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Question
Posted by: Dzialo | 2006/04/16

Teen workout

I am a very skinny male teen who woudl like to build muscle. While my legs are very strong, I have no upper body strength. How could I gain the muscle I need with excercises done at home?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Dzialo

If you could get hold of some weights, it would certainly help. Being a gym member is easiest when it comes to a goal of gaining muscle mass, because you have year round access to weights and machines that do simplify life somewhat. However, from home, you can still use a variety of body weight exercises and some with dumbells to help you build muscle.

As far as body weight goes, pushups, pullups, tricep dips would all help. pushups can be modified by raising your feet, for example, putting them on a chair behind you and then doing the same pushup that way - this may be very difficult at first though, so build up the level by starting out normally, then gradually increase the loading as you get stronger.

As for the weights, I do think that you need to invest in some - the problem is knowing the size you should get. If you go too heavy now, you won't get much benefit, other than to pick up an injury. If you go too light, then you will soon 'outgrow' the weight and need a new one. So my advice is that you find a weight that you can do about 10 reps on (maximum), and then begin by doing 2 sets of 6 reps. As you get stronger, increase the number of reps to 8, then 10, then 12. once you get to 12, you can increase the number of sets to 3, and eventually, perhaps 4. But this will take a long time, and so you should get good use out of this weight.

What exercises - I would suggest dumbell curls (for the biceps), seated shoulder press, lateral raises, tricep extensions, and pectoral flys. If you need a little help in these exercises, the best is to see pictures and so go to this site:
http://www.fitnwell.net/Dumbbell%20Exercises.htm

here you will see a whole lot of other exercises you can do as well.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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