Summer is the season of the booty. And while we’re not suggesting you give up squats, winter is the perfect time to step up your upper-body sculpting. After all, it’s cocktail-dress time. We called in Viveca Jensen, founder and creator of Piloxing, to show us how to toast the season with toned arms.
Scroll through for the cocktail-dress workout plan!
Twice a week, Jensen recommends integrating this boxing move into your regular fitness regimen. “You’re toning your biceps and triceps due to the extension and retraction that occurs in the boxing punch,” she says. And by maintaining your guard position throughout the exercise, you strengthen your shoulders (without bulking up) and work your back and core, too. Here's how to do it:
1. Stand with your one leg forward, arms up in “boxing guard” protecting your face, fists turned in so that your palms are facing you.
2. Bring your back leg into a knee-up forming a 90-degree angle. At the same time, upper cut with the opposite arm.
3. When you return your foot to the ground, uppercut with your other arm. That’s one rep. Do 20 reps. Then switch legs.
Alternate days between the uppercut knee-up and Jensen’s lift-and-lean exercise. This move is really a total-body toner, but arms and shoulders benefit the most. The arm circles shape your shoulders, and “your arm muscles will be lengthened and toned because of the active reach throughout your entire arm,” she says. Here's how to do it:
1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than hip-width apart, feet turned out. Reach your arms out to the sides and start making small circles.
2. Extend one leg, lifting off of the ground a few inches and hold your balance.
3. Bring that leg into passé with your toe to your standing knee, opening your hip. Hold your balance.
4. Open up your passé and fall onto that leg, landing in lateral lunge. Shift your weight onto that leg. Repeat the sequence on the other side. That’s one rep. Do 10 reps.
Note: Jensen recommends doing both exercises with half-pound weighted gloves (we like Title’s Weighted Gloves, $15), but you can do them without.
You probably guessed it, but on the three days a week you’re not strength-training, you should be doing cardio. Jensen’s tip is to always keep your arms moving and engaged while you do so. Try to maintain a 90-degree bend in your elbow throughout your workout. And if you really want to see results fast, Jensen’s tip is straightforward and effective: Cut out alcohol.
What are you favorite arm- and shoulder-toning moves? Tell us below!