When was THE moment you knew you had to get your arms in shape? That time you lifted your suitcase up a flight of stairs and your arms were sore the next day? The time that lifting that bag of groceries from the trunk of your car into your kitchen left you winded? The time you tried to do just 1 really good push up where your elbows were bent all the way, but instead you collapsed on the floor from exhaustion? Yeah, I feel you on that one. Not to worry – I’ve heard your cries for help and I’m here to answer your prayers. I’ve created this workout to help whip those arms into shape!
Know Before You Go
Do a 10-minute warm up before your workout. Walk or jog around your block or in place in your living room, or dance around to 3 of your favorite songs. If you have access to a treadmill, walk at a slow speed (I recommend 3.5 mph) and at a high incline (8.5-9.0). Drink water between each circuit to stay hydrated, and stretch for 10 minutes after the workout.
It’s OK if this workout is challenging for you… if you keep this up just 2x per week, in a month or so this will be a helluva lot easier.
-free weights (3 lb, 5 lb, 10 lb), balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) “Push Ups On Crack” – Do 10 push ups with your hands set wider apart than usual. Go slowly and concentrate on keeping your body as flat as possible. (Get that butt down!
B) The “One-Armed Bandit” – Start out by standing up with your legs wider than shoulder width apart and your toes pointing outward. Hold a 5 lb weight in your right hand at your side. Squat down. (Remember to keep your back straight, and stick your ass and chest out as far as you can!) As you come up out of the squat, lift your right arm straight up and bend your elbow to bring the weight down behind your head, lowering it as far as you can. As you lower back into a squat, straighten your arm towards the ceiling and lower it back to your side. Repeat x 10 each arm.
C) The “Dip It N’ Rip It” – Sit in front of your couch with your legs fully extended in front of you on the ground. Put your hands up on the couch slightly behind you. Now fully extend your arms to lift your torso and body up off the ground. Your weight should be supported entirely by your hands and feet. Hinge your arms at your elbows to lower your body down to just a few inches above the ground. Repeat x 10.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Balance Buster” – Lay with your back on a balance ball. Your knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle with your feet resting on the floor. Your butt should not be on the balance ball. Wrap both hands around one 10-lb weight. Extend your arms back behind your head. With control, bring the weight up overhead and towards your pelvis. With control, bring the weight back behind your head. Repeat 12x.
E) The “Robot” – Begin by standing in front of your coffee table or in front of a balance ball that is stabilized against the wall. Hold a 5 lb weight in your right hand. Hold both of your arms outstretched in front of you at chest-height. Bend your torso until your arms reach the top of the table/balance ball. Keep your left hand on the table/balance ball. Hinge your right arm at the elbow, drawing the weight into your chest. Now, extend your right arm behind you with the weight. Bend at the elbow to return the weight to your chest. Repeat 10x and then do the same by holding the weight in your left hand and resting your right hand on the table/balance ball.
F) The “Amped Up Push Up” - Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except your feet are resting on a balance ball behind you. Keep your abs tight and find your balance. Now do 10 push ups. Oh yeah, I went there.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) The “Punching Bag’” – Begin by standing on your mat with your arms resting at your sides. Holding 3 lb weights in each hand, bend your elbows so that your hands are at your chest. For 30 seconds straight, continuously “punch out” with alternating arms as fast and as hard as you can.
H) The “Pumping Iron” - Lay on your back on your mat. Bend your knees to place your feet on the floor. Begin with either arm outstretched at your sides with your palms facing the ceiling, wrapping each hand around a 5 lb weight. Lift the weights towards the ceiling, and bring them towards each other. The motion with your arms should look like a big triangle ending with your hands meeting above your chest. Repeat 12x.
I) “Party Pilates” – Start out in a position as if you were going to do a push up. Lift your left arm and rotate your body so that you’re balancing on your right arm, your body is facing the wall, and your left leg is resting on top of your right leg. Extend your right arm fully and hold your left arm up in the air as high as possible. Look straight out at the wall and hold this position for just 3 seconds. Then switch sides. Repeat, 10x each side.
Fitness Tip of the Day
Make fitness a routine. This will also help you to prioritize your workouts.