Basketball helps tone the upper body.
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You don't have to lift weights for hours at the gym to strengthen the muscles in your upper body. There are a variety of games that not only work your upper body, but provide an entertaining and intense cardiovascular workout. Doing something that you enjoy, such as a sports game, will help keep you motivated. In addition, you are more likely to continue exercising because the game doesn't even feel like exercise. For best results, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise, five days a week.
Take it to the Field
Play a game of flag football with a few friends. Football is not only an intense cardiovascular workout, it will help tone your upper body muscles. Throwing the football targets your arm muscles while blocking and pushing your opponents helps strengthen your shoulders and chest. A game of frisbee also works your upper body -- you tone your arms and chest when you throw the frisbee. In addition, you target your torso and obliques when you twist and dodge your opponents. For an intense workout, play Ultimate Frisbee, where you head to your opponents end zone while passing the disc back and forth to your teammates.
Take your games to the water. Rowing works your arms, shoulders, and abdominals all at the same time. Race another rower to the opposite side of the lake or maneuver your boat through a homemade obstacle course using natural obstacles such as buoys and logs in the water. If you crave even more competition, join a rowing team. You can also target your upper body by playing a game of water polo. Water polo requires you to throw and pass the ball while traveling through the water, which works the muscles in your shoulders, arms and chest.
Channel your inner child by playing a game of jump rope. You work the muscles in your shoulders and arms when you revolve the rope around you. Challenge your exercise partner -- see who can jump the longest, who can do the criss-cross jump the longest or who can jump backward the longest. Or play a game on the monkey bars at your local playground which works your arms, upper back and shoulders. For example, see who can get across the monkey bars the fastest without falling.
Play a game of tennis. Swinging the racquet helps tone your arms and shoulders while the dodging and twisting movements work your torso, abdominals and back. Or hit the court for a game of basketball. Dribbling, shooting, passing and catching the ball work the muscles in your arms, shoulders and back. Challenge a friend to a one-on-one game or consider joining a local basketball team.