For us girls, it can be difficult knowing how to effectively tone our arms because of this fear of ‘bulking’. But because of the natural estrogen in our bodies (the female hormone), it is actually really difficult for women to bulk up unless we are deliberately trying to. As long as you use lighter weights and complete more reps, you will achieve those long, lean and toned arms you’ve always wanted. This arm workout, comprised of five moves which take just 10 minutes to complete, will give you exactly that.
1. Half and full bicep curls
Start with a dumbbell – beginners should start at 3-pound weights – in each hand, with your arms by your sides and your wrists facing upwards. Keep a controlled pose as you slowly raise your forearms, keeping your upper arms strong and still. Raise them as far as you can, and then lower again. Do the same again, but when you’re lowering your arms, lower them half-way so that your arms are outstretched in an L shape in front of you. Raise them back up again, and lower back to the start position. In doing this move, it challenges the bicep muscles as they have to work to pull the weight up again sooner than expected, unlike regular bicep curls. Repeat this action for one minute.
2. Arm pulses
This move can use weights, but you can also use your own body to challenge the muscles in the triceps and shoulders. Stand with your arms by your sides, palms facing your legs, and raise your arms behind you. Then try to touch your hands together behind your back. If you want to use weights, then it’s the same idea but you’re trying to get the dumbbells to meet. You won’t reach of course, but the point is to create a pulsing action. Small movements like this are still really effective at toning your arms, and your arms will be sore! Repeat this action for one minute.
3. Half and full tricep dips
Like the bicep curls, doing the half and full movements works just as well with tricep dips, as it creates a more complex arm workout to really challenge those arm muscles! Use a chair if possible, but if you only have the floor, make sure it’s only your hands and feet touching it. With your hands on the edge of the bench facing forward, keep your legs straight as you lower yourself past the bench and almost touch the floor with your butt. Use your triceps – NOT your feet – to bring yourself back up, and then – you guessed it – do it again with the half-raised. Complete this action for one minute.
4. Plank Up and Down
This plank with a twist isn’t just a core strengthener – it’s great as part of an arm workout, as it challenges the shoulders, biceps AND triceps. Start in a normal plank position, palms facing forward. Lower onto your forearms, one at a time, and hold before returning to the normal plank position. After a few reps, you will feel your entire arms burning. Just remember that you are still planking, and form is everything. Keep your body straight and still as you perform the exercise, as dipping your pelvis will hurt your back in the long-run! Complete this action for one minute.
5. Bench press
This move is a no-brainer – fitness experts and gym goers have been practising the bench press for, like, ever. It’s not difficult to see why – the bench press tones your biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, and it is even suggested that it helps to prevent the muscles in the breasts from sagging prematurely. You can use the floor if you want, but if you’re on a bench, keep one leg on either side and hold weights in line with your collar bone as you push up and lower down. Don’t think that the lowering part isn’t hard work either – you need to keep this a controlled movement or you could drop the weights on yourself! Complete this action for one minute.