Many girls dream of toned arms on their wedding day. Follow these effective arm exercises for the best results.
1. The Push-Up: Back to basics, ladies. If you want fast results, the push-up is the way to go. It’s simple, convenient and easy to do anywhere. It tones many muscles in your arms so you can begin to see new areas of your arms being sculpted. Begin on all fours, palms on the floor. For a less intense push up, keep your knees on the floor. Move your legs back so that you are supporting yourself on your palms and toes, keeping your legs straight. Make sure your shoulders stay over your wrists so the biceps and other arm muscles do the work, instead of the rotator cuff in your shoulder. Begin to slowly lower your chest, hugging your elbows to your sides and keeping your gaze to the floor. Go as low as you can, or until your nose grazes the floor, then come back up. Repeat 10 times.
2. Arm Circles: Stand up straight with your hands at your sides and feet hip width apart. Slowly lift your hands out to either side of your body until they are both parallel with the floor, or shoulder height. Begin to make fast but small circles, concentrating on tightening your arm muscles. Use two- to three-pound weights for a more challenging exercise. Do 30 circles, then rest. Repeat, circling in opposite direction..
3. Biceps Curls: Holding a two- or three-pound weight in each hand (you can use heavier weights if you feel comfortable), stand up straight with your feet hip width apart. Making fists around the weight handles, position your arms so your elbows are slightly forward. Slowly begin to bring the weight in your right arm up to your right shoulder by bending at your elbow, making sure that your elbow stays in position. Pause and squeeze at the top for two to three seconds. Bring it back down to the starting position and switch arms. Do 10 repetitions each.
4. Chair Dips: You’ll need a chair for this exercise. Sit on the edge of the chair with your feet hip width apart and straight in front of you. Place your palms on either side of your hips. Flatten your feet on the floor so that your hips are clear of the chair. Begin to bend your elbows, lowering your hips to the floor until they reach knee level. Straighten your arms without sitting back down on the chair. Repeat 10 times.
5. Downward-Facing Dog: Begin on all fours, knees and hands on the floor. Start to tuck your chin in toward your chest and straight your arms, lifting your hips up to the ceiling until your knees are straight. Hold for five to 10 seconds, then come back down to all fours. Staying in downward-facing dog will work your arms, as will coming back down to all fours and lifting back up. Try holding the position for increasing increments of time, for as long as you are comfortable.
6. The Cobra: Lie flat on your stomach with your arms at your sides and legs straight. Bend your arms and place them under your shoulders, and begin to lift your head to look out straight in front of you. Push up so that your chest comes off of the floor, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Stop lifting when your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle, then slowly come back down. Repeat 10 times.
7. Triceps Curls: Hold a two- or three-pound weight with both hands. Lift the weight high above your head, straight up to the ceiling. Begin to bend your elbows, lowering the weight with both hands as if you were going to scratch your upper back. Go as far as you can without straining, then lift your hands straight back up to the ceiling. Repeat 10 times.
8. Plank Pose: Begin on all fours, elbows and knees on the floor. Straighten both legs so that your hips are parallel to the floor. Keep your elbows bent on the floor. Make sure not to dip your hips too low or lift them too high. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat two times.
9. Reverse Plank Pose: Lie flat on your back with your arms at your sides. Bend your elbows so they are underneath your shoulders and your upper torso is being supported by your arms. Your chest, neck and head should be lifted off of the floor. Begin to point your toes and lift your legs and hips off the floor. Hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat two times.
10. Side Plank: Get into plank pose. Roll over to your right side, keeping your hips off the floor and stacking your left foot on top of your right. Raise your left hand toward the ceiling and hold for 20 – 30 seconds. Repeat on left side.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.