Looking to tone up before wearing that sleeveless summer outfit? Here are three easy arm exercises that’ll get your arms dress-ready in no time.
Ultimate Performance (UP) recommends performing these arm exercises one after another circuit-style (12 to 15 reps each) without a rest. After one round is done, rest for 45 to 60 seconds. Then repeat the circuit two more times (so, three sets in total!)
For shoulders: Dumbbell Lateral raises
1. Stand straight and hold both dumbbells (palms facing torso) by the side of your body
2. Brace your core and slowly raise both arms up to shoulder level while keeping both elbow joints facing the back (don’t shrug!).
3. When lowering the weights, do it slowly and in a controlled way, and stop about 20 centimetres away from your hips – that way, you’re keeping the tension on your deltoid muscles (the triangular muscles covering your shoulder joints, used for raising arms away from the body) throughout the set.
Tip: If you don’t want to use dumbbells, form a fist with each hand instead. Raise only one arm to the side until shoulder level, then slowly lower it down to starting position; alternate with the other arm.
For triceps: Dumbbell Triceps Kickback
1. Stand straight and hold both dumbbells (palms facing torso) by your sides. Brace your core and lean forward about 45 degrees while keeping your back straight and neck in line.
2. Keeping your elbows tucked, extend both hands straight – think of it as if you’re “kicking” the dumbbells towards your hips. Lock out at full extension, completely straightening your arms.
3. Slowly come back to starting position.
Tip: Try not to swing or use any momentum; each repetition should be performed under control.
For biceps: Dumbbell Biceps curl
1. Stand straight and hold both dumbbells (palms facing forward) by the side of your body. Make sure to keep elbows at your side throughout the entire movement in order to isolate your biceps.
2. Brace your core, chest “up”, and slowly bend both elbows, lifting both dumbbells up. Imagine you’re trying to bring both dumbbells to touch your shoulders, but don’t change your torso angle! And, don’t forget to “squeeze” at every contraction.
3. Slowly bring the dumbbells down to starting position in a controlled manner.
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This article first appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of Expat Living magazine. Subscribe now so you never miss an issue.