Regardless of the sport, a balanced athlete realizes that a strong upper body is just as important as strong legs. A strong upper body helps runners when fatigued to keep their form and thrusts the body forward while running by swinging the arms. The upper body includes the back, chest, shoulders and arms. Training the upper body should be done at least two to three days per week with one day of rest in between in order to see results.
Do pushups. Lie on a mat or the floor with your hands and knees flat on the floor. Straighten your legs and arms to form a plank-like position. Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body toward the floor. Straighten your elbows, lifting your body off of the floor. Repeat 20 times. Pushups work your chest muscles.
Remain in the pushup position. Move your hands next to each other so your hands can touch. Form a diamond shape with your hands by touching your two thumbs and two pointer fingers together. Do 15 pushups with your hands in this position. Do two more sets of 15. This works your triceps, pecs and shoulders.
Stand with your feet lined up with your hips. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your palms facing the wall in front of you and your elbows bent at a 90-degree angle. Mimic jumping rope, jumping into the air and moving your hands in small circles. Jump up and down 30 times. This works your abs, butt, legs and arms.
Hold a medicine ball with both hands straight out in front of you, keeping your feet lined up with your shoulders. Bend your elbows and raise the ball straight up over your head while standing up onto your tippy toes. Throw your arms toward the ground, bringing the ball toward your feet as you do a slight squat. Stand back up. Repeat 15 times. This works your shoulders, back, triceps and abs.
Bend your knees to sit on the floor with your feet flat against it. Put your hands on the floor at your sides with your fingers pointed toward the wall in front of you. Straighten your arms as you lift your hips off the floor. Raise your left leg straight up above you. Bring yourself down almost to the floor by bending your elbows. Repeat this up-and-down motion 10 times. Repeat again with your right leg extended upward. This exercise works your arms and abs.
- Talk to your doctor before starting any new exercise program.
Though constantly traveling the world, Julia Williams is based in Chicago and has been writing since 2006. Williams holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting. She is also a licensed fitness instructor, specializing in Pilates since 2003 and has written hundreds of articles on exercise and health.