If you want to reduce fat from your upper body, understand that spot reducing one particular area of your body isn't possible. To reduce body fat, regardless of where your problem areas are, you must take on a full-body approach. This will result in fat loss from your lower body and your upper body including your belly, arms, back, shoulders and chest. For the best results, lose weight in a gradual, safe manner and perform exercises with perfect form.
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Set a goal to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week, which, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, is a safe weight-loss rate that allows you to make gradual lifestyle changes without feeling deprived. To lose weight at this rate, you must create a daily deficit of 500 to 1,000 calories.
Change your diet so you consume fewer calories on a daily basis. Some ways to reduce your caloric intake include eating smaller portions, or eating low-calorie foods instead of high-calorie foods. Avoid sugary beverages, alcohol and foods that are high in cholesterol and saturated and trans fats. Get your main nutrients from lean protein, fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy, whole grains and vegetables.
Work up a sweat for 30 to 60 minutes on five days of the week to burn calories that contribute to fat loss. Perform cardio, such as bicycling, brisk walking or pedaling on the elliptical machine, at a rate that allows you to talk to a workout buddy, but doesn't allow you to sing. Although it often seems like it's more your lower body that's active during cardio, your upper-body muscles contribute by assisting with arm motions and helping you maintaining proper posture.
Schedule resistance exercises at least two days of the week, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Work all your major muscle groups and perform two or three sets and eight to 12 repetitions of each exercise. Strength training maintains and increases muscle tissue, which boosts your resting metabolism so you burn more calories, even after finishing your workout.
Include exercises into your strength-training routine that target your upper body. This can include a variety of exercises, such as pushups and bench presses for your shoulders and chest; biceps curls and triceps extensions for your arms; bicycle and reverse crunches for your abs; and dumbbell rows and lat pulldowns for your back.
- ExRx.net: Fat Loss & Weight Training Myths
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: How Are Overweight and Obesity Treated?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- Morning Cardio Workouts; June E. Kahn and Lawrence J. M. Biscontini
- Turn Up Your Fat Burn!; Alyssa Shaffer
- Georgia State University: Department of Kinesiology and Health: Upper Body Strength Training Exercises
- American Council on Exercise: New Study Puts the Crunch on Ineffective Ab Exercises