By: Chad Ruf, Director of Personal Training

Thank you to everyone who participated in our January live-chat on our Facebook Page! Here are the questions and answers from our "upper body exercises" live-chat. These chats are conducted monthly on the Snap Fitness Facebook Page at http://www.facebook.com/snapfitness247!


Mika Lee White What are the best exercises for the stomach?


Chad TheTrainer Mika - I knew I would get this one early. I get asked this question a lot and the answer is always the same. The best exercise for your mid-section is a combination of cardiovascular exercise to burn stored body fat, weight training (crunches, leg lifts, ab machines) to add muscle and increase your metabolism, and nutrition. That being said, nutrition is about 70% - 80% of the battle. Until you eliminate the fat layer over your abdominal area you will never be able to see the muscle. I would focus on working out your full body 3 times per week and get 5 days of cardiovascular exercise in for 30 minutes. Try cutting your calories back a little bit too and you will start seeing results.


Pradeep Sapkota On my daily workout is it better to run/do cardio first and then do weights or it is better to do cardio one day and weights next day (alternating)?


Chad TheTrainer Pradeep- I prefer to use my energy to lift weights first when I need it more. Start with 5 minutes of cardio to warm-up, lift weights next and finish with your cardio. You will elevate your heart rate when doing weights so your cardio will be more effective.

 

Daniel Reyes I've been splitting chest and back one day and another day I do Bi's, Tri, and shoulders. I normally have a day of rest in between. Does that work?


Chad TheTrainer Daniel- I like that routine. Try splitting your shoulders as well. I would do Chest, Back, Arms, Legs, and Shoulders. That is a five day split and gives you the weekend off. Or you could take Wednesday and Sunday off. This will give your shoulders and arms more focus.


Tina Ripkowski Best exercise to get rid of stomach?? And tighten flab under arms ( that part that waves with you)


Chad TheTrainer Tina- See Mika's answer. For the arms the same applies to burning body fat to lose inches. However with the arms you have more ability to add muscle and decrease difference between the skin and bone. I would focus on triceps push-downs on a cable or machine and biceps curls. If you work both sides of your arm you can add muscle which will help you burn more fat. Focus on diet and cardio and make sure to include multiple exercises for your triceps and biceps.


Julie Peterson Since I moved from running outdoors to the treadmill for winter my knees are bothering me. What can I do?


Chad TheTrainer Julie- How are you running different on the treadmill versus outside? Theoretically you should have less impact on the treadmill. Have you considered mixing it up and moving to a cross-trainer in the winter which caries zero impact?


Whit-Jason N Carter What are the best exercises to tone and tighten/flatten the stomach?


Chad TheTrainer Whit- see Mika’s answer above.


Mandy White I need suggestions for lat workouts as well as scapular workouts. Both of my scapula are extremely protracted and I want to correct my posture.


Chad TheTrainer Mandy- For lats I would do either a cable lat pull-down or if possible use an assisted lat machine where you can counter your weight. This may help you have better form and isolate the latisimus dorsi. Make sure you are going with a semi-wide grip and pulling the bar to your upper chest versus behind your back. For your rhomboids (mid-section of back) I would go with a cable seated row. Your starting motion should be sitting straight up with your waist bent at 90 degrees. I would rotate your shoulders back as far as they go on the first rep and this is where they will stay. Only allow your arms to move forward so you are isolating the muscle and not pulling with your arms. Overall, I would focus on keeping your shoulders retracted on every back exercise until you correct your posture. Hope this helps:)


Robby Batson How much is losing too much weight too fast?


Chad TheTrainer Robby- The most fat you can lose in a week is about 2 pounds. Anything more than that is water or muscle. Therefore I believe that anything more than two pounds is too much.


Roxzine Harrison Hi Chad I'm a beginner on workouts but what is the best upper body exercise should I start off with?


