We all want rock-hard abs, but if we were to prioritize our fitness efforts in terms of practicality, arms would have to take the number one spot. When you’ve got a sculpted set of arms, you can sport your favorite sundress or your softest sleeveless tee with all the confidence in the world. Which is why we called in John Rowley, certified trainer and ISSA director of wellness, to give us five exercises guaranteed to get us there.
Scroll through for five expert-approved exercises to fight arm flab!
Sit on the edge of a (sturdy) chair with your feet together. Place your hands on the seat on either side of your thighs, and keep your feet flat on the floor. Bend your elbows 90 degrees, and slowly lower yourself toward the floor. Straighten your arms, really pushing through your palms to raise your body back to the start position.
Stand with your feet shoulder distance apart, holding one dumbbell with both hands with elbows bent and arms behind your head. Straighten your arms to lift the dumbbell into the air, and then slowly bend the arms to lower. Since your triceps are a smaller muscle group, start three-pound weights (like Valeo's Neoprene Hand Weights ($16)) and work your way up if you can handle more weight.
Holding a dumbbell in each hand, stand with the knees slightly bent. Keeping your back flat, bend forward at the hip joint. Exhale and lift both arms out to the side, maintaining a slight bend in the elbows and squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the dumbbells back toward the ground in a controlled manner.
Stand with your feet directly under your hips, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Bend the elbows, bringing the weights to your shoulders—performing a biceps curl. Keep your arms moving upward, straightening the arms above you, performing an overhead press. Bend the elbows, coming back to the end of your biceps curl, and then straighten the arms, coming back to the starting position to complete one rep. For exercises that work your back, you can increase the weight. Try SPRI's Deluxe Vinyl Dumbbells ($26) in 8 Pounds.
Stand with your feet hip distance apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand. Start with the right side first. With control, keep your arm straight (but don't lock that elbow), and raise your right hand up toward the ceiling. You want your arm to be parallel to the floor. Slowly lower your hand back to your body. Do the same move with your left arm. Then do both your right and left arms at the same time.
Need more even arm-toning moves? Check out this workout designed to give you the arms of a dancer!