For many of you, winter means snow and cold, which means bundling up and not having to worry much about that little extra fat that was plaguing you during the summer shorts and tank top season. But then the holidays come around and throw a curve ball in the way of cocktail dresses for holiday parties. Sure you could go the fashion-friendly look of long sleeves or a winter wrap to hide the little extra jingle-bell jiggle of your upper arms. In a pinch, that’s your go-to. But if you’d rather show off your arms this holiday season, go the more proactive (and healthy!) route and shed the fat for good.
Even during the busy holiday season, toning your arms can be done and in less time than most of the other tasks on your to-do list. Arm your workout with these exercises, and you’ll have limbs you love when toasting to another year of holiday cheer.
Uneven Push Up: If you’re not doing push ups of any kind in your workouts now, it’s time to add them in. It doesn’t matter if you need to do them on your knees or if you can go on your toes; just choose the intensity that feels challenging while still allowing you to keep good form. When you’re ready to really blast your arms, add in a ball, such as a medicine ball or basketball. Start in a normal push-up position, where hands are below your shoulders. Under one hand, place the ball, creating an uneven surface. Complete your push ups in this position, choosing to go on your knees or on your toes.Aw
Curl, Twist, Press: When you target multiple muscle groups in one exercise, you get more bang for your body toning buck, and all in less time. For this exercise, use a lightweight kettlebell or dumbbell, holding one in each hand. Arms are extended and in front of your thighs with palms facing away from your body. On one hand, engage the bicep and curl the weight up so that your palm comes toward your shoulder. When it reaches the top, twist your palm to face away from your body as you press the weight overhead. This will target the arms, shoulders, and lats. Slowly lower the weight back down in the reverse motion of how you lifted it. Switch off between arms with each rep.
Row Kickbacks: If you’ve ever heard the phrase, “Welcome to the gun show,” then you know how guys love their biceps. Yes, those are important muscles to build, but don’t forget about your triceps when toning your arms. For this exercise, bend forward at the waist so that your upper body is at about a 45-degree angle. With arms extended toward the floor and palms facing in, hold lightweight dumbbells in each hand. Engage your upper back muscles to lift your elbows toward your sides, allowing your arms to bend. When your upper arms are parallel with your body, use your triceps to extend the weight back while straightening the arms. Make sure to feel a contraction in the muscle, but be careful not to hyper extend your elbow. Slowly lower the weight in the reverse motion of how you lifted it to complete the rep.
Uneven Push Up: 2 rounds of 10 reps for each arm (20 reps per round, total).
Curl, Twist, Press: 3 rounds of 20 reps (both arms)
Row Kickbacks. 3 rounds of 12 reps
What’s your favorite arm toning exercise? Share with others in the comments!