Chad TheTrainer Roxzinne- I would start with the main upper body exercises such as chest press, seated row (back), and shoulder press. These exercises activate other muscles such as your biceps, triceps, and forearms. After you hit these three main exercises you could add triceps extensions, bicep curls, and shoulder presses. You could then finish with crunches and you would have hit almost every body part. Always think larger muscles first. Try doing an upper body workout twice a week and a lower body workout twice a week. Best of luck!


Ikaika Genegabus Best exercise for legs for people with no meniscus?


Chad TheTrainer Ikaika- Many doctors say not to do leg extensions with knee injuries or meniscus problems. I would focus on main exercises like leg presses and assisted squats on a smith machine.


Kevin Howell What if you have a very high metabolism and take in a lot of calories and protein, and hit the gym hard 6 days a week without doing any cardio and can't put on hardly any weight?


Chad TheTrainer Kevin- I have been right where you are and there is only one answer for you. You have to eat more calories. If you take in more calories than you burn you will gain weight, it follows the law of thermodynamics. You may need to figure out a time or times a day you can take in an additional protein shake. Keep the calories higher in protein and quality so you can gain lean muscle and not body fat.


Mika Lee White What about back fat?


Chad TheTrainer Mika- Same thing for back fat. However there is more you can do to add muscle and increase your metabolism. Try seated rows, lat pull-downs, and shoulder shrugs (lats). I would recommend you hire a personal trainer to help customize a program for you. A trainer can take all the guess work out and build the best program for you:)


Lisa Anne Sifford Hi Chad, What kind of exercises are ok to do when you have arthritis? I have it in my left shoulder. I just joined Snap Fitness but unsure about working out my arm.


Chad TheTrainer Lisa- They say that exercise if one of the best medicines for arthritic pain. This doesn't mean you begin lifting heavy. I would start out by making sure you are warmed up for about 10 minutes on a bike or treadmill. I would focus on a full body workout for now and would keep the weight light and around 10 - 15 repetitions.


Michelle Johnson-Henderson What is the best workout to start out? Especially need to focus on lower stomach.


Chad TheTrainer Michelle- For a beginner I always like to start with a three day per week full body workout. 2 sets per exercise and hitting everything in the selectorized line of equipment. This will allow your body to adjust to all of the new exercises and build a foundation for future programs. As for the lower abs you can't spot reduce. See Mika's answer above.


Gem White What’s the best way to tone your upper arms (mainly the flabby on the underneath of your bicep) and shoulders? I have a neck injury so I have to be careful lifting any weights above my shoulders/head.


Chad TheTrainer Gem- You should be able to do all of these exercises while keeping your arms below your head. For your triceps you can do standing triceps push-downs with a cable and straight bar. For biceps I would sit down and do alternating dumbbell curls. Keep your elbow isolated and down bring the dumbbell past your shoulder. For shoulders I would do light from and side dumbbell raises. Start with weight next to your body, keep your arm straight and raise it to just below eye level. Make sure to keep your nutrition clean and your cardio level at 20 - 30 minutes a day to burn stored fat. Best of luck!


Carrie Schneider Copeland Is 3 days a week of strength and conditioning M, W, F, and walking 5 days M-F too much?


Chad TheTrainer Carrie- That sounds like a perfect routine. It would only be too much if you worked out on Saturday and Sunday as well as you would have no time to recover. Keep up the good work!


Kevin Riley What is a good exercise to ward off man boobs? I am 41 and a lot of my friends are getting them....DO NOT WANT lol. It's a serious question by the way.


Chad TheTrainer Kevin- Funny stuff! The best way to avoid this is to keep your pectorals (chest) in good shape. Here are three exercises to do and why: 1. Flat chest press- this is the foundation of your chest workout and builds strength. 2. Incline dumbbell press- this exercise increases the upper portion of your chest and gives you that "side-view" of the chest. This is the most important for shape. I would finish with cable flyes. I would keep your arms straight out to the side holding the handles (start). Make sure to keep your arms as straight as possible and bring your hands together in front of you. This will emphasize the middle portion of your chest. That should about cover it for exercises. Don't forget the cardio to burn stored fat.


