10 moves to make your arms look amazing
Wanna get rock star arms in time for you to sit pretty poolside? Here are our 10 favorite exercises to help you tone up those biceps and triceps. Better get those tanks and sundresses ready, sweetie!
Hold one five-pound free weight or a full water bottle in each hand. Spread your feet shoulder's width apart and keep your palms facing out. Bend each arm to a 90-degree angle, holding them parallel to the floor. Slowly curl your left arm upward toward your shoulder. Hold for three seconds, then slowly uncurl back to the 90-degree start position. Now do the same with your right arm. Repeat 10 times, alternating arms.
Get into forearm plank position, balanced on your toes and your forearms, keeping them parallel and lined up with your shoulders. Use your abs to keep your back from arching--you want your body position to stay even, like a board. Maintain the position for 30 seconds, then drop your knees to the floor for a 30 second break. Bring your knees back up and balance on your toes again for another 30 seconds. For a challenge, see how long you can stay in plank without breaking form.
Do the dip
Sit down in front of the couch, knees bent and feet on the floor in front of you, spread a hip's width apart. Place your hands on the edge of the couch, fingers facing out, elbow nearest the couch's back cushion. Lift yourself up until your arms create a 90-degree angle at the elbow, hold for 10 seconds, then slowly release back down--but don't come all the way down to the ground. Hold yourself a few inches above the ground for 10 seconds, then repeat 10 times.
Throw a punch
Stand with your hips and feet at a slight angle, one foot behind and about a foot to the side of the other. Fist your hands and raise them to chin level. Imagine a target in front of you and shadow box in intense, 60-second bursts, bouncing on your toes the entire time. For a more intense workout, hit the gym and box against a punching bag for resistance.
Get into push-up position, balancing on your toes and hands, hands beneath your shoulders. Do one push-up, come back to the start position, then, starting with your right hand, you're going to move into a forearm plank position. Bend at the shoulder, place your forearm on the floor. Do the same with your left hand. Hold the position for 30 seconds, then, one arm at a time, lift yourself into the standard push-up position. Repeat 5 times.
Pull one over
Toss a couch cushion or a few pillows on the floor and lay down on your back top of them. You want your body to be a few inches off the ground. Grab a 5-pound free weight or a full water bottle and wrap your hands around it. Stretch it straight up over your chest, then slowly lower it back, over your head and just above the ground. Keep your range of motion in mind--you don't want your back to arch here. Use your abs for control as you bring the weight back, hold for 5 seconds, then lift it up, over your head to the starting position. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat 10 times.
Plus four moves you can work into your everyday routine to get those arms in tip-top shape:
Scrub a dub: Volunteer to wash dishes (and put 'em away--reaching those upper cabinets is a plus!), scrub the shower or mop the floor. Just remember to switch arms to keep the workout even.
Game on: The next time you babysit, introduce your charge to some classic clapping games.
Skip to my Lou: Get a group of friends together an play some double Dutch jump rope. Bonus? The swinging motion will tone the muscles in your back, too.
Book babe: Leave your backpack in your locker and carry your books in your arms throughout the school day.