It’s a classic fitness stereotype that guys always lift at the gym, while the gals all do cardio. Don’t be a stereotype. It’s great to do cardio, but it’s also great to tone up those muscles in addition to breaking a sweat. Take your arms, for example…do you struggle to lift your grocery bags? Does the idea of doing 20 push ups literally scare the sh*t out of you? Girl, it’s time to make a change. This workout can get you on the road to recovery by helping you to tone your arms. Now let’s get to it!
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, medicine ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Up And Away” - Lay with your upper back and shoulders on a balance ball. Your knees should be bent in front of you at a 90 degree angle and your feet should be on the floor. Extend your arms behind you, holding a medicine ball. With control, bring the medicine ball up overhead and down towards your pelvis. Slowly bring the medicine ball back behind your head. Repeat 12x.
B) 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.
C) The “Bikini Body Builder” – Start out in a plank position as if you were to do a push up (your body should be off the ground except for your hands and toes). Rather than have your hands on your mat on the ground, wrap each hand around a 10 lb weight. (Oh yeah, it’s about to get serious!) Keeping your back straight and your butt as low as possible, alternate bringing each arm up off the mat to chest-level, hinging at the elbow. If you’re doing this correctly, you should also feel your abs working. (Remember: It’s bathing suit season!) Repeat x 10 each arm while alternating arms.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Talk To The Hand” – Stand up with your arms fully extended out to the side at shoulder-height. Hold 3-lb weights in each hand. Do continuous arm circles with your arms going forward for 30 seconds, and second set of continuous arm circles with your arms going backwards for another 30 seconds. The circles should be small, with a diameter of only a few inches.
E) The “Ouch! I Never Use These Muscles!” – Begin by standing and holding both hands around a 10 lb weight. Lift the weight straight up overhead. Then, bend your elbows so that you are holding the weight behind your head. Lift the weight to extend your arms up overhead. Lower the weight again behind your head. Repeat 10x.
F) The “Boxing Workout Girl” – Begin by standing on your mat with your elbows bent and your hands at chin height. Hold 3 lb weights in both hands. Alternating arms, “punch” one arm outward until your arm is fully extended. Then, retract it back into your body as you punch out with the other arm. Continue nonstop as fast as you can for just 30 seconds.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) “Party Pilates” – Start out in a position as if you were going to do a push up (your body should be off the ground except for your hands and toes). 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 5 seconds. Then switch sides. Repeat, 10x each side.
H) The “Social Climber” – Start by standing up on your mat. Bend over and put both hands on the ground just before your feet. Walk your hands all the way out until you are in position like you’re about to do a push up. Walk your hands back to your feet. Stand up and jump up, reaching your hands up as high as you can. Repeat 10x.
I) The “Mime In A Box” – Stand up straight holding 5 lb weights and with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms straight out in front of you to chin-height. Then move both of your arms so they are at the sides of your body, fully extended. Then return your arms down at your sides. Repeat x12.
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