Ashley Marie Chad, I need something that is fun, and something that is going to make me lose pounds! I don’t like strength training. Help!

 

Chad TheTrainer Ashley- Since you don’t like strength training you will be limited to group exercise classes or cardiovascular equipment. I would try to find a time of day that you have a favorite TV show you like and come exercise while watching it. This will make the time go much faster.  Most of the TVs have frequencies you can tune into and listen. We also have various pieces of cardio that have personal viewing screens. Something else you might want to consider is doing a boot camp that focuses on high intensity circuit training in a group setting.  I would focus on some type of cardiovascular exercise that you can do about 3 – 5 days a week for 30 minutes.


Kylee Josara Schafer-Gomez What is the best way to increase upper body strength? I lift but I don't seem to be getting any stronger.

 

Chad TheTrainer Kylee- The first thing that might be happening is that you aren’t getting enough protein in your diet to recover from your workouts and the muscle can’t repair.  Make sure you are getting 20 – 30 grams of protein in your system within 30 minutes of your workout.  On the strength training side I would try to change up your routine.  Try changing your sets up a bit too slowly increase your weight.  For example, instead of doing 3 sets of 10 try doing 4 sets with increasing weight.  1st set 15 repetitions with 100 pounds- 2nd set 10 repetition with 120 pounds- 3rd set 7 repetitions with 130 pounds- 4th set 3 repetitions with 150 pounds.  This is only an example but you should start slowly increasing the weight so your body can get used to the heavier weights.  Try this and you should start seeing some minor strength gains.


Michael Warren Johnson Hey Chad I'm trying to gain mass and my chest just doesn't seem to want to grow. What should I do?

 

Chad TheTrainer To begin with, I would make sure you are doing a flat bench press as that is your core strength exercise for the chest.  Try starting with a light warm-up of 15 repetitions.  I would try to pyramid your sets.  Slowly increase your weight and do sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and then back to 6, 8, and 10.  This will allow you to start slowly in terms of lifting heavier weight and is a good technique to increase chest size and strength.  I would follow-up your flat press with some dumbbell incline presses.  Make sure you are coming deep enough that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and you keep the dumbbells high on your chest.  Finish with some cable flyes to add definition and keep them higher on your chest.  Pull them together so your hands end up on the upper half of your chest with your arms straight ahead.  These three exercises will build strength, full shape, and definition.  Best of luck.


Jack Joels what are the best exercises to do to strengthen the muscles needed to do chin-ups? 

 

Chad TheTrainer Jack- The main muscle you are using for pull-ups is the Latisimus Dorsi (lats).  The secondary muscles you will be using are your biceps.  I would begin working on lat pull-downs and slowly increasing the weight.  You may also want to do assisted pull-ups with someone holding your feet to assist in extra repetitions.  Next, if you strengthen your biceps you will be able to be more efficient in the final part of your pull-up.  Do a combination of straight bar and dumbbell biceps curls to strengthen this part of your body.


Mika Lee White I’m thinking about joining kickboxing...what is your opinion on weight loss and over all fitness from this? 

 

Chad TheTrainer Mika-  I think that kickboxing is a great form of exercise.  At the end of the day you need to burn more calories than you take in.  Kickboxing will allow you to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. You will be working your muscles in high repetitions while you are also keeping your heart rate up for an extended amount of time to burn stored body fat.  This is becoming a more popular form of exercise in recent years.


Jeffrey Bailes What's a good way to develop the muscles in the arm to avoid tennis elbow-style injuries? 

 

Chad TheTrainer Jeffrey- I would make sure you are training both your biceps and triceps.  It is very important to make sure you are warming up and stretching out your forearms, biceps, and triceps before beginning your exercises.  Make sure you are using full range of motion and staying with a light enough weight so you are not putting excessive pressure on the elbow joint.  Another thing to make sure of is that you are getting adequate rest between exercise days.  Don’t train your arms three days a week or you may begin running into tennis elbow-type injuries.


