A shapely sculpted arm can be yours with regular workouts to tone your upper arm and avoid the unsightly bat wings that come with time. When seeking strong lean arm, don’t fall prey to faulty exercises that can only end up hurting you and hindering progress towards your goal.
Do not be afraid to lift weights. The body gets stronger, more compact and better toned while lifting weights. With toned arms, you can also boost your metabolism and sport a healthy, sexy upper body.
Schedule an arms workout at least 2-3 times a week. This workout targets your arms, upper back and chest. Arm toning exercises work not just on the arms but on the chest, shoulders so as to tighten the arms from all sides. Drooping arms are straightened even as you get older and lose lean tissue.
Selecting an appropriate weight for this workout is essential; otherwise chances are that you will be very sore after this workout. These exercises are not only super effective but they also provide that extra burnout round after the last set of repetitions.
The amount of weight to be used for lifting during the exercises is given as a reference pointer only and it will depend specifically upon your personal requirements. Select a weight that can make the muscles scream by 8-10 repetitions but does not force you into poor form for the movement.
Arm Circle Exercise
You need a pair of 3-pound dumb bells. The target is shoulders, back, triceps and biceps.
- Stand with feet apart at shoulder-width and extend arms straight out to sides at shoulder height.
- Keeping shoulders down, do 20 small backward circles.
- Now switch directions and do 20 forward circles.
- Perform the routine two to three times a week.
Lie down on the floor with your feet flat and knees bent. Extend arms overhead with a light dumbbell in each hand. Slowly contract abs and curl up. Lift head, shoulders and back off floor. Now, simultaneously bring arms forward in an arc toward knees. Hold for a second. Slowly reverse to start again.
To make this easier, keep head on floor as you raise dumbbells in an arc and bring them down to floor so arms rest on sides. Reverse and start.
In push-up knees position, hold hands directly beneath shoulders with light dumbbell in one hand. Now raise that arm straight out to the side, parallel to floor. Hold on for a second. Now slowly lower to start and repeat. After several repetitions, switch arms and the dumbbell.
This exercise can be made harder by bringing knees off the mat and balancing on toes on hands as you do the routines. The exercise can be done without the dumbbell to make it easier.
Hammer bicep Curl
With feet shoulder width apart, hold a dumbbell in each hand palms facing in. Bend left arm to 90 degrees, making the dumbbell vertical. Now hold that position as you bend the right arm and curl the dumbbell to shoulder, keeping elbow to the side. Complete all repetitions, then lower arms and repeat, holding right arm at 90 degrees.
Make this exercise harder by holding a dumbbell in the stationary hand with palm facing up so that it is horizontal and not vertical. This exercise can be made easier by curling each arm up to your shoulder without holding either arm stationary.
A curl bar or a straight barbell can be used to perform this. It is better to start with half of the weight that is usually used for regular barbell curl for 8 repetitions. This can be increased after a set or two but it is important to get the form right. A lighter weight is better to begin with. Ensure that the bottom of the slope is gripped and not the top.
Place hands on top of the bar and hold it with a shoulder width grip. Do not hold underneath as this would be a regular curl. Keep elbows close to the sides of the knees slightly bent and hands gripped tightly to the bar and curl it up as would with a regular curl. Try to bring elbows slightly together as the curl is performed. The brachialis muscles should be engaged in this grip in order to enable you to move the weight.
Tension will be felt in the forearms as you come toward the top of the curl and hold for a second or two here and then lower slowly. You will feel the blood rush to different parts of your arm than would with a regular curl, stimulating growth in new areas. Let the wrists flex back when they come to the top of the curl so that there is better contraction for the brachialis muscle this way.
These reverse curls can be performed at the end of biceps workout. These movements can shock the arms which are nice but weak. Two or three sets at the end of a bicep/arms workshop should suffice.
Sit upright on a Swiss ball and hold a pair of dumbbells. Plant your feet firmly on the ground. Press the dumbbells over your head with arms fully extended. Slowly lower the dumbbells by bending elbows and stop when our forearms touch your biceps. Feel a stretch in triceps. Hold on for one second and then return to the starting position by contracting triceps and straighten arms. Do not allow your elbows to move. They should stay in the same place throughout the movement.
Push-up on a ball
Lie on your abdomen on an exercise ball and walk with hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under the thighs. Pull navel inward toward the spine, bending elbows. Lower upper body on the floor and hold this position for three seconds. Then push up so that elbows are straight but not locked. Keep head in line with spine and abs. Start with 5 repetitions working up to 15. After 15 repetitions, stop for a minute and then work on a second set.
If you have knee joint or ligament injuries, do not let the ball rest on the kneecaps, as the pressure and lack of stability can lead to a flare up if you are not careful.
Get into a push-up position and with weight on forearms and toes, align elbows on the floor under shoulders. Make a straight line from head to heels and then hold this position for 20 seconds while breathing gently. Rest for 30 seconds by placing your knees on the floor. Repeat this thrice and working up to a total of 6 repetitions.
Sit on the edge of the chair with feet together. Place hands on the seat on either side of thighs and keep feet flat on the floor. Bend elbows 90 degrees and lower toward the floor. Straighten arms and raise body back to the start position. Do 8 repetitions. This exercise works on the entire back of arms. This exercise can be done even in airports to burn off nervous travel energy or at home or even in a cubicle in the office.
Balanced core strengthener
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Step forward with left leg and lift right leg behind bending forward slightly as both arms are raised over head. Hold for 20 seconds and then relax for 30 seconds. Keep hips squared and arms close to ears. Lift the back leg to hip height or as high as possible. Repeat 6-20 times alternating legs in the lift.
Lie face down on the floor with palms near chest. Lift head, shoulders and chest off the floor pulling shoulder blades down and together. Stay here for two counts and then lower down. Repeat 8-10 times. This exercise removes the stress between shoulder blades and at the end of 10 repetitions the blades feel wide open.
Traveling Power Squat
Stand holding 5-8 pound dumbbell horizontally in front of your ribcage with both hands. Lower hips into a squat and hold for two seconds. Then jump, as if to reach a volley ball net, and lift the dumbbell over head, fully extending arms. Return the weight immediately back to ribcage at the bottom of the jump. Beginners can start with 30 seconds and intermediates for about 60 seconds.
It may take some time to get arms and legs synchronized to make this move work, but gradually arms as well as thighs can sear when done for more than 45 seconds.
A pair of free weights can turn your arms into sculpted works of art. Biceps, triceps and curl ups sculpt your body best and blast fat and tone up your arms if done a couple of times a week. These workouts should be combined with a healthy diet for fast track results.