Take a moment and reflect. Think back to those summer days with spaghetti tanks and sleeveless tops. Arms were hot and they were on display. Everyone noticed who had great arms. Yet, we hoped no one noticed who didn’t. Should anyone have to suffer with unhappy arms, I think not! Get your arms on their way to becoming those arms we all take notice of. Make your, “Arms Toned and Tight,” with my anytime anywhere program that will reshape your arms in to ones you will be proud to show. Have the freedom to workout on your time, on your terms, wherever you choose and get the results you want starting now. All you will need are just a few dumbbells, a chair and a will to get started. Let’s work those arms in to shape!
For the Arms Toned and Tight program you will need a chair and a set of 3, 5 or 8 and 10lbs dumbbells.
For all exercises it is important to
maintain supported posture, with the shoulders back, chest lifted, and
the abdominals activated. To activate the abdominals pull the belly
button toward the spine and maintain the squeeze. You should feel
supported throughout the mid-section as if wearing a corset. Maintain
this strong posture throughout the exercises to best support the body
and protect the lower spine. Unless otherwise noted, always use slow
and controlled movements taking two counts to lift, two counts to hold
and four counts to return to the start position. Repetition and
consistency are your keys to success. For best results, do this program
every other day for 8- 12 weeks. Now let’s
1) Push Ups
For the pectoral and triceps (chest plus the back of the arms)
The Push up is to the upper body what the squat is to the lower body. It is an excellent exercise to work the muscles of the chest and triceps while stabilizing with the abdominals. Throughout this exercise, focus on keeping your abdominals activated and your body in a straight line. This exercise can be performed on your toes as demonstrated in the pictures, or with your knees on the floor. Keeping your knees on the floor is an easier variation and you can always work your way on to the toes as you build upper body strength. To begin, position yourself face down holding the sides of the chair with your arms straight and palms shoulder width apart. Hold your feet, with the ankles touching and the legs long and pressing together. Inhale and bend your elbows lowering your body toward the chair. Pause for one count. Exhale as you press through the arms to push yourself back to the start position. Repeat 10 to 15 times. Gradually work your way up to three sets.
2) Biceps Curl
For the biceps, wrist flexors and anterior deltoid (front of the upper arm, underside of the forearm and front of the shoulder)
The Bicep Curl is an excellent exercise for developing and shaping the entire bicep muscle. In addition, it will also increase the strength of the forearm. To begin sit on a chair with your chest lifted, shoulders back and abdominals supported. Position your arms at your side with your palms facing forward. Keep your legs pressing together and your feet flat on the floor. In each hand hold either 8 or 10lbs dumbbells using an underhand grip. Inhale and activate your abdominals. Exhale and lift both hands toward your shoulders keeping your elbows pointing toward the floor. Hold this lifted position for two counts while squeezing your bicep muscle. Inhale as you slowly lower the arms back to the start position. Repeat 15 – 20 times. Slowly build up to three sets.
3) Angled Curl
For the biceps, wrist flexors, anterior and medial deltoid (front of the upper arm, underside of the forearms and front and side of the shoulder)
The Angled Curl is another great exercise for
developing the biceps. It will define your upper arm giving it a toned
appearance while simultaneously strengthening your forearm. Begin sitting as you would for the Bicep Curl.
With dumbbells in hand, position your arms at your sides with your
palms facing away from the body. Hold the dumbbells in a slightly
angled out position. Inhale and activate your abdominals. Exhale and
lift both hands toward your shoulders keeping your elbows pointing
toward the floor. Hold this lifted
position for two counts while squeezing the bicep muscle. Inhale as you
slowly lower your arms back to the start position. Repeat 15 – 20
times. Slowly build up to three sets.
4) Triceps Kick Backs
The Triceps Kick Backs is a must do exercise. It will tighten and tone the backside of the arm combating any existing “granny flab” while defining the muscle group known as the triceps. This exercise will also put emphasis on your back and rear shoulders while requiring support through your abdominals. To begin, sit on a chair with your chest lifted, shoulders back and abdominals supported. Use either 5 or 8lbs dumbbells and keep your palms facing the body. While keeping your back straight, bend forward. Bend your arms at a 90 degree angle and lift them to the sides of your waist. This is your start position. Inhale. Exhale as you activate your abdominals, extending your arms straight behind you. Hold this lifted position and squeeze the muscles in the back of your arm. Inhale as you return to the start position with your wrists at the sides of your waist. Repeat 15 to 20 times. Slowly work your way up to three sets.
For anterior and medial deltoids (front and side of the shoulders)
The T-Raise is a basic but very effective exercise that will give you great shoulders. You are the centre of the T and your arms move about you. To begin sit on a chair with your chest lifted, shoulders back and abdominals supported. Position your arms at your side with your palms facing back. Keep your legs pressing together and your feet flat on the floor. Using an overhand grip, hold either 3 or 5 lbs dumbbells in each hand. Activate your abdominals. Inhale while lifting both your arms forward to shoulder height. Pause for one count. Exhale and open your arms to the sides to form a horizontal line. Pause again for one count. Inhale while returning your arms back to the forward lifted position. Pause one last time for one count. Exhale and lower your arms until they are level with your legs. Repeat. Aim to complete 10 complete T’s. Gradually build up to 3 sets.
As with any exercise program it is important to start slowly and progressively build over time. Arms Toned and Tight is no different. Your biceps, triceps and shoulders may tire quickly at first which is to be expected. Allow yourself time to adjust and be sure to listen to your body. Stop whenever you need to knowing you have done your best. Track your progress and aim to do a little more each time. Attempt to complete this program every other day for 8 – 12 weeks. However if you find your muscles are excessively sore on your next workout, you may want to give yourself an extra day to recover before repeating the program again. Soon you’ll be doing the full program and you’ll have developed your own arms toned and tight!
Questions and comments can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org Watch out for next month’s program, “Abs to Die For,” an anytime anywhere program for the abs.