Christopher Mason Should I use the smith machine or barbells (since there is no rack) for bench? I need to tone, not increase size at all.

 

Chad TheTrainer I would use both.  I would use the smith machine for your flat bench press and dumbbells for your incline bench press.  You can push heavier weight without a spotter on the smith machine and you can finish with lighter dumbbells on the incline press.  I would finish your chest routine with a seated cable fly to help with definition.


Jason Reichman What’s the best abs/ core exercises for someone whose an endomorph? 

 

Chad TheTrainer Jason-  Although endomorphs are more predisposed to gaining body fat there is no specific core exercise that would be any different for you versus a ecto or mesomorph.  I would stay with your basic crunches, planks and leg lifts.  My recommendation would be to focus more on your nutrition.  Log into your mysnapfitness.com website and click on “My Nutrition.”  Once there you can register for a free nutrition plan that will be customized based on your specific goals.  It will give you specific meals balanced and based on your goal and will recommend the correct supplements based on your specific conditions and goals.  Tackle your nutrition first and you will be well on your way.


Katie Bonaccorso What are some good exercises to work out the inner thighs?

 

Chad TheTrainer Katie-  I would always begin my leg workout with a 5 minute warm-up.  Begin your weight training with some sort of squat.  This exercise will work your entire lower body and will focus on your glutes and quadriceps.  I would then add lunges to hit your quadriceps more and help shape your glutes.  For your inner thighs they do make an ab/adduction machine that focuses on this area.  You want to do adduction exercises here to isolate this area.  Best of luck!


Karunakar Reddy R Hi Chad, what is best exercise routine to reduce lower body fat ?

 

Chad TheTrainer Karunakar-  Although you could focus on just working your lower body you cannot spot reduce body fat loss.  Fat loss typically begins from your extremities and works its way to your mid-section.  To burn the most fat I would recommend working your whole body.  Try doing upper one day and lower one day with a days rest in-between.  I would lift weights first and finish with 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise.  The cardio will burn the stored fat but the weight training will increase your metabolism for 48 hours after you exercise.  This will allow you to burn fat add muscle and get some rest to recover in-between exercise days.


Stephanie Bogdan LaBean Nautilius or free weights? Seems I feel the free weights more after. Never do with nautilus machines.

 

Chad TheTrainer Free weights for sure.  When you are doing selectorized machines your body has to follow the line of motion that the machine has in place.  You don’t have to balance the weight and it really only isolates the one muscle you are trying to work.  With free weights you are stimulating more muscles so you end up lifting less weight but get more effect and hence more soreness.  You may want to still mix in some nautilus to change things up and shock your muscle once in awhile.


Angie Moeller Moore When I am doing an anaerobic workout, what is the "safe high" where my heart rate should stay? I'm 37 and in decent shape..... Lately it's been around 85-89%.. Is this a safe high?

 

Chad TheTrainer Angie-  70% - 85% is the “cardio zone” that many people train in.  I think you are safe as long as you stay in the range you are currently in and closer to the 85% spot.  Check out the Karvonen formula so you can figure out exactly how many beats per minute this zone equates to.


Kimberly Lokken Is the Insanity program a good program to cross train and lose weight?

 

Chad TheTrainer I think the insanity program is good for people who can handle it.  I think it is too intense for the average person.  Therefore if you can handle the wear and tear I would recommend sticking with it.  Also, make sure you are watching your caloric intake if you want to see faster weight loss.

 

Sierra Hebert What's the best exercise to do to lose love handles?

 

Chad TheTrainer See Jason’s answer above.


Daphne Rice When it comes to upper body use in a plank, what are the pros/cons advantages/disadvantages of elbow vs straight arm planks? And is one form (elbow or straight arm) 'better' for core development than the other?

