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Date added: 17 January 2007

Get Fit With SwindonWeb - Week two - UPPER BODY 

Part two of our new series with personal trainer Jason Scott.
A programme designed to help everyone - even the most unwilling! - get fit and that little bit healthier.

In particular, we'll be featuring exercises and routines that can be done at home as well as the gym, plus tips and advice on all the other factors that can really maximise all your efforts.

Week 2: Upper body

This week we asked Jason the best ways to get more upper body strength with some very simple exercises which everyone can do.
And to help those exercising at home, here we use such things as bake bean cans and washing detergent bottles as weights.

The key thing to remember being that the product you use does not have to be extremely heavy, just safe to handle.


Its hard to think of the shoulders as a weak part of our body, but actually they are.

That's why it's important to use weights that will be easily lifted without strain. No massive dumbbells needed here!
Starting position:
standing or sitting with elbows bent

Make sure you stand with your knees slightly bent, or loose (using the technical term), with your torso firm.

You then need to extend your arms up towards the ceiling, making sure you stretch your arms as high as you can reach, and then bringing them down in a control movement, back to the starting position.

Stretching high:
making sure you don't struggle to lift
the weights to the ceiling

While you exercise, you need to feel comfortable, so make sure your not straining yourself by using too much weight.

You need to complete about 8-12 of these. Then repeat 3 to 4 times.
The video above shows how to do this, but essentially it's a question of rising the weight up and down (holding the weights in each hand) and stretching the arms up to the ceiling and back to your starting position.


While you're at it, you can also build up your biceps.
Just start with your arms down by your side, then extending them up towards your chest.

Once again, you need to complete about 8-12 of these. Then repeat 3 to 4 times.



Whether you're a girl or a guy, we all want a good chest,
don't we?!

And for achieving that the press-up is a brilliant exercise.
Depending on your ability, you can start with the easiest and build your way to the most difficult in later weeks.

The easiest, and one to start with, is the press up against the wall.

Spreading your hands shoulder width apart, lower your body weight by bending the arms at the elbows, until you are about 5 inches away.

Repeat this movement 8-12 times, making sure you rest in between each one.

To make it a little bit harder make your way to the floor and use the sofa as an appliance to aid you.

Make sure your hands are nice and wide, and cross your feet over behind you, so your weight is resting on your knees.

To begin the movement lower your upper body towards the sofa, and then push yourself back up, to rest at the starting position (and don't forget to breath!).


And if your feeling really brave, you can hit the hardest of all the press ups, with going straight to the floor!

Extend your arms out in front of you, and either cross your feet over at the back (like in the previous press up) or extend your legs out straight behind you.


You need to complete about 8-10 of these. Then repeat it 3-4 times.

Arms and upper back
This is where the washing detergent comes in handy!

Using the arm of the sofa, lean one hand on the edge, spreading your legs with one leg forward with the knee flexed, and extend your other arm down towards the floor.


You must remember to keep your eye sight towards the floor, as this will movement can cause alot of strain on the back, and any sudden movement can cause pain and injury on the neck.

Now bend your elbow and lift the weight up towards the ceiling and then extending back to the floor.

Make sure the movement is nice and controlled, as this will stop any injuries occuring.

Again, do about 8-10 repetitions and repeat 3-4 times. If you do feel the exercise becomes to easy, feel free to increase the amount of repetitions you do.

And that completes part two of our exercise programme! Feeling tired just reading it? We hope so!

Next week, we'll be concentrating on the legs and lower parts of the body.

Until next time, happy training!

Janet's Puppy School
Chelworth Windows and Conservatories, Swindon, Wiltshire