How do you feel about baring your arms this summer? Are you excited to show off their sculpted, fit presence or would you prefer to promote a long-sleeve fad for the season? With a few key muscle strengthening exercises you can say goodbye to a bad case of the arm jiggles and hello to a chic sexy sleeveless dress. You can’t just wish for this to happen you’ve got to work it! So work it we will…..
The following exercises are part of your 3X’s a week, muscle strengthening regime in order to sculpt the arm jiggle zone. access to a gym is optional;
1. PUSH UP: The army has this one figured! I love the push up because I am a multi-tasker. With this one exercise you actually work six muscles at once – biceps, triceps, shoulders, chest, abdominals and glutes. Get on to all fours on a mat or fold three towels-one placed under each bent knee and one where your forehead will touch the ground.
- Kneeling on the towels with ankles crossed, position your hands shoulder width apart on the floor directly underneath your shoulders.
- With elbows as well as your back straight, and holding your body weight, tuck your chin in to hold a pretend orange against your chest and then slowly lower yourself until your forehead touches the towel or mat. Your chest should not touch the floor. Now on an exhale push yourself back up to the starting position. Cathy’s hint: keep the core engaged; wave and hollow.
- The goal is to gradually train and build so that you can do 2 sets of 8-12 repetitions. Then you can lengthen the lever and gradually build to 2 sets of 12 full military push ups.
- Don’t fret if you do one and find yourself not able to push up, we’ve all been there! Just start by standing up and “pushing up” against the wall for 2 sets of 12.
- Be patient and keep good form, excellent form trumps all else!
2. TRICEPS KICKBACK:
- Grab a single arm dumbbell from 1-10 pounds for beginners, a rubber exercise band or a jug of milk. It helps to do this in front of a mirror to keep an eye on your form.
- Using a bench, stool or armless chair. Bend over and place the hand without the weight onto it for stability. Keep your back straight, looking forward, and bend the weight bearing arm so that the elbow is in alignment with the body roughly at your waist.
- Without moving any other part of your body, straighten your arm straight back so that the weight is now lined up with your butt. Hold for a count of two and then gradually come back to your bent elbow start position.
- Your goal is to do minimum two sets of 8-12 repetitions on each side, again be patient, keep the core engaged and keep good form.
- Once 12 reps are achieved you need to increase the weight.
3. BICEP CURL:
- Grab a pair of single arm dumbbells anywhere from 1-15 pounds for beginners, bands or cans of beans.
- Have a slight bend in the knees and engage your core to keep your back straight.
- Your start position is hanging your arms down by your sides. Slowly bend your elbows aiming your lower arm toward your shoulders. Your body is completely in control and doesn’t move except for your lower arms.
- Your goal is to isolate your biceps muscle. As soon as you reach the level of your shoulder give your biceps an extra squeeze before slowly lowering to the start position.
- Switch arms and repeat for 8-12 reps on each side X2 sets.
- Once 12 reps are achieved in each set, increase the weight.
4. PULL UPS: This is a fun one…
- You need a sturdy table or two sturdy chairs and lay a strong broom handle across them a few feet apart.
- Grab your mat and lay flat on your back on the floor. With both hands, grab either the edge of the table or the pole palms shoulder-distance apart and facing in.
- Engage your core, keep your neck straight (hold a pretend orange between your chin and chest) now lift yourself off the floor as high as you can.
- Hold for a count of 2 and lower yourself back to the floor.
- The goal is to perform as many of these as you can while maintaining excellent form.
Although the emphasis in this blog was on strengthening and sculpting the arms you must remember to do your fat burning cardio as well as it’s the fat that surrounds the triceps that tends to give us our bat wings that flap in the wind. You can get the most bang for your buck by doing both cardio and toning at the same time by going for a hike and using your hiking poles! Now go out there and BARE ARMS!!!