The warm weather has arrived, which means it’s time to flaunt those strong sexy shoulders in an adorable sundress. Whether you are getting ready for a backyard barbecue or a pool party, you will feel confident walking in with a firm physique. Building lean muscle and toning up the arms and shoulders can be accomplished in many different ways. One of my favorites is combining intervals on the rowing machine with resistance exercises. The rowing machine blasts fat and engages every muscle in your upper body, while delivering a major cardio workout. Resistance training is a surefire way to sculpt the arms and shoulders in a short period of time.
Perform this workout 3 times per week for best results. Complete the dynamic warm up to prepare your body for the workout. Then perform each resistance exercise for 10 reps followed by 30 seconds on the rowing machine, rowing as fast as possible.
Dynamic Warm Up:
Plank to Downward Dog
1. Come into a straight-arm plank with wrists under shoulders and legs extended. Engage your core and glutes as deeply as possible. Hold for 1 deep breath.
2. Press through your palms to shift hips up and back. Your body will form an upside down V position. Hold for 1 deep breath.
3. Shift back into a plank and repeat the movement. Perform 10 reps.
Plank with T-Raise
1. Come into a straight-arm plank with wrists under shoulders and legs extended. Bring feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
2. Keep hips still as you lift your right arm directly out from the shoulder until it is parallel with the ground. Return to center and lift left arm up.
3. Continue alternating, while keeping core engaged and gaze toward the ground. Perform 10 reps each side.
RELATED: How to Do the Perfect Plank
1. Lie on the floor or bench with your knees bent. Hold dumbbells in front of your chest with the elbows extended directly out from shoulders.
2. Press the weights straight above you, with wrists facing forward. Deeply bend your arms to release the weights back to the starting position. Make sure to keep your lower back planted into the floor and your core engaged the entire time.
3. Continue to press the weights up and lower them down for 10 reps.
1. Sit on a rowing machine with your feet pressed firmly into the pedal pads and your hands grasping the handle. Draw your shoulder blades together and lift the chest.
2. Simultaneously extend your legs to straight as you draw the handle towards your chest. Hinge at your hips and lean back. Be sure to never round your spine.
3. Row as fast as possible for 30 seconds.
1. Stand with feet hip-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold your weights by your sides, drawing shoulders away from your ears.
2. Lift the weights up to shoulder-height with elbows extended directly out from shoulders, forming a goal post position with your arms.
3. Press the weights overhead, extending arms to straight. Lower down to goal-post position and repeat the movement. Perform 10 reps.
RELATED: How to Do an Overhead Press
Row as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Remember to hinge at the hips and keep core engaged the entire time.
1. Hold weights by your side, deeply bend both knees, and shift hips back, bringing your torso almost parallel with the ground. Deeply engage your glutes to support your lower back.
2. Bend at the elbows and draw the weights up toward your chest. Keep your gaze toward the floor the entire time.
3. Lower the weights while keeping lower body completely still. Repeat the movement at a controlled pace. Perform 10 reps.
Row as fast as possible for 30 seconds. Remember to keep chest up and take deep breaths.
After you have completed 1 set, rest for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Perform 3 sets total.
Nora Tobin is a contributor for Sports Illustrated, certified Performance Enhancement Specialist, Fitness Nutrition Specialist, CPT, and rescue diver. She is the Fitness and Health Consultant to the Four Seasons and Belmond hotels. Her endeavors are as varied as entrepreneur, corporate wellness director, brand ambassador, ocean lifeguard, and competitive beach volleyball athlete. She has appeared in numerous publications and billboards for her fitness and lifestyle.