The Healthy Heart Strength Plan: Tuesday

You can build strong chest and triceps muscles and a healthy heart in as little as five minutes a day.

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Your chest is composed of fan-shaped muscles that span from shoulders to sternum and help you push carts and hug loved ones. Your triceps are also “pushing” muscles located on the backs of your upper arms — notoriously weak and saggy spots.

Stability Ball Push-Ups
Place the stability ball against a wall, then kneel in front of it so it’s between you and the wall.

Place your hands on the ball so they’re directly below your shoulders. Walk back on your knees until your body forms a straight line from your head to your knees. You should be leaning forward into the ball.

Keeping your torso straight and your abs contracted (concentrate on pulling your belly button to your spine), bend your elbows and lower your chest toward the ball.

Stop when your elbows are in line with your shoulders. Pause, then return to the starting position.

>Prop a sturdy chair against a wall and sit with the heels of your hands on the edge of the seat. Inch your buttocks off the seat, supporting your weight with your hands.

Keeping your shoulders down and your back straight, bend your elbows back and dip your body toward the floor as far as comfortably possible (even if it’s just a few inches). Push back up to the starting position.

To make the move more challenging, extend one leg and plant the heel of that foot on the floor in front of you.

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest