So it’s that time of the year again, the sun is starting to peek out from the clouds for more than a few minutes at a time and everyone is getting out the t-shirts. You do the you do the same and realise that your upper body is more Homer Simpson than Vin Diesel. So what are you going to do about it? Well if you can spare half an hour a day , just 30 little minutes then here is the work out for you. The best upper body conditioning you’ll ever try. You have got to be in it for the long haul though, you won’t get instant results so you will have to stick with it. The shorter the session the more you have to put into it, it needs to be an intense workout throughout so be ready to dig deep and push yourself. Ignore the voice in your head saying you can’t do it, ignore the beer calling from the fridge, conquer your self doubt and throw yourself into the most fiercely intensified 30 minutes of your life. There is no point starting and stopping , you need to be ready to force yourself to the end. From start to finish you will need the willpower to push yourself.
The exercises are easy, no expensive equipment required , just body weight . You are focusing on form so every rep will need to be perfect . If you want to see exceptional results down the line you need to put in exceptional effort from the start. Do the exercises properly each time, take your time to ensure your form is correct, don’t just count the reps and move.
All together you’re going to start with 5 pull ups, 5-10 push ups and 5-10 dips in a row then repeat this circuit over the 30 minute time frame. You should end up having down around 150-200 reps of each in the half hour process. If you need to take a break do so but don’t just stand there, keep moving!! You can start of doing a lower amount of reps and build it up each day, you should always be improving every time you do this workout.
So to the exercises…
Stand facing the grab bar (or door frame) , take hold of the bar with a shoulder width stance and an overhand grip. Hang at arm’s length with your legs slightly pointed in front of you , forming an almost C shape. Press your thighs together and brace your abs keeping your body rigid for the entire movement. As you heave yourself up towards the bar imagine that your hands are pressing down on the top of the bar and focus on bringing your navel up. These steps will help to boost stability and engage your lats and core. Always looking straight ahead, pull up until your neck or upper chest reaches the bar. Instead of expanding your chest , sink it in slightly. Lower yourself slowly and repeat.
Assume the position with your arms straight and your hands slightly clear of shoulder width. Secure your hands by ‘screwing’ them into the floor, drive your palms down whilst twisting them to create torque. Your body should form a plank like straight line from your head through to your ankles. To start the push up draw your shoulder blades together , bend your elbows and slowly lower your body until your chest almost touches the floor. Keep your elbows at an 45 degree angle to your body , do not let them flare out. Pause close to the floor for the count of 3 then push back up to your start position and repeat.
With your back to the equipment (or this could be done with a chair or bench) hold on to the bars keeping your arms shoulder width apart. Cross both legs behind you (if doing this with a chair or bench your legs will extend out in front of you as you lift your bum up using your arms) and pull in your core muscles. Slowly push your arms up so that they are straight but not locked then lower again until your chest is below your elbows.. Keep the tension in your triceps rather than your elbows, don’t roll your shoulders or let them dip forward and keep your shoulders back and down.