Simple moves can give you shapely arms.
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Toning your arms requires performing exercises that use resistance; however, that resistance doesn't have to be in the form of barbells, dumbbells or weight-training machines. Your own body weight can provide an adequate amount of resistance to strengthen and shape the primary muscles of your arms - the front of the arm biceps and rear triceps - through exercises such as pushups and dips. Focusing on form can help you to maximize the toning benefits when using your body weight as resistance; start slowly and gradually add more repetitions as you become stronger.1.
Work your arms with strength-training exercises two to three times per week on nonconsecutive days. Target a repetition range for each set that allows you to meet, yet not exceed, the maximum number of repetitions with proper form. For example, if your rep range is 10 to 12, you will want to perform at least 10 reps, but not more than 12, while still maintaining proper form.
Perform five to 10 minutes of light cardio exercise, such as walking, jogging or jumping rope, to warm your body and muscles before training your arms.3.
Complete one to three sets of pushups to strengthen your biceps, triceps and shoulders. Come to your hands and knees on the floor; place your hands directly under your shoulders. Tuck your toes and lift your knees until your legs are straight. Pull your abdominals in toward your spine to keep the lower back from arching. Slide the shoulder blades down your back, elongate your spine and maintain a neutral neck. Bend your arms and lower your torso toward the floor, stopping when the upper arms are parallel to the ground. Push through your hands to straighten your arms. Aim for eight to 12 repetitions.4.
Isolate your triceps with dips. Sit tall in a chair with your legs extended in front of you and feet flat on the floor. Place your palms on the front edge of the chair. Contract your abdominal muscles and slide your shoulder blades down your back. Press your feet into the floor and palms into the chair to lift your butt and move it in front of the chair so it is hovering in the air. Bend your elbows back and lower you butt toward the floor, stopping when the upper arms are parallel to the floor. Push through your palms to straighten your arms. Complete three sets of eight to 12 repetitions.5.
Target your biceps and triceps at the same time with arm circles. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your lower back and push the shoulder blades down and away from your ears. Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height so they are parallel to the floor. Move your arms in small, fast circles going forward. Continue for 30 seconds and then reverse the motion for 30 seconds of backward circles. That's one set; complete a total of three sets.6.
Follow your strength-training workout with 10 to 15 minutes of stretching. Perform stretches that target your biceps, triceps and shoulders. Stretch using slow, gradual movements. Hold each stretch for 10 to 30 seconds, all the while inhaling through your nose for a count of five and exhaling through your nose, also for a count of five.
- Vary the pushup by placing your shins on a medium-sized exercise ball. The ball creates an unstable surface, making the pushup more challenging.
- Place your feet on an exercise bench during the triceps dips to advance the exercise. Position the bench to be approximately 2 feet in front of the chair. Elevating your feet places more stress on your arms during the exercise.
- Consult with a physician before beginning an exercise program for the first time, if you have not worked out for a while or if you have any chronic health issues.