Many fitness professionals go by this rule of thumb when it comes to building muscle definition: for “toned” you want more reps with light weights, and for “big” you want fewer reps with more weight. Many women typically want to tone their muscles for that “long and lean” look. Today, we’re going to do just that. These arm exercises are designed for many reps with (relatively) light weight. Keep these moves up, and soon you will want to be wearing tank tops every day to show off those arms.
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.
Since this workout is a bit tougher, definitely remember to take water breaks in between each circuit! 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 (5 lb, 8 lb, 10 lb), balance ball, medicine ball
Circuit 1 – Do 3x Through
A) The “Pumping Iron” – Lay on your back on your mat. Raise your legs and bend your knees at 90 degrees. 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.
B) Do The “Pumping Iron” again, except begin with either arm outstretched at your sides with your palms facing the ceiling. As you lift the weights 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.
C) Do The “Pumping Iron” again, except begin 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.
D) The “Jump Up To Get Down” – Begin by standing with both feet on your mat and holding both hands around an 8 lb weight by bending your elbows and holding the weight at chin-height. Squat down. As you squat, keep your back straight, and stick your ass and chest out as far as possible. In an explosive motion, jump up. As you jump, lift your arms and the weight straight overhead. Return to a squat as you land. Repeat 10x.
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 “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.
G) The “Balls A-Swinging” – Begin by laying on your back on your mat with your hands behind you holding a medicine ball. Sit up, keeping your legs on the ground. As you sit up, raise the medicine ball over your head and down on the floor to your right side. Then lay back down, bringing the medicine ball back behind your head on the ground. Sit up again and raise the medicine ball over your head and down on the floor to your left side. Lay down, returning the medicine ball back behind your head. Repeat, 10x on each side.
H) “Girly Push Ups” – Begin in a position as if you are going to do a push up, except put both knees on the ground. Do 10 push ups in this position.
I) 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.
If your fitness goals involve weight loss, many nutrition experts suggest keeping a food diary to keep track of your calories each day. This can help you stick to your diet.