How do you mostly use your arms during a typical day? Perhaps you’re typing away on a keyboard, or maybe you’re combing through a sales rack trying to score a deal at the mall. Maybe you’re using your arms to walk your dog, or to hold your morning nonfat latte. Today, let’s do something different. Let’s use your arms in a way that will tone them up because, let’s face it, those ‘bicep curls’ of lifting your latte to your mouth aren’t really getting the job done… :)
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, 8 lb, 10 lb), balance ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) “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.
B) The “Power Lifter” – Begin by sitting on a balance ball with your arms at your sides, palms facing up, and each hand holding a 5 lb weight. Keep your back straight and stick your chest out as far as possible. Bend both arms at the elbow to bring both weights slowly up towards your chest. Then, slowly lower both forearms, with your palms facing up, until both forearms are parallel to the ground. Repeat 10x.
C) The “Gimme A Raise” – Lay on your back on your mat. Bend your knees to place your feet on the floor. Hold 5 lb weights with your arms bent at the elbows and the weights held on either side of you at your chest. Then, lift the weights by pushing your arms straight up in the air. Your arms will be outstretched above your chest holding the weights.
Circuit 2 – Do 3x Through
D) The “Ho-Down” – Stand up straight holding 5 lb weights at your sides. Bend your elbows to lift the weights in and up towards your chest. Return your arms to your sides. Repeat x 12.
E) 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.
F) The “Pack A Punch” – Begin by standing on your mat holding 3 lb weights at your sides. Bring your right hand up across your body to the left. Punch your arm as you extend it across your body. Return your arm to your side. Then, bring your left hand up across your body to the right. Punch your arm as you extend it across your body. Repeat 15x each side, alternating arms.
Circuit 3 – Do 2x Through
G) 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.
H) The “Overhead Haul” – Lay on your back on your mat. Bend your knees to place your feet on the floor. Extend both of your arms behind your head, wrapping each hand around a 5 lb weight. Lift the weights over your head, arms fully extended, so that you are holding them over your chest at a 90 degree angle to the floor. Slowly lower your arms back behind your head. Repeat 12x.
I) The “Pumping Iron” – Hold 8 lb weights just above your shoulders and lift directly up overhead until both arms are fully extended. Lower your arms to just above your shoulders and repeat x 10.
Fitness Tip of the Day
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