Who doesn’t want a stronger sleeker upper body to show off? Working your upper arms won’t get you bulked up like the Incredible Hulk. It will get your arms leaner and ready to bare by the time summer rolls around.

The best part? You can do all these exercises at home. All you need are a couple of dumbbells. And a few minutes each day!


What it does: A full-body strength workout

How to do it: Stand with legs slightly wider than hip width. Pick up a 2-2.5 kg dumbbell in each hand, keeping elbows bent and palms up. Keep your spine straight and get into a squatting position. Circle the left hand up and in towards your shoulder in a circular motion and then reverse to lower hand. Do 16 reps. Repeat on the other side.


What it does: Tones upper arms

How to do it: Keep your feet hips-width apart. Bend your knees and hinge forward from your waist. Ensuring that your spine is neutral, raise fists to your shoulders, clench your abs and box your right hand forward. Ensure that your elbows are up while doing the move. Bring hands to center and switch. Do 20 reps.


What it does: Gets rid of bat wings

How to do it: Lie on the floor, your face up and knees bent. Take a 2.5 kg dumbbell in each hand and keep them a few inches off the floor. Keeping arms straight raise left arm over chest while right arm stays overhead. Lower to start and repeat. Do 15 reps with left arm, then switch sides. Do 2-3 sets.


What it does: Targets the shoulders and triceps

How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a 2.5 kg dumbbell in each hand. Bend elbows, bringing your hands to shoulders with the palms facing forward. Press weights overhead, making sure the shoulders are down. Lower weights back to shoulders. Do 20 reps.


What it does: Works out the triceps

How to do it: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, with knees slightly bent. Hold a 2.5 kg dumbbell in each hand, arms straight down at sides, palms facing back. Lift arms straight back, taking them about 2 feet behind you. Return to side. Do 20 reps.


What it does: Works the triceps

How to do it: Lie down on your back. Take a 2.5 kg dumbbell in each hand and extend your arms toward the ceiling, palms facing each other. Bend your elbows, lowering the weights to the sides of your head. Keep elbows still, pointing straight up at all times. You should only be moving your forearms. Raise the weights back to the ceiling.


What it does: Builds upper body strength

How to do it: Get into plank position and put your right hand on the ball. Keep the left hand on the floor. Keep elbows in as you squeeze your abs and shoulders and lower towards the floor. Push back up and pass the ball to the other side. Do at least 5 on each side.

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Written by Roshini Gilbert

Roshini Gilbert

After a diligent workout plan helped her lose 30kg of post-pregnancy weight, chartered accountant Roshini Gilbert was inspired enough to go from tallying numbers to training others. A freelance personal trainer today, Roshini has been certified by the American Council on Exercises (ACE) for functional fitness and specialises in post-natal weight loss, exercises for low back pain, arthritis and osteoporosis. She also has REHAB Trainer certification from Australia for rehabilitative exercises and has trained with reputed sports physiotherapist Ulrik Larsen in corrective exercises and injury management. In HealthifyMe, Roshini has found a collaborator with a common cause – making people fit to live life to the fullest. Her assessment of how fit you are is based on three broad guidelines — stamina, body age (a person who looks way older than his age can’t be deemed healthy) and lifestyle (beware, those with bad eating habits and sedentary behaviour). Prepare yourself mentally first and then your body will follow, she says, of the opinion that if you want to change something about yourself then you need to challenge yourself to do it. Are you up for it?

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