Cardio/calorie blasters for upper-body?
August 18, 2012 12:42 PM Subscribe
As a woman, is there cardio I can do to help build strength and some bulk in my upper body?
posted by lemoncakeisalie to health & fitness (18 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a slightly bottom-heavy hourglass (a skittle/hourglass hybrid in Trinny & Susannah's body shapes - I gain all over but mostly on my thighs). At my best weight, I look like an hourglass, and when I'm overweight I'm more of a pear. I would like to balance my body a bit more while I work on slowly losing the extra pounds, which would ideally mean stronger and larger arms/shoulders/pecs/upper back.
Right now I'm about 15-20 pounds from my personal ideal weight (I'd like to be about 150, with muscle, at 5'6"). I know I can get there in a few months. But for now I'd really like to help balance my strong lower body with some upper body strength - and it would be great to bulk my shoulders, pecs, and traps a little too, as much as a woman can bulk without extreme measures.
I LOVE walking (long walks) and yoga. I do Zumba on occasion. Swimming and biking are okay. I've also tried one of those upper-body stationary bikes, which is okay but doesn't burn as many calories as I'd like (I'm itching to be doing something with my feet while I do it!). I'm looking for exercises that burn a lot of calories (ideally cardio) while targeting my upper body more than my lower body. I'm willing to do strength training, but I find it kind of disheartening since I feel I'm not getting as much calorie-bang for my time-buck, so to speak.
I've tried swimming while mostly using my arms, but that gets really boring, and Boston winters suck for damp hair. More variety would be good!
Despite the strict parameters of this question, I'm open minded about this. Weird exercises are welcome, as is advice to the effect of "this is impossible." Thanks!