Arm Exercises for Women for Nice, Toned Arms
Author: Shannon Miller Lifestyle
Looking to add a little bulk in your arms?
Not overly bulky, but just enough to have that fit and toned look?
Here are ten arm exercises for women that can get your arms looking fit and toned, and they are easy and fun to do.
Dumb Bell Curls
This is probably the most common bicep exercise. You don’t need to use anything that is too heavy. You can start off with a five pound weight. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Arms by your sides, with weights in you hands, palms facing forward. In a slow and controlled motion bring your hands up to your shoulders and back down to your sides. Try doing about eight reps with each arm individually, both arms together, and then switching back and forth.
Get into a push-up position with your weight on your forearms and toes, align your elbows on the floor under your shoulders. Make a straight line from your head to your heels, then hold this position for 20 seconds while breathing gently. Rest for 30 seconds by placing your knees on the floor. Repeat 3 times, working your way up to a total of 6 reps.
These can be done at work or home, all you need is a chair! Sit on the edge of the 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 lower yourself toward the floor. Straighten your arms, raising your body back to the start position. Try to do 8 reps.
Balance Core Strength
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Step forward with your left leg and lift your right leg behind you, bending forward slightly as you raise both arms over your head. Hold for 20 seconds, then relax for 30 seconds. Keep your hips squared and your arms close to your ears. Lift your back leg up to hip height, or as high as you can. Repeat 6-10 times, alternating legs in the lift.
Sounds fun, right? This exercise is great for relieving shoulder stress as well as building some arm muscle. Lie face down on the floor with your palms near your chest. Lift your head, shoulders, and chest off the floor, pulling your shoulder blades down and together. Stay here for two counts and then lower down. Repeat 8-10 times.
Pullovers with dumbbells
When done correctly, this one may make your armpits sore. Lying on an exercise bench or large couch cushion, hold a 5 or 8 pound dumbbell in both hands with your arms extended over your chest. Slowly lower the weight behind your head and return the weight back. Try 15 reps.
Push-ups on a ball
This is great exercise to get those arms toned! Lie with your abdomen on an exercise ball and walk your hands forward on the floor until the ball rests under your thighs. Pull your navel in toward your spine, bending your elbows. Lower your upper body to the floor. Hold this position for three seconds, and then push up so your elbows are straight, but not locked. Keep your head in line with your spine and your abs engaged. Try starting with 5 reps, working up to 15.
This classic yoga pose is a great arm and core exercise, particularly the plank, stick, and cobra (or upward dog) progression. It may take some practice to get it down but once you do, you may want to incorporate it as a warm up for your regular exercise routine. For a great step-by-step instruction on how to do a sun salutation check out this yoga site.
Start by lying face-up, leaning on your elbows with your legs extended and your knees slightly bent. Lift your hips toward the ceiling, forming a straight line from your head to your heels. Stay for 8 counts. Roll to your side, hips lifted with your right elbow and forearm on the floor to support your weight and help you balance. Maintain a straight line again, head to heels, holding for 8 counts. Now roll into a plank position with your forearms on the floor and your elbows by your sides, knees lifted.Hold for 8 counts. Lastly, roll to your left side, supporting your body with your left forearm and elbow. Lift your hips in a straight line between your head and your heels, holding for 8 counts. Repeat the sequence 8 times.
Traveling Power Squat
Stand holding a 5 or 8 pound dumbbell horizontally in front of your ribcage with both hands. Lower your hips into a squat and hold for two seconds. Then jump, explosively, as if you’re reaching over a volleyball net. As you jump, lift the dumbbell over your head, fully extending your arms. Return the weight immediately back to your ribcage at the bottom of the jump.Beginners, start with 30 seconds. Intermediates, shoot for 60 seconds.
Remember to start and end any exercise series with some stretching to prevent muscle soreness and promote building lean muscle mass.
Try the ones in the Shannon Miller Stretching To-Go book or Search the SML website (in the top, right hand corner of the page) for other good stretching articles.