you activate your core, break out in sweat, and maybe curse and swear a bit. But it’s all going to be worth it!


The Plan

Do these moves in any order. Repeat the sequence twice to complete the workout. For best results, do this every alternate day.

1. Walk-out planks

Get into plank position with hands directly under shoulders. Push toes into ground. Squeeze glutes and engage core by scooping pelvis in. Body should form a straight line from head to ankles. Use hands to walk a few steps forward, about 30cm [shown]. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

2. Side plank

From plank position, step left leg behind right leg, twist torso to face left, and lift left arm. Extend arm towards ceiling. Look down, neck relaxed [shown]. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Switch sides.

3. Downward dog with forearm taps

Get into all fours, hands and feet on ground. Push hips upwards and back as you lengthen your spine. Body should form an inverted V shape, with heels close to ground. Make sure weight is evenly distributed. Lower forearms to touch ground [shown]. Straighten arms to return to downward dog. This is one rep. Do 12 to 15 reps.

4. Reverse plank

5. Crow

Squat down and place hands on ground (or mat), shoulder-width apart. Spread fingers wide and bend elbows. Raise hips towards ceiling and lean forward, lifting heels off floor. Press knees into back of triceps as you shift weight to fingertips. Slowly lift feet off ground, one at a time. Engage core throughout. Fix gaze at about 30cm in front of you [shown]. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.

6. Straight legged wheel

Lie down, face up. Bend knees and place feet on ground, hip-width apart. Bring feet close to butt. Bend elbows and place palms on ground beside head, fingers pointing towards shoulders. Press hands and feet into ground, then push body off, from butt to crown of head. Think about lifting your hips to the ceiling. Keep thighs parallel and avoid letting knees point outwards. Straighten arms and legs [shown]. If your back is stiff, walk hands outwards. You should feel a deep stretch in your chest. Hold for 15 to 30 seconds.


This story first appeared on 23rd May 2017.

42 Health & Fitness 13 Lifestyle

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