Peel Off Those Layers and Try These Toning Upper-Body Exercises

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We know, we know—this time of year, the only moves you feel like making involve getting up off the couch to adjust your space heater settings. But staying healthy and fit is a year-round endeavor, and your arms, shoulders, and back aren’t going to tone themselves. In order to get and keep your upper body in tip-top shape, you need to put in consistent work (e.g., even when your body is buried beneath thick winter-ready layers).

Just ask Michelle Lovitt, CSCS, an exercise physiologist and celebrity trainer based in L.A. We spoke with Lovitt and got her favorite upper-body moves to help strengthen and tone the arms, back, neck, shoulders, and more. And when you’re done, reach for Healthy Choice Power Bowls; packed with whole grains, leafy greens, and lean proteins, they’re just what your body needs to refuel and keep up your healthy momentum. So start your warm-up—four powerful upper-body exercises await.



Ignite your core with this move.

Step 1: Come to the ground in a forearm plank position, elbows bent 90 degrees, stacked directly under shoulders, forearms flat on floor, legs extended out behind you, body in straight line from head to toe.

Step 2: Bracing your core and without shifting your body or weight, lift your right arm and place right hand on ground; then lift left arm and place left hand on ground.

Step 3: Slowly go back down to forearms one side at a time. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps total.



Watch your core and keep it tight while moving your arms.

Step 1: Come into plank position, keeping your elbows close to your sides and your body in straight line from head to toe.

Step 2: Twist over to side plank on the right side, right forearm on the ground perpendicular to body, legs stacked on top of each other, body in straight line from head to toe, left arm lifted up toward the ceiling.

Step 3: Keeping core tight, twist torso toward the right and lower left arm to reach under torso. Slowly come back up, bringing left arm back overhead.

Step 4: Do 10 reps; then switch sides.



Both the arms and chest will feel the burn from these push-ups.

Step 1: Walk your hands out into plank position.

Step 2: Keeping elbows close to the body, slowly lower body down, taking about four seconds until chest and legs hit the floor.

Optional Step 3: When your chest is on the ground, lift hands off the ground for one second; then replace them and quickly push back up.

Step 4: Do 10 reps.



By squeezing your shoulder blades together each time you do this move, you’ll be helping strengthen your back.

Step 1: Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hinge slightly forward at hips, chest facing ground. Gaze forward at the ground in front of you.

Step 2: Keeping back flat, extend arms out in front of you, palms facing one another.

Step 3: Squeeze shoulder blades together as you open arms out to sides, never lifting past shoulder height. Pause at the top for a few seconds; then lower back down. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps total.

After your workout is over, refuel with Healthy Choice Power Bowls available in Korean-Inspired Beef, Chicken Sausage and Barley, Cuban-Inspired Pork, and Adobo Chicken. And to watch the full videos, go to Byrdie’s Facebook page for your complete upper-body workout routine.


This article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used in the place of advice of your physician or other medical professionals. You should always consult with your doctor or healthcare provider first with any health-related questions.