I can remember it vividly…the moment I decided to take action. I had come home from vacation and lugged my suitcase up 3 flights of stairs. The next day it was there – the soreness in my arm muscles. Oh, the shame!!! How could my arms be so sore from just carrying a suitcase full of clothes and toiletries? That was the warning sign that I HAD to tone my arms. Think about your warning signs…. Do you feel like crying while doing 10 push ups in a row? Could you do 1 solid pull-up if your life depended on it? Does hauling 2 full bags of groceries from the trunk of your car to your fridge sometime leave you winded? Girl, you’re not alone. And I’m here to help. The first step is admitting you have a problem… So let’s get those arms in shape. Pronto.
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) The “Punching Bag” – Begin standing on your mat holding 3 lb weights. ‘Punch’ outwards with your right hand. In an explosive motion, switch arms to punch outwards with your left hand. Repeat, alternating hands as fast as you can, nonstop for 30 seconds.
B) The “Not Yo’ Mamma’s Push Ups” – Begin in a position as if you’re going to do a push up with your hands on the ground in front of the base step of a flight of stairs. Raise your left hand onto the bottom step, followed by your right. Then return your left hand to the ground, followed by your right. Repeat 12x. Try to keep your butt down and back as flat as possible.
C) The “Inny or Outty?” – Begin in a position as if you’re going to do a push up. Lift your right hand and place it farther out to the right. Then lift your left hand and bring it farther out to the left. Your hands should now be set far apart. Then, bring your right hand back to starting position, followed by your left. Keep your abs tight throughout this exercise. Repeat 12x. Again, keep your butt down and back as flat as possible.
D) The “What The Dip?” – Begin by standing in front of your couch, facing with your back to the couch. Bend your knees at a 90 degree angle so that it looks as if you are sitting on an invisible chair. Rest both hands at your sides on the couch. Walk your feet out slightly so that your butt is suspended in the air, and you are supporting your weight with only your feet and hands. Bend your elbows slightly to ‘dip’ below the level of the couch. Do 12 dips.
E) The “Tri and Tri Again” – Begin by standing on your mat, holding one 10 lb weight in both hands. Raise the weight straight overhead, so that the ends of the weight are facing the ceiling and floor. With control, lift and lower the weight behind your head 10x.
F) The “Captain Curl” – Begin by standing on your mat holding 8 lb weights. With control, bend your elbows to bring the weights up towards your chest. With control, unbend your elbows and lower the weights back to starting position. Repeat 15x.
G) 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.
H) 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.
I) “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.
They’re called ‘work’outs because they require effort; otherwise, they are just easy outs.