As summer comes to an end, you might not be thinking about
toning your arms for the summery dresses, however there is always reason to work the arms no matter what the season.
Strong arms will give you the strength to carry out daily tasks with ease, you will be able to pick up the kiddies like a feather and progress with fitness exercises more efficiently. Don’t worry you won’t get bulky arms!
If you are looking for exercises to sculpt your arms and have access to dumbbells and a cable machine or resistance band then you can get started this week.
The exercises below focus on the specific biceps and triceps muscles to really target those areas, and are fantastic for creating definition in the arms. However, other exercises that can sculpt arms include yoga and bodyweight exercises such as pull ups and push ups. Feel free to add these exercises into your weekly fitness routine too!
Here are the 6 moves for strong sculpted arms.
- Standing Dumbbell Bicep Curls – This classic weight lifting movement works wonders for biceps. How to do it: Grab one dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward. Raise the dumbbells, keeping the elbows by the side with the dumbbell reaching the shoulder. Squeeze the bicep whilst lifting the weight. After a short pause at the top lower the weights back to your side.
- Standing Dumbbell Alternating Hammer Curls – A fantastic movement for focusing on the biceps at a different angle. How to do it: Grab one dumbbell in each hand along the sides of your body, palms facing your body. Raise one dumbbell whilst keeping your elbow by the side with the dumbbell reaching the shoulder. Squeeze the bicep whilst lifting the weight. After a short pause at the top lower the weights back to your side. Then switch to the other arm.
- Cable or Resistance Band Bicep Curls – This is a great exercise for more intensity on the biceps. How to do it: For the cable stand with your torso upright while holding a cable curl bar that is attached to a low pulley. Grab the cable bar at shoulder width and keep the elbows close to the body. The palm of your hands should be facing up. Keep the upper arms stationary then curl the weights whilst squeezing the biceps. Only the forearms should move. Curl until the bar is at shoulder level, and after a short pause lower the bar back to the starting position. For the resistance band it can be done in two ways depending on the type of band you own. For the band with the handles, hold the handle in each hand and stand on the elastic, feet shoulder width apart, whilst performing the bicep curl movement. For the full thick band without handles either hook it under the corner of a door or fasten it securely under a very sturdy object then grab the band with each hand. Hold the band with elbows locked to your side and perform the bicep curl movement.
- Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension – An absolute favourite for working the triceps! How to do it: Stand upright and hold one dumbbell with both hands behind your head, upper arms pointing straight up (elbows facing up). Raise the dumbbell upwards whilst keeping the upper arms stationary. The only movement wants to be in the forearms. After a slight pause at the top lower the weight back to the starting position.
- Tricep Dips – This is an exercise that can be done in various ways, whether at home or in a gym. How to do it: If using the bars but you don’t have the strength to fully lift yourself in the movement use a resistance band by looping it around the handles so that one or two knees can rest on the band. Hold your body at arm’s length with your arms nearly locked above the bars. Slowly lower your body by bending your arms. Go down until your shoulders are below your elbows at the bottom then lift your body back up to the starting position by straightening your arms. If using a bench or stable chair position your hands shoulder-width apart. Move your butt off the bench with your legs extended out or bent in front of you. Straighten your arms, keeping a little bend in your elbows to keep tension on your triceps and off the elbow joints. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body toward the floor until your elbows are at about a 90-degree angle. Keep your back close to the bench. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, press down into the bench to straighten your elbows, returning to the starting position.
- Dumbbell Lying Triceps Extension – This exercise is fantastic for targeting the triceps and should definitely be added to your workout. How to do it: Lie down on your back on a bench, with your head slightly off the top of the bench (but not hanging off to hurt your neck). Hold a dumbbell in each hand directly in front of you. The palms should be facing in and the elbows inline. Keep the upper arms stationary with the elbows in, slowly lower the weight until the dumbbells are near your ears. At that point pause, then use the triceps to bring the weight back up to the starting position.
An example workout
If you are a beginner, start with 3 sets and 8 to 10 reps. If you have done these movements before or lifted weights work to 4 sets at first. Once you’ve reached the target amount of sets and reps see how you feel; if you still feel good do another set.
Perform the four movements back to back, 3 to 5 sets – 8 to 12 reps:
- Standing DB Bicep Curls
- Standing DB Triceps Extension
- Standing DB Alternating Hammer Curls (8 to 12 reps each arm)
- DB Lying Triceps Extension
Perform the two movements back to back, 3 sets:
- Cable or Resistance Band Bicep Curls – set 1 x 20 reps, set 2 x 15 reps, set 3 x 10 reps
- Tricep Dips – As many reps as possible on each set
Which is your favourite arms exercise?