"I Want Sexy, Shapely Arms!" | Fitbie
 

Toning Arm Exercises for Women

"I Want Sexy, Shapely Arms!"

One woman, three custom workout solutions from top trainers. Which will she choose?

woman lifting dumbbells
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Who Kerrie Keegan, 33
Goal To tone her arms
Current Regimen Takes an indoor cycling class one or two times a week at lunch; runs occasionally
Obstacles A full-time job that leaves her little energy for after-work activities

WORKOUT #1: Disc Fix

Expert Mindy Mylrea
Creator of the Gliding disc program and star of the DVD All About Arms

The Plan
Because Kerrie prefers cardio over strength workouts, I suggest a supershort toning routine including unique Gliding Disc moves that she can easily squeeze into her day. She should do this 6-minute routine 3 or 4 times a week, starting with 10 reps of each exercise and building up to 3 sets of each. To burn more fat every day and get extra energy, Kerrie should start each morning with a 5-minute cardio microburst. After a quick warm-up, she can do jump squats, V-sits, jumping lunges, or mountain climbers.

Bonus: Show your lower body some love with this wall workout

Secret Weapon: Gliding Discs
These slick circles slide on carpet, wood, and linoleum. Add them to traditional moves like lunges and your muscles will work extrahard to control your motion. (discs plus instructional DVDs, $23; glidingdiscs.com)

Top Toners

1. WIDE-ARM PUSH-UP
With discs under palms, slide hands out to sides as you bend elbows and lower. Slide them back in as you push up.

2. SLIDING DIP
With discs under feet, bend elbows back to lower hips while you extend one or both legs. Straighten arms and slide leg(s) back in.

3. ELBOW PULLS
Lie facedown with arms overhead, hands on discs. Slide discs to you, lifting chest and bending elbows back. Lower. On 5th rep, hold the up position; slide discs in and out 10 times.

VIDEO: The quickest living room workout

WORKOUT #2: Dumbbell Drills

Expert Shelly Knight
Senior director of training for Physique 57's West Coast fitness studio

The Plan
Kerrie's current workouts are cardio and lower-body focused. That's important for burning fat, so she should fit in at least three sessions a week. To shape her arms, she needs to lift weights—a surefire way to build muscle tone. Each of these basic exercises has multiple variations that, put together, target all of the arm and shoulder muscles for speedy results. She should do this routine 4 times a week on nonconsecutive days.

Secret Weapon: Adjustable Weights
Get firm faster by adding weight every 4 to 6 weeks. Buy a pair of adjustable dumbbells to save trips to the store.
(Weider PowerSwitch, $80; amazon.com)

Top Toners

1. ARM CURL
Using 5-to 8-pound dumbbells, do 10 reps each:

With palms facing forward (biceps curl)
With palms at sides, facing in (hammer curl)
Alternate biceps curls, lifting one arm at a time
Alternate hammer curls
With palms out to sides (side curl)
Alternate side curls

2. SHOULDER SHAPER
Using 3-to 8-pound dumbbells:

With arms raised and elbows bent, slowly lift and lower weights 1 inch; do 10 reps.
Quickly lift and lower; do 20 reps.
Quickly lift, alternating arms; do 10 reps with each arm.

3. TRICEPS TONER
Using 3- to 5-pound dumbbells, do 10 reps each:

In a lunge with left arm bent, straighten and bend elbow.
With arm straight, palm in, lift and lower arm 1 inch.
Squeeze straight arm in toward body, then out.
With palm up, lift and lower arm.
Squeeze arm in toward body, palm up. After last rep, hold for 5 seconds.
Repeat with right arm.

Sculpt sexy triceps

WORKOUT #3: Quick Cardio/Strength

Expert Pete Cerqua
Author of The 90-Second Fitness Solution

The Plan
Kerrie needs to fit in cardio every day to shed fat. To sculpt shapely muscles, she should do push-ups and pull-ups. They're the ultimate arm toners, because they target all the major muscles at once for a fast workout that delivers. Here are variations that make these moves easier while maximizing their toning benefits. Do 10 reps of each every other day.

Secret Weapon: At-Home Pull-Up Bar
This quick-to-install device makes it easy to consistently practice one of the best arm-toning moves around. (The Chin-Up and Sit-Up Bar, $20; everlast.com)

Top Toners

1. CARDIO EVERY DAY
Run up the stairs (then walk down) 20 times; challenge a friend to sprints in the park; or do 20 minutes of cardio at the gym.

2. DOWN-ONLY PUSH-UP
From a plank position, slowly lower (10 seconds) into a push-up, keeping entire body in line. Hold for a second; relax onto floor.

3. DOWN-ONLY PULL-UP
Hold on to an overhead bar (at a playground or gym, or install your own; see above right) with palms facing away. Jump up so chin is above bar, elbows bent at sides. Slowly straighten arms until fully extended (10 seconds). Don't let feet touch the floor. Hop down.

The super slimmer you still haven't tried...

So what did Kerrie pick?

Workout #2

Why She Chose It
"I like the convenience of lifting dumbbells. If I don't have weights handy, I just use water bottles. The best part: I see definition in the mirror as I do the moves!"

Bonus: These household items can also improve your fitness

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