One move for many upper-body muscles

Karen Voight can be reached at

This exercise targets the chest, arms and shoulders. For a greater challenge, perform this move on a Bosu or a stability ball rather than a bench. It will force your abdominals and back to work harder to keep your upper body balanced. Also, using dumbbells instead of a barbell will help develop equal strength in both arms.


1 Hold a dumbbell in each hand and position your head and upper back on the dome side of the Bosu. (Once you feel comfortable with this move, you can flip the Bosu and position your upper body the same way against the flat side.) Bend your elbows, pointing them out to the sides, with your wrists above your elbows, palms facing your feet. On an inhale, expand your chest without overarching your lower back.

2 With your chest lifted, exhale, then slowly raise the dumbbells until they are directly above your shoulders. As you raise the dumbbells, rotate your palms to face inward. Pause at the top; your elbows should not be locked. Add an extra "squeeze" in the chest at the top of the lift. Return to the start position by lowering your arms slowly. Repeat eight to 12 times, rest, then do another set.

-- Karen Voight

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