Nobody wants flabby arms, especially when summer comes round and short sleeves and swimwear are the order of the day. Flabby arms are caused by two things 1) fat accumulation and 2) aging (skin loses elasticity as we age). The best way to tone them up is to exercise the arm muscles – mainly the biceps and triceps.
With the right exercises, you can get sexy toned arms quite quickly. Try doing the following exercises for 6-8 weeks, 3-4 times per week. Stick with it and you’ll see the difference very quickly.
Any of these exercises can be done at home, at the gym, or just about anywhere. The only piece of equipment you might need to get your hands on are dumbbells. Dumbbells are relatively inexpensive to purchase, but if you want to get started straight away and don’t have any, you can use a tin of food, water bottle, or whatever you can find around the house that will give you some weight work your muscles. Ideally, in the long run, you’ll want to invest in some dumbbells though as you’ll need a heavier weight to get better results.
1. Dumbbell Curls
Dumbbell curls (or bicep curls) are super effective when mastered correctly. The following is a step by step guide that will show you how to do them properly to get the best results.
- Starting position – stand up straight, with a dumbbell in each hand, arms fully extended by your sides. Keep your elbows very tight and close into your torso and rotate your palms so that they are facing forward.
- Now while keeping the upper arms completely still curl the weights, it is important that your biceps are fully contracted and the dumbbells should end up at shoulder height. Then hold the contracted position for a few seconds ensuring you are squeezing your biceps.
- Inhale are you raise the dumbbell up and then exhale as you lower back to starting position. For best results do these movements in a controlled, slow manner.
Do 5 sets of 12 reps
2. Tricep Dips
The tricep dip is another fantastic exercise for building muscle and toning the back of your upper arms. This exercise can be performed at home without using any equipment. You can use a chair or bench or a sturdy box.
Here is a step by step guide to doing tricep dips effectively:
- Start by positioning your hands shoulder-width apart on a secure bench or sturdy chair.
- Slide your butt down off the bench or chair, your legs should be fully extended in front of you.
- Gradually straighten your arms leaving a slight bend at the elbows. This will ensure the full tension is on your tricep and not on your elbows.
- Next start to slowly bend your elbows to lower your body until you achieve a 90-degree angle. Try not to move your back away from the bench or chair. The back has to remain as close as possible to the bench or chair.
- Once you have reached the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench or chair and straighten your elbows. Now you have completed one rep.
- Do not lift your shoulders as you raise your body up and down. If you find it easier to bend your legs slightly – that’s fine.
Do 3 sets of 8-10 dips
3. Push Ups
Almost every woman or man knows the value the push up brings to the upper arms. Every good arm workout will include some push-ups at one time or another. There is no equipment needed for performing push-ups – they are very easy to do just about anywhere. The push must be performed in the correct way though, the proper technique is very important.
Here is a step by step guide on how to do a push up properly:
- Get down on the ground and set your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
- Position your feet either shoulder width apart or together, whatever feels the most comfortable for you.
- Your entire body must be positioned in a straight line, your butt can’t be sticking up in the air.
- Ensure your head is looking slightly ahead of you. Once you come down your chin should touch the floor first not your nose.
- Now that you’re in position, with your arms fully extended, your butt muscles clenched and abs braced, steadily start to lower yourself down until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Keep going down under your chest almost makes contact with the floor, not your face.
- All the while you must keep your elbows tight into your body – they should not be moving away in any other direction.
- Once your chest has touched the floor slightly pause, inhale, then push back up into the starting position. You just completed one push up properly!
Try doing 5 sets of 10 reps
4. Tricep Extensions
You will need to use a dumbbell to perform this arm exercise.
Here is a step by step guide to completing a successful tricep extension:
- Your starting point is to stand up straight, keep your feet shoulder width apart, keep your core tight and hold a dumbbell with both hands.
- Now lift the dumbbell with arms fully extended, your palms facing the roof and your elbows should be pointing forward.
- Bending at the elbows and squeezing your triceps, begin to gradually lower the dumbbell behind your head.
- Once the dumbbell is lowered as far as you can take behind your head pause for a bit, inhale and start to return back to your starting point. These movements should be controlled and measured keeping the emphasis on your tricep muscle group.
If you want to tone your arms fast, do 5 sets of 12 reps
5. Tricep Kickbacks
Tricep kickbacks are simple, effective, and give you great results when used as part of your arm workout. You will need two dumbells to execute this exercise.
Here is a step by step guide to do the tricep kickback with good technique:
- Your starting point is knees bent, slightly leaning forward, with a dumbbell in each hand.
- Keeping your back straight, start bending your dumbbell held arms at 90 degrees angle at the elbows.
- The triceps have to be in line with your back and your biceps perpendicular with the floor. Please ensure you engage your core and that your triceps are hinged at the elbow, now lift the dumbbell up and back as you attempt to straighten your arm.
- The triceps should be still, all movement should be coming from your elbows at this stage. Continue to slowly guide the weight upward until your arm is straight. Once you get it straight take a pause and return back to the 90 degrees angle. That’s one rep fully completed. It’s important not to swing the upper body, keep the back flat avoid it being hunched over.
Do 5 sets of 12 reps
6. Dumbbell Lateral Raise
The dumbbell lateral raise is designed to tone the upper arms and shoulders. You will need two dumbbells to perform this exercise correctly.
Here are the steps:
- Your starting point is to stand up straight, holding two of the dumbbells at either side. Your arms should be fully in by your sides.
- Keep your back straight, engage your core, gradually lift the weights out to the side until your arms are fully parallel to the ground (imagine a cross image).
- Once you have raised them to this point, gradually bring them back to the original starting point. Do not do this fast or with hesitation, the movements must be controlled and calm.
Do 5 sets of 10-12 reps
So there you have it – 6 simple exercises that anyone can do at home (or wherever you are) that will help to get you slim, toned arms that will look great in anything. Get started today, work hard and keep up the consistency, and before long you’ll be looking in your wardrobe for short sleeve tops and dresses again!