Sorry to say, but you can’t just open a can of spinach and instantly grow biceps like Popeye. So instead, let’s do an arms-focused workout so you can eventually say “Welcome to the Gun Show” and actually have muscles to flex. Not like “scary-body-builder-I-can’t-tell-if-that’s-a-man-or-a-woman” muscles…but muscles toned enough so you can eventually do 20 push ups without cheating. It’s possible, I promise!
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. Take 10 minutes to stretch after every 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 breeze.
-free weights (3lb, 5 lb, and 10 lb), balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) “Here Comes the Hot Stepper” – Lay on your stomach on your mat on the ground in front of a first step of a flight of stairs, a piece of hard case luggage, or a stack of large coffee table books (approx. 6″ high)…Make sure it is stable!!! Prop yourself up on your mat with your toes and arms so that you are in a position like you are going to do a push up (your body should be off the ground, except for your hands and toes). Keep your back straight and your butt as low as possible. Now put your right arm up on the step, followed by your left. Then put your right arm back on the ground, followed by your left. Repeat x 20.
B) Do “Here Comes the Hot Stepper” again, except once you are in push up position on your mat on the ground, move your right hand directly out to the right side and put it on the ground. Then, return your right hand back to starting position. Do the same with the left hand, bringing your left hand directly out to the left side, put it on the ground, and then return your left hand back to starting position. You will not be going up on the step in this exercise. Your body should be off the ground, except for your hands and toes, throughout the entire exercise. Keep your back straight and your butt as low as possible. Repeat x 10 for each arm.
C) The “Flash Dance” – Begin by standing up. Bend over and put your hands on the ground in front of your feet, keeping your knees as straight as possible. While keeping your hands planted on the ground, jump backwards so that you are 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) and then quickly jump back forward to return your feet to where they started. Now stand up and jump straight up, reaching for the sky as high as you can. Repeat x 10.
D) The “Boobie Buster” – While holding 5 lb weights, lay back with your shoulders and upper back resting on a balance ball. Your knees should be bent in front of you at a 90 degree angle, with your feet on the ground. Start by holding both arms out at chest-level, bending 90 degrees at the elbow so that your forearms are pointing up towards the ceiling. Bring your arms up towards the ceiling. As you lift your arms, bring both of your arms together (a triangular motion) above your chest. Your weights should be horizontal so that the ends of the dumbells will meet. Lower your arms to starting position, with your elbows bent on either side. Do this exercise with slow, controlled motion. Repeat x 10.
E) The “Muscles McGee” – Stay in the same position on the balance ball as for the “Boobie Buster” except start with the 5 lb weights held on your chest. The weights should be horizontal so that if you pushed your hands together, the ends of the dumbbells will meet. Push directly up to the ceiling and back down to your chest. Do this exercise with slow, controlled motion. Repeat x 10.
F) “Layin’ the Smack Down” – Stay in the same position on the balance ball as for the “Boobie Buster” except start with the 5 lb weights held straight out behind your head. Keeping your arms extended the entire time, bring the weights over your head towards the ceiling, and then back behind your head. The weights should be horizontal again for this exercise. Do this exercise with slow, controlled motion. Repeat x 10.
G) The “I’ve Never Used These Muscles Before in my Life” – Use both hands to hold one 10 lb weight vertically behind your head. Lift the weight straight up and down behind your head (lift approximately 3″-4″). Try to keep the weight at a 90 degree angle to the ceiling, as much as possible. Repeat x 10
H) The “Open A Can Of Whoop Ass” – Stand up straight, holding 3 lb weights at your chest. Continuously and with alternating arms, punch each arm forward out in front of you. Do this as fast and as hard as you can for just 30 seconds.
I) “Girly Push Ups” – Do 10 push ups with your knees down on your mat. (Pssst…this makes the push ups easier! Sweet!) Your back should be as flat as possible and your hips and weight should be forward.
Try to do something active this weekend that you enjoy. Play some tennis, go for a hike, go for a bike ride, make some love…