Strength-training exercises for upper body

These exercises develop the muscles of your upper body, such as the muscles of your chest, shoulders and arms.

Remember to check with your health care team before beginning any exercise program. Although we have provided strength-training exercises to suit most people, some of them may not be right for you.

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Standing push-up

Muscle group: Chest and shoulders

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Lean slightly against the wall with your arms outstretched at shoulder height and your hands on the wall. Do not lock your elbows or knees.
  2. Slowly move your body towards the wall, bending your arms at the elbow.
  3. Once your nose is close to the wall, push away, against your body weight. Breathe out as you push back to the starting position. Repeat the standing push-up.

Modified push-up

Muscle group: Chest, shoulders and arms

  1. Start with your knees and hands on the floor and your arms extended. Keep your back and bottom as straight as possible, and keep your head in line with your spine.
  2. Lower your torso slowly, bending your arms at the elbow.
  3. Push up – try not to lock your elbows at the top. Breathe out as you push back up to the starting position. Repeat the modified push-up.

⇓ If you feel any pain in your back doing this exercise, bring your hands closer to your body.


Standing row

Muscle group: Shoulders, back and triceps

Equipment: Elastic resistance band 

  1. Attach the resistance band to a fixed point, ensuring it is well secured. Stand with your arms outstretched at waist height.
  2. Pull the resistance band by drawing your elbows backwards and maintaining hands at waist height. Breathe out while pulling the band. Make sure your spine does not move, but keep your neck and upper shoulders relaxed.
  3. Slowly return to the starting position, then repeat the standing row.

Shoulder press

Muscle group: Shoulders

Equipment: Gymstick, barbell, pole, broomstick or hand weights

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the bar at chest height with your elbows almost completely bent (so they are almost touching your sides).
  2. Push the bar up until it is above and slightly in front of your head. Breathe out during the lift and maintain good posture – don’t raise your shoulders.
  3. Pause, then lower the bar back to the starting position. Repeat the lift.

⇑ Increase the difficulty by adding weight or elastic resistance to the bar.


Upright row

Muscle group: Shoulders and trapezius

Equipment: Hand weights 

  1. Stand with your arms by your side and your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the weights with palms facing your thighs. Tighten the tummy muscles (abdominals).
  2. Bending your arms, raise both weights slowly up to shoulder height. Breathe out when lifting the weights and avoid jerking them up. Maintain your head and neck position, looking straight ahead. Feel the exercise work the muscles in your shoulders and not in your neck.
  3. Pause, then lower both weights back to the starting position. Repeat the lift.

Biceps curl

Muscle group: Biceps

Equipment: Hand weights, gymstick or barbell

  1. Stand with your arms by your side. Hold the weights with your palms pointing forward.
  2. Bend your elbows to lift the weights to shoulder height. Keep your elbows tucked in, avoid moving your shoulders and make sure your body does not sway. Breathe out during the lift.
  3. Slowly return almost to the starting position but do not fully straighten your elbows – keep them slightly bent. Repeat the lift.

Click on the icon below to download a PDF booklet on exercise for people living with cancer.


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Instructions for downloading and reading EPUB files

Apple devices

The iBooks application must be installed on your Apple device before you can read the EPUB.
Different ways to download an EPUB file to your Apple device:

  • email EPUB files to yourself and transfer the attachment to iBooks.
  • copy EPUB files into DropBox (or a similar service) and use the DropBox app to send them to iBooks.
  • open EPUB files directly from Mobile Safari and open them in iBooks, where they are saved automatically by downloading the EPUB from the website.

Need more help? Visit: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4059

Kobo

To download an EPUB file to your Kobo from a Windows computer:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • select “Open folder to view files” to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

To download an EPUB to your Kobo from a Mac:

  • download and save the EPUB directly onto your desktop.
  • connect your Kobo to your computer using the USB cable and tap “Connect” on your eReader.
  • open your “Finder” application.
  • select “Kobo eReader” from the listed devices to view the contents of your Kobo.
  • navigate to where you have stored your EPUB file in “Finder”, probably in documents or downloads, and drag and drop it into the Kobo window. You can now disconnect your Kobo to read the eBook.

Turn on your Kobo and your EPUB will be located in “eBooks”, while a PDF will be located in “Documents”.
Need more information? Visit: http://www.kobo.com/help/koboaura/response/?id=3784&type=3

Sony Reader

To download an EPUB file on your Sony Reader™:

  • ensure you have already installed the Reader™ Library for PC/Mac software
  • select the eBook you want from our website and click the link to download it.
  • connect the Reader™ to your computer.
  • open the Reader™ Library software and click “Library” in the left-hand pane and select the eBook to view it.

Need more help? Visit: https://au.readerstore.sony.com/apps_and_devices/

Amazon Kindle 2nd Generation devices

EPUB files can’t be read on the Amazon Kindle™. However, like most eReaders, Kindle™ 2nd Generation devices are able to display PDFs. We recommend that you download the PDF version of this booklet if you would like to read it on a Kindle™.
To transfer a PDF to your Kindle™ via USB cable from your computer or Mac:

  • download the PDF directly onto your computer.
  • connect the USB cable to your computer’s USB port, and the micro USB end of the cable to your Kindle™. Note: the Kindle™ won’t be available as a reading device while it is connected to your computer until it has been disconnected.
  • open the Kindle™ drive and several folders will appear inside. The “Documents” folder is where you will need to copy or drag the PDF to.
  • safely eject your Kindle™ from your computer and unplug the USB cable. Your content will appear on the Home Screen.

Kindle also provides a Kindle Personal Documents Service that allows users to send documents as an attachment directly to your eReader. For more information on this service, visit http://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html/ref=help_search_1-1?ie=UTF8&nodeId=200767340&qid=1395967989&sr=1-1
For more information on accessing a PDF on your Kindle™, visit www.amazon.com/manageyourkindle, log in to your account and click on Personal Document Settings.
Need more help? Visit https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=200375630

Android and PC

You can also download and open eBooks on Android devices and PCs with appropriate apps or software installed. Suitable eReader apps for Android include Google Play Books, FBReader and Moon+ Reader. Suitable software for PCs include Calibre and Adobe Digital Editions.


This information was last reviewed in April 2016
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