That jar of peanut butter just won’t open, eh? Oh, and you broke a sweat carrying your grocery bags from your car to your kitchen? Sounds like a classic case of Limp Limb Syndrome. Don’t worry, though, your case isn’t hopeless. I have the perfect prescription to get you all patched up in no time: do these arm toning exercises at least 1x per week, and soon you’ll be opening peanut butter jars like it ain’t no thang. Also, I’ll likely be asking you to carry my groceries all the time. :)
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), balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Bring It In” – Begin with your upper back and shoulders resting on a balance ball. Your knees should be bent at a 90 degree angle with your feet on the floor. Hold a 5-lb weight in either hand. Extend both arms out to the side in opposite directions. With control, lift both arms towards the ceiling until the weights meet. Slowly lower the weights back to both sides of your body. Repeat 12x.
B) Repeat the “Bring It In,” except begin with your elbows bent and both weights held just an inch above your chest. With control, slowly unbend your elbows to push both weights straight up towards the ceiling. With control, slowly lower the weights back towards your chest. Repeat 12x.
C) Repeat the “Bring It In,” except extend both arms behind your head. With control, slowly bring the weights overhead and up towards the ceiling. Slowly lower the weights back behind your head. Repeat 12x.
D) The “Spread My Wings” – Begin by standing on your mat with your arms resting at your sides holding 5 lb weights. Bend at your hips (keep your back straight!) to a 45 degree angle to the floor. With control, lift your arms up and out to either side of your body. With control, slowly lower your arms back to your sides. Repeat 12x.
E) The “Row Boat” – Begin by standing on your mat with your arms resting at your sides holding 5 lb weights. Bend at your hips (keep your back straight!) to a 45 degree angle to the floor. With control, bend your elbows, keeping your elbows as close to your body as possible, to bring the weights to either side of your chest. With control, slowly lower the weights back to your sides. Repeat 12x.
F) The “Chicken Wing” – Begin by standing on your mat with your arms resting at your sides holding 5 lb weights. Bend your elbows so they point away from each other to either side of you and lift the weights up to your chest. Repeat 12x.
G) The “Dizzy Arms” – Begin by standing on your mat with arms resting at your sides. Keeping your arms fully extended, lift both arms up to shoulder-height so they face out to either side of your body. Then, trace small circles in the air with both hands for 30 seconds. Then, trace small circles in the air going the opposite direction for another 30 seconds.
H) “Girly Push Ups” – Do 10 push ups with your knees on the ground. Try to keep your body as flat as possible. Stack your shoulders over your wrists. Get as low as you can!
I) The “Super Workout Girl” – Begin by laying face down on your mat. Outstretch your arms in front of you and hold 3-lb weights in both hands. Simultaneously lift your arms and legs as high off of the mat as possible. Hold for 2 seconds. Slowly lower down back to the mat. Repeat 15x.
Sometimes the best advice is knowing what NOT to do. Be sure to read my list of workout ‘no-no’s’ here so you know what bad habits to avoid. Click here to read more stories on Giuliana Rancic’s FabFitFun.