 

Chad TheTrainer I would say that you are getting a better core workout with your arms straight - you are putting more pressure on your core. Try doing it both ways and see how much you can feel the difference in pressure. The only advantage I can see for doing planks on your elbows is if you have some sort of joint problem in your elbow that would limit you holding your body weight up for an extended period of time.  I would also consider doing leg lifts to hit the lower part of your abdominal area and using a stability ball for crunches.

 
Tess Boudreaux-Realtor If you have implants, what are SAFE chest exercises?

 

Chad TheTrainer Tess- I would say that anything is safe as long as you don’t over stretch the chest area and /or drop the bar on yourself to cause damage.  I would make sure on bench press that you stop the bar one inch above your chest and keep your arms at 90 degrees.  I would follow the  90 degrees on all other exercises including dumbbell presses and flyes and cable flyes.


David Putnam Want to train for surfing this summer. Got any good in-gym workout ideas to build up surfer muscles and stamina? Thanks!

 

Chad TheTrainer David- I would say that any type of cardiovascular exercise will build up your stamina.  I would focus on lower body exercises to strengthen your quads and calves.  Make sure to do high repetition squats and leg extensions so you can hold that squat position for extended periods of time.  Your core is probably the most important aspect of your workout to help you with balance and endurance.  Try doing some work with bosu and stability balls.  You want to get your mid-section as strong as possible to help maintain strength and stability.


Kate Marie I need a good flabby arm workout....got to get this under control!

 

Chad TheTrainer Kate- You need to attack this issue from three different angles.  First, nutrition is the reason for the issue so it should be addressed first.  Log into your mysnapfitness.com account and click on “my nutrition.”  Get your custom menu plan set first so you can begin adjusting your calories based on your goal. The 2nd thing to do is make sure you are getting 3 – 4 days a week of cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes.  This will begin to burn some of the stored fat on your body and in that area.  Finally, I would make sure to do exercises for your triceps and biceps.  Make sure you are doing bicep curls and tricep push-downs.  This will hit the muscles on both sides of your arm.  I would really recommend hiring a trainer to help with your complete routine.  Best of luck!


Kristina Villarreal I used to work out years ago. Stopped, and now want to get back into shape. I also don't want to lose too much on my behind...what would be good to start with? And how do I know if I'm lifting enough? I always start and walk out not feeling sore...and I hate not feeling sore the next day. Kind of lose motivation then. Also...cardio...I enjoy running but suck at it. I get tired and out of breath way too fast. How can I work on that? 

 

Chad TheTrainer Kristina, I would start back slow and begin with 5 to 10 minutes on the treadmill to get back on pace.  In terms of losing, you will lose evenly on your body for the most part depending on genetics.  Typically you will lose on your extremities first and it will work its way to your mid-section.  After you do a couple of weeks of cardio I would start a lower body-upper body split routine.  Since you haven’t been getting sore you are going to have to push yourself more than you have been.  Do upper body Monday and Thursday and lower body Tuesday and Friday.  I would do 3 sets of 15 on all exercises.  Upper body days do chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, and abs.  Lower body days do either leg press or squat, leg extensions, leg curl, and lunges.  For cardio try mixing it up with a cross trainer or elliptical machine.  Running gets your heart rate up very fast and with machines you can control the resistance and speed.


Edgar F Greenwood How do I work out the side of the chest. I have a lot of body fat there that is taking forever to go away & I have it on my lower abs too.

 

Chad TheTrainer Edgar- The places you have fat deposits have more to do with genetics than anything else.  There is no way to spot-reduce fat but you can make some gains on the outer portion of your chest by changing the way you train your chest.  First, an incline press with a barbell or dumbbell will hit the upper and outer portion of the chest which gives you the better side profile.  When doing a chest press make sure you go with a wider grip to put more emphasis on the out part of your pecs.  You also may want to add a decline press that will hit the lower and outer portion of the chest.  All of these exercises will help put emphasis on the outer portion of the chest but will still work the rest of that area.  The fat burning part of your question has more to do with nutrition and consistent cardiovascular exercise to burn more stored fat.


