Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sculpted Arms in 3 Moves

Stop dreaming about sculpted arms and GO GET SOME!
Image: Shutterstock

I’ve always been the girl with the "chicken arms." I’m built long and lanky, so even when I do build muscle, it doesn’t usually look like I have any. When it comes to my arms and upper body strength in general, it’s both hard for me to build that muscle and hard to show it. The process is a slow one, but I think I’m finally building up my arm strength again through my yoga practice.

For those of you who don’t do yoga, though, there are some great moves you can practice a few times a week to help build muscle and tone your arms. If you’re ready to surprise others with your awesome arm strength, try out some of these arm workouts 2-3 times per week.

Plyometric Pushups work a lot like regular pushups. Begin by balancing in a plank position (you can modify by putting your knees on the floor if you are a beginner). Lower your upper body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. Note: if your belly touches the ground before then, you may be arching your back and not engaging your core enough. Double check to be sure your back is flat like a tabletop. Once you reach the 90-degree angle, push powerfully back up, rising up onto your fingertips as you reach the top. Do 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps.

No more chicken arms.
Image: Shutterstock
Leg balance, curl, and press. This one takes a lot of core strength, so don’t be discouraged if you find it hard to balance at first. As your core builds up, it will become easier. Hold a pair of light dumbbells at your sides, palms facing your thighs. Lift up one leg so that the thigh is parallel to the floor and the knee is bent at a 90-degree angle. As you balance on one leg, lift the dumbbells first to shoulder height and then straighten your arms above your head. Lower back down to starting position slowly and with control. Complete 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps on each side.

Archer’s Plank. Start in plank position with a dumbbell in the right hand and legs spread to hip-width apart. Begin turning your body so that the right side opens to a side plank. Lift the right arm in towards your chest and then extend it straight up and overhead. Bring the arm back down with control. Complete 2-3 sets of 8-15 reps for each side.

What other arm workouts have worked well for you? I’d love to know. Share in the comments!