First lady Michelle Obama has brought back the focus of having beautifully toned arms. Sleeveless fashions are all the rage right now. So how does a busy woman find time to have a workout plan that will keep her body toned and ready for summer fashions? Here are a few tips:
- Make exercise a priority. Plan at least 30 minutes per day 3-5 days each week. Exercise not only reshapes the body, it has positive effects on self esteem and attitude.
- Keep in mind that it is impossible to change only one part of your body. Fat loss is a total body concept.
- Choose a balanced workout program that includes a combination of cardio and light weight lifting. Walking, aerobics, and kick boxing can be enjoyable activities to burn calories. Adding light weights will help tone muscles without making them bulky.
- Eat a healthy balanced low fat diet high in proteins like chicken and fish. Add plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Stay away from fried foods and sugar.
- Set reasonable goals for change and stick to it. Take time to form new habits that will last a lifetime.
Now that a commitment has been made to begin exercising, let's hone in on specific exercises that will work to reshape and tone the upper arms. As muscle starts to build under the layer of existing fat, it might appear that the body is bulking up, but this is just temporary and will begin to decrease as fat burns and muscle is closer to the skin's surface. Below are a few exercises that will help achieve beautiful upper arms:
- Push up / Triceps Push up. Assume the regular push up position; keep the body aligned from the neck to the toes. Keep the abs tight and hips tucked under. Slowly bend the elbows, it is more important to keep good form than to have a deep bend in the elbows. The goal is to fatigue the muscles; this may take up to 15 repetitions. For an added challenge, keep arms close to the sides and point elbows toward the back, this will focus movement on the triceps. Muscles worked: pectorals, deltoids and triceps.
- Bicep Curl / Shoulder Press Combo. Stand up straight, select a low poundage free weight (5-8 lbs); keep feet under hips, abs tight and palms facing up. Curl the weight up to the waist by flexing elbows, turn palms face down and press weights up over the head by fully extending the elbows. Reverse the motion and return the weights to starting position. Repeat 12-15 times. Add addition weight as muscles strengthen. Muscles worked: deltoids, triceps and biceps.
- Triceps Dips. This exercise can be done at the gym or at home. Sit with hands on a bench or chair with fingers pointing toward the body, walk feet away from the body into a reclining position. Begin with legs at a 90 degree angle and work toward holding the body straight with legs fully extended. Dip the body down to within one inch of the bench or chair. Increase the difficulty of this exercise by crossing one leg over the other. Repeat 12-15 times. Muscles worked: triceps and deltoids.
The deltoids and triceps are strong muscles; do not be afraid of using heavier weights as muscles strengthen. Increasing repetitions will also provide winning results. All of the exercises mentioned can be done at home, no gym membership required.