Gregory Klug What is a good supplement that will help with lifting and recovery?  Two things you  need to recover. 

 

Chad TheTrainer First you need to take in protein right after you workout.  I would make sure you are getting 30 grams of whey protein within 30 minutes of your workout.  Another supplement that would help you is about 10 milligrams of creatine monohydrate right before your workout.  Try Truestar’s True Strength organic protein.   Gluten free, soy free, and dairy free.  Good product with fewer side effects and you can mix with just water.


Kimberly Lokken When women (age of 30) are runners and losing weight is not happening anymore... What's the best way to drop weight with lifting? How many calories do you burn when lifting? And what's the best protein shake to take for lifting and dropping weight? Getting toned is what I'm thinking. Thanks Chad. 

 

Chad TheTrainer Kimberly- Your body is probably just at a plateau because you have been running for a long time.  You will probably see results just by adding some basic weight training three days per week.  I would recommend a three day full body workout on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.  Instead of running on these days do about 30 minutes of weight training at high repetitions followed by 30 – 40 minutes of cardiovascular exercise on the step mill or the elliptical.  This should shock your body into the fat loss cycle again because it is different.  It will also allow your joints to recover a little bit from the high impact running you are used to.  Calories burned vary based on body weight and muscle mass but you will burn calories for 24 hours versus 2 or 3 with running.  Your body will burn more fat at rest as your body is recovering from the weight training.   I would make sure for recovery you are getting in 30 grams of whey protein within 30 minutes of your workout.  Hope this helps.


Sammy Boratyn Might be a stupid question, but what exercises and how often should I do them to keep and tone the muscle I already have without adding bulk and looking like a guy? (Ha-ha)

 

Chad TheTrainer Sammy- If you are trying to avoid bulking I would keep your repetitions in the 15 to 20 range and make sure you are getting adequate cardiovascular work.  Try getting weights in 3 days a week and 5 days of cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes.  The only way to really bulk is to lift, eat a lot of food, and do little to no cardio.  Keep your reps high, eat right, and be consistent on cardio.


Eric Holbert What is the best thing to do to work on stomach and chest - to tone up?

 

Chad TheTrainer Eric- Working your stomach is a combination of eating better and doing cardiovascular exercise to burn stored fat.  Many people say that the key to abs is in the kitchen!  You can do crunches or sit-ups all day but you are only building the muscle up under the fat layer. For your chest I would stay with the basics.  Make sure you incorporate a flat bench press, incline bench press, and some sort of chest fly.  You need to hit the upper, middle, and lower part of your chest to get the best shape.  Best of luck!


Connie Caskey As a woman in upper 40s what's good to get rid of fat upper arms?

 

Chad TheTrainer Connie, see my previous answer to Kate- “You need to attack this issue from three different angles.  First, nutrition is the reason for the issue so it should be addressed first.  Log into your mysnapfitness account and click under my nutrition.  Get your custom menu plan set first so you can begin adjusting your calories based on your goal.  The 2nd thing to do is make sure you are getting 3 – 4 days a week of cardiovascular exercise for 30 minutes.  This will begin to burn some of the stored fat on your body and in that area.  Finally, I could make sure to do exercises for your triceps and biceps.  Make sure you are doing biceps curls and triceps pushdown.  This will hit the muscles on both sides of your arm.  I would really recommend hiring a trainer to help with your complete routine.  Best of luck!”  Connie- Follow these three items.  Just remember that you have a layer of fat between the skin and muscle.  Lifting alone will just push the fat out further.  Cardio and diet will shrink the fat layer and give you a more toned look!


Jo Braham Hi from Australia.... Apart from squats and lunges - any tips for that booty popping behind??


