Worried your arms aren’t sexy enough for a sleeveless summer? Here are five exercise techniques guaranteed to give you the shapely arms you dream about:
Bank on planks
It’s the best exercise to strengthen your arms and core. To make it more of a challenge, balance one hand on a paper plate. Circle the plate ten times clockwise and ten times counter-clockwise; switch arms and repeat.
Use a stability ball
While toning your arms, it is important to work on your chest muscles as they create stability for the shoulder joints. A stability ball will enhance the results you get from chest exercises. Balance your back over the ball, hips lifted. Holding light weights in both hands, slowly lower one arm to the side, pause and return to center.
Rowing is a great move for toning arms, and you don’t even need a boat for it. You can mimic this exercise at home or in the gym with the long bar used for bench pressing.
Place the bar between your legs, and pick up only one end. Walk backwards until you find yourself in the middle of the bar. Bending forward, bring the bar closer to your body, bending your elbows; then extend your arms, like you are rowing.
Do the Downward Dog
Yoga can help shape your arms, and one of the best positions is the Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Dog.
Get down on all fours, keeping your hands shoulder width and feet hip width apart. Then raise your back and hips in a position resembling a table top. Straighten your knees and elbows.
Lower your neck so that you are looking towards your navel. Press your hands into the ground and hold this position while taking take long deep breaths.
Bend your knees, and while exhaling, return to table pose.
Stretch those rotator cuffs
They may be small, but the rotator cuff muscles are crucial to stabilizing and shaping your shoulders. Seated external rotations with free weights twice a week can help tone and prevent injuries as well. Seated, bend your arm in a 90-degree angle to the side. Without unbending, lower the weight forward slowly to 90 degrees and back.
This is key to toning your body. Walking on a treadmill incline over 10% can be tough, but by leaning forward and holding the rails will help you incorporate an arm workout in your half-hourly trek.
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