With the warm weather officially here to stay for the year, many of us will be wearing swim suits and sleeveless tops to help beat the heat. Strong arms not only look good—they help keep your entire body in balance. Here are some of the most effective arm exercises to incorporate into your workout routine.
This is a classic arm strengthening exercise for good reason. It works. It can be done by people of all abilities and fitness levels. Bicep curls can also be easily tailored for any fitness goal, whether you want to tone up or bulk up, simply by changing the weight and the reps. Stand with your feet firmly planted hip distance apart. Hold your weights in your hands with your palms facing away from you. Straighten your arms so that your hands are near your hips. Slowly raise your hands to bring the weights to your shoulders. Lower back down and repeat. You should be able to complete ten reps while maintaining proper form. To make a basic bicep curl more interesting, raise and lower slowly to a count of two.
Your triceps are the muscles on the back of your arms. Having strong, toned triceps helps eliminate that arm jiggle that so many of us are self-conscious about. You also need to work your biceps to balance out your biceps so you don’t get injured. Tricep dips are a difficult but effective exercise for strengthening the backs of your arms. Sit on the ground in front of a bench or chair. With your back to the bench, grip the edge of the bench with your hands and bend your elbows so they point away from you. Bend your knees slightly. Straighten your arms and raise your bottom off the floor. Lower back down. Repeat.
This one will work your entire arm along with your shoulders. Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a weight in each hand. Keeping your arms straight, lift them until your hands are parallel to your shoulders. Lower and repeat. There are also many variations of shoulder raises. Lift your arms out to the side to work your shoulders a little differently. If that becomes too difficult, you can alternate arms or keep your elbows bent. L-raises incorporate both variations simultaneously. Lift your right arm out in front of you while you raise your left arm to the side, creating an “L” shape. Lower back down and alternate sides.
Working your chest is an important part of building strong arms. Lay on your back with a weight in each hand. Bring your elbows out to 90-degree angles. Straighten your arms over your chest and lower back to the starting position. If you want to make this exercise tougher, you can do a chest press while in a bridge formation to work your legs and glutes. Bend your knees and place your feet directly in front of your bottom. Lift your hips so your body is in a line from knees to shoulders. You can also do this with your upper back on a stability ball to work your abs.