Chad TheTrainer Jo- That's about it unless you want to add the abduction machine to tone. I would say squats are the main thing to build mass and lunges help shape and form. I think the stair mill is the best cardio if you are trying to emphasize that area. Cheers


Glenn Salas Jr. How many times a week should I work out my shoulders? I’m trying to pack on mass.

Chad TheTrainer Glenn- Since you hit your anterior delt already on chest day I would recommend only training shoulders once per week. Do an overhead press followed by front, side, and rear dumbbell raises.


Patrick John Burton Now for my question. If you could choose 3 exercises that focus specifically on the lats and traps what would they be? They seem to be the most stubborn on me, and all the exercises I've tried I've got mediocre results.

 

Chad TheTrainer Patrick- For the lats I would focus on two different exercises.  I would do a lat pull-down to the front and bring the bar right under your chin in front or do assisted pull-ups on the assisted pull-up machine.  You can also do underhand rows with the same bar.  Use an underhand grip and pull the weight right under your pecs to your rib cage.  This will hit the lower portion of your lats.  For traps I would do either a straight bar shrug or a dumbbell shrug.  Use a heavy weight that you can only pull the weight from a straight hanging arm position to a shrug where your shoulders are as close to your ear as you can get.  Make sure on this to use your trapezius (traps) and not use your shoulders to pull the weight.  The motion should only be about 3 to 5 inches and not involve your body jerking or your shoulders moving too much.  Best of luck!


Lisa Maree Martin I want to lose my baby belly! No matter how much weight comes off or goes on, the belly stays! Also inner thighs... They both stay even when everything else is toned... Ideas??

 

Chad TheTrainer Check out the answer I sent to Katie for the inner thighs.  “Katie- I would always begin my leg workout with a 5 minute warm-up.  Begin your weight training with some sort of squat.  This exercise will work your entire lower body and will focus on your glutes and quadriceps.  I would then add lunges to hit your quadriceps more and help shape your glutes.  For your inner thighs they do make an ab/adduction machine that focuses on this area.  You want to do adduction exercises here to isolate this area.  Best of luck!”  For your belly it is the same old story.  Don’t focus on doing crunches; it will only build the muscle underneath.  Make sure you are doing 3 – 5 days of cardiovascular exercise to burn stored fat and keep you heart rate at the 70 to 80 percent range.  Also check your nutrition.  Log into your mysnapfitness.com site and click on “my nutrition.”  Log in and create your own custom nutrition plan that will take care of the 70 to 80 percent of the results that you are looking for.


Daniel Underwood How effective are pull-ups for building upper body strength? I've been using a pull up bar. 

 

Chad TheTrainer Daniel- Pull-ups are great for building upper body strength but it is only building your back (lats) and your biceps. You are missing all of your pushing movements such as chest press, shoulder press, and triceps push-downs and extensions.  If you want to build upper body strength I would hit every muscle in your upper body.  Make sure you hit chest, back, shoulders, biceps, triceps, traps, and abdominals.  


Marty Bernal- Hey Chad looking for an exercise(s) to build the chest.

 

Chad TheTrainer Marty- Take a look at this answer I gave to someone earlier.  I have found this the best way to break through plateaus over the years!  “To begin with I would make sure you are doing a flat bench press as that is your core strength exercise for the chest.  Try starting with a light warm-up of 15 repetitions.  I would try to pyramid your sets.  Slowly increase your weight and do sets of 10, 8, 6, 4, and then back to 6, 8, and 10.  This will allow you to start slowly in terms of lifting heavier weight and is a good technique to increase chest size and strength.  I would follow-up your flat press with some dumbbell incline presses.  Make sure you are coming deep enough that your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and you keep the dumbbells high on your chest.  Finish with some cable flyes to add definition and keep them higher on your chest.  Pull them together so your hands end up on the upper half of your chest with your arms straight ahead.  These three exercises will build strength, full shape, and definition.  Best of luck.”

