The Healthy Heart Strength Plan: Monday

You can build strong back and biceps muscles and a healthy heart in as little as five minutes a day.

Your back is made up of multiple layers of muscles that help you lift and pull as well as hold your body upright. Your biceps are the muscles in the fronts of your upper arms that you use to hoist shopping bags and small children. These exercises target those two muscle groups.

Curl and Press
Sit on the stability ball or a chair with your feet flat on the floor about shoulder-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with your arms at your sides, palms facing out.

Keeping your upper body stable, bend your elbows and curl weights toward your shoulders.

Immediately turn your wrists so your palms face out in front of you and press the weights straight overhead. Pause, then slowly reverse the move, lowering the weights to your shoulders, rotating your palms, and lowering the weights to your sides.

Keep your shoulders down as you curl and lift; don’t let them hunch up toward your ears.

Back Fly
Sit on the edge of the stability ball or a chair with your feet together and flat on the floor.

Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the waist and lower your chest to about 3 or 4 inches above your knees, letting your arms hang down on either side of your legs with your hands by your feet.

Squeeze your shoulder blades and raise the weights out to the sides until your arms are outstretched parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly return to the starting position.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest