It’s that time of year again—time for sundresses, tank tops, perhaps even bikini tops (gasp!). Are your arms ready? We can help. Scroll through for five arm-toning moves to make this the summer of sleeveless!
If you’re not already warmed up, try a boxing warm up. Move your feet and hit a pretend speedbag (or a real one) for one minute. Then, jump rope (again, real or imaginary), crisscrossing your arms in front of you for a minute. These classic moves get your heart rate up while toning your arms.
This move is basically a bicep curl into a shoulder press to target your biceps, triceps, and shoulders all at once. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a medium dumbbell in each hand. Curl the dumbbells up to shoulder height, turn them out, and lift them all the way up over your head for an overhead press. Keep the movement slow and controlled, standing with your core and glutes engaged the whole time. Do 15 reps.
This move is like an overhead tricep extension with a little something extra to engage your core in addition to your triceps. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, knees bent softly. Hold a heavy dumbbell or your two medium dumbbells together in your hands. Engage your abs, keep your shoulders down and bring your arms overhead, stopping with arms slightly in front of head. Bend your elbows to lower the weight behind your head all the way down to your shoulders (don’t let your elbows swing open). Raise your arms back up and then chop them down towards your hips, letting the weight fall between your legs (pretend you’re chopping wood). Using your core, immediately raise arms back up to starting position. Do 20 reps.
This move combines a reverse fly and a tricep push-back to sculpt the muscles at the front and back of your shoulders, as well as your core and glutes. Begin in a split stance with your forward leg bent and your back leg straight. Keep your spine in line and hinge forward from your hips at about 45 degrees. Hold a medium dumbbell in each hand, arms reaching down towards the floor, palms facing your body (not each other). Open your arms out toward each side in a flying motion until your elbows are level with your shoulders (don’t over-extend here). Slowly lower your arms back to the starting position. Next, with your palms still facing your body, press your arms back behind your hips, and then lower your arms. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps on one side, switch legs, and do 10 more.
This move works the fronts and sides of your shoulders and your triceps. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, light to medium dumbbells in hand, arms at your sides, palms facing in. With arms straight but not locked, raise the weights diagonally in front of you, so that your arms form a V shape, until your arms are level with your shoulders. Hold that position for one second. Then, continue to raise your arms until they’re in a high V. Slowly bend your elbows in towards your hips, and then press your arms back up to the high V. Lower back down to the starting position. Do 15 reps.
No arm workout would be complete without push-ups, a move that has been called the perfect exercise because it engages all of your major muscle groups. For this push-up series, start in a plank position with your arms wide (about six inches wider than your shoulders). Do one wide push-up, and as you push yourself up, rotate onto one side so you’re in a high side plank (your body should look like a T). Hold that position for one second. Then, come back down to the starting position and do another wide push-up. On the way up, push yourself up to a high side plank on the other side, hold, and return to starting position. Next, bring your hands in and do one close-grip push-up. That’s one rep. Do six reps.
What are your favorite moves for arms?