Michelle Armstrong I've just had a baby and would like to get my flat tummy back. Without hurting myself what should I be doing to strengthen those muscles and achieve the results I want?

 

Chad TheTrainer Michelle - Did you have a C section?  If you did this will completely change the way I help you with you abdominal area.  If the muscle is cut we need to hit it from a different area.  Focus on eating fewer calories, doing adequate cardiovascular exercise to burn stored body fat, and if applicable work on building your abdominal muscles with crunches, sit-ups and leg lifts.


Nancy Phillips Chad I recently underwent a subpectoral biceps tenodesis to repair a ruptured bicep. The atrophy in the bi is quite severe and seems to be spreading to the triceps and delts from total inactivity and 6 wks. immobilization in a sling. When I'm cleared to start lifting again, can you make some suggestions of movements that will help most effectively rebuild but putting the least stress on the insertion point?

 

Chad TheTrainer Nancy-  since the insertion point is near your elbow I would make sure you limit your range of motion in that area.  Do not extend your arm to a full 180 degrees.  I would recommend starting your bicep curls at 160 degrees and pulling up to about 30 degrees, just inches from your shoulder.  I would also recommend using a cable machine or selectorized machine so you have more control over the weight, especially in the negative motion.  Before you do anything I would ask your doctor or physical therapist if they have any specific restrictions for you.  


Kylee Josara Schafer-Gomez What is the most effective way for a female to gain upper body strength? No matter what I do, I don't seem to be getting stronger!

 

Chad TheTrainer Kylee- You need to focus on the core upper body exercises.  Women in general have more problems pushing weight above their head.  I would focus on shoulder presses and chest presses to develop strength and power in your upper body.  I would also add lat pull-downs and seated rows to increase back strength.  This will hit your core areas.  At the end of your workout you can hit your auxiliary muscles by adding biceps curls and triceps pushdowns.  Focus on you core strength exercises and slowly develop your arms to help.


Brian Leblanc Sr. Need the most effective way to burn fat from lower pectoral to arm-pit area.

 

Chad TheTrainer Brian- You need to focus more on your nutrition for this than anything.  Log into your mysnapfitness.com account and click on “my nutrition” to figure out how many calories you should be taking in to lose the weight you want to lose.   Once you are eating right I would try focusing on decline bench presses and flyes to emphasize the muscles on the lower part of your pectoral region.  This should help you start seeing a difference in your pectoral region.


Jerrell Backbypopulardemand Williams How do I add more definition and cut in my chest and arms? 

 

Chad TheTrainer Jerrell- Definition and cuts come from proper nutrition, cardiovascular exercise and weight training.  Assuming you have good muscle mass you will need to increase the amount of cardiovascular exercise you do to burn the stored fat around your muscle and adjust your nutrition to get enough protein to maintain lean muscle while still burning stored body fat.   You may also want to increase the amount of sets you do by one set per exercise to add additional stress on the muscle.  You may also want to add an addition exercise for each body part you are doing.  Add one more chest exercise and one more exercise for biceps and triceps.


Richard Simpson What's the fastest/ easiest way to lose love handles? I can't seem to get rid of mine.

 

Chad TheTrainer Richard- Losing fat around your waist has more to do with nutrition than anything.  It is also a combination of doing cardiovascular exercise to burn stored fat and adding muscle mass to increase your long-term metabolism.  I would recommend starting off with nutrition.  Log into your mysnapfitness.com account and click on “my nutrition.”  Register and create your Truestar profile for a custom menu program and the best possible supplement recommendation.  Make sure you are doing cardiovascular exercise 3 – 5 days a week for 20 – 30 minutes.  Always remember that doing crunches will only build the muscle under the fat layer.  It won’t get rid of your love handles unless you eat better and do cardio to burn off the fat layer.  Best of luck!


Be sure to join us for our February live-chat on Facebook on Thursday, February 7th at 12:00 PM CST! The theme will be "Lower-body Exercises." http://www.facebook.com/snapfitness247

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