Here's something you'll love to learn: Your shoulders and upper back tend to carry less fat than the rest of your body, so the right exercises can give this area a nearly instant makeover, says Ramona Braganza, a celebrity trainer who has worked with stars such as Anne Hathaway and Jessica Alba. Braganza's workout, below, hits every major upper-body muscle and will help stabilize your shoulder joints, improve your posture, and build that strong, toned look you're after.
Using five-to eight-pound weights, perform 15 to 20 reps of each exercise and go from one move to the next with little or no rest between. Do two or three sets three times a week.
Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees bent. Bend forward at the hips and let your arms hang straight down from your shoulders, palms facing (a). Raise both arms out to the sides as you squeeze your shoulder blades together (b). Return to start. That's one rep.
2. Biceps curl
Hold a pair of dumbbells at your sides, palms facing forward, and keep your back straight and chest up (a). Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows and curl the weights toward your shoulders (b). Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position, straightening your arms completely. That's one rep.
Stand with your feet a bit wider than hip width and knees slightly bent. Hold the dumbbells at chest height with elbows bent and palms facing each other. Extend your left arm across your body until the weight is in line with your right shoulder (a). As you return to start, repeat with the right arm (b). That's one rep.
4. Lying triceps extension
Lie face-up on a bench and hold a pair of dumbbells above your head, arms straight and palms facing each other (a). Without moving your upper arms, bend your elbows to lower the dumbbells until they are at either side of your head (b). Pause, then lift the weights back to the starting position. That's one rep.