Tight and toned
Wave bye-bye to bingo wings with these arm-strengthening moves.
Anyone can have toned arms, says biokineticist Pea Blaauw. As you get older, you lose muscle mass and that's why your arm muscles lose definition and start to sag. We also tend to put on weight more easily as the years pass by, which causes fat to gather around the muscles and hide shapely arms.
What to do? Get moving with these seven basic arm exercises, selected by Blaauw. They're easy and will give your arms some sexy curves.
Do two sets of 15 with three to four of the exercises so your arm starts to feel the strain after the 12th repetition of each set.
Rotate the exercises so you do each one at least twice a week. The routine won’t take more than 15 minutes and if you do it every day, you’ll see a difference within a month.
Remember: Exercise must always go hand-in-hand with a healthy diet. You can have the most beautiful arms on earth, but if they’re covered in a layer of fat, they’ll look shapeless.
1. Bicep curls
Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms at your sides, with palms facing outwards. Keeping your elbows tucked inwards, lift your right arm towards your shoulder. Hold for five seconds and lift your left arm as you slowly return your right arm to the starting position.
Make use of a theraband. Stand in the middle of the band and pull the ends towards your right shoulder and reverse.
2. Hammer curls
Hold a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing inwards – like when you hit with a hammer. Keep your arms extended and elbows slightly bent. Curl your arms towards your shoulders, keeping your elbows tucked in close to your body. Return to the starting position.
3. Inside forearm curls
Kneel or sit across an exercise bench and keep your right forearm up to your wrist, against the bench, with your hand hanging over the edge. Keep your palm facing upwards and raise the dumbbell as high as you can towards your inner arm. Return to the starting position and repeat with the left arm.
You can also sit on a chair holding your forearm on your thigh so that your wrist rests on your knee and your hand falls over your knee.
4. Tricep kickbacks
Kneel over a bench with one arm supporting the body. Hold a dumbbell in your free hand. Your upper arm should be parallel to the floor, and your lower arm at about a 45-degree angle to the upper arm. Extend the lower arm until it’s straight but don’t lock your elbow. Return slowly to the start position. Continue with the other arm.
5. Tricep press-downs
Stand in front of a high-cable arm exercise machine. Grasp the bar from above with both hands, 15cm or more apart. Try keeping your elbows as close to each other as possible and your upper arms flat against your body. Press the bar down until your arms are straight. Hold for a count of one and then slowly return to the starting position.
6. Outside forearm curls
Follow the same instructions as in exercise 3, but turn your palms to face down. Pull your hand up as far as you can towards your outer forearm.
7. Dumbbell front shoulder raises
Stand with your arms fully extended at your sides and a dumbbell in each hand. Your elbows should be slightly bent. Slowly raise one dumbbell to the front until your arm is parallel to the floor and at shoulder level. Hold for a count of one and return to the original position. Repeat with the other arm.
How to train with weights
Take a look at the right way to train with weights:
- When you're doing bicep curls, you have to stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent.
- Keep your abs tight so that your torso is stable.
- Concentrate on keeping the line of your back and neck straight.
- Keep you upper body as still as possible and try to move only your arms.
- Don't allow your body to sway with the movement of the dumbbells.
Move the dumbbell in one slow, controlled movement. Don’t swing it. width apart and your knees slightly bent.