What are the most effective ways to tone your arms? This is a common question asked by many people, especially women. Women are often afraid to start weight training because they don’t want to build muscle but they do want to be able to achieve a more toned and tight look.
Tone your arms without building too much muscle mass:
One – Start with light weights
If you are starting out, lighter weights are ideal. One or two pounds weights in dumbbells will be is ideal for arm exercises. However weights themselves are not completely necessary, just moving your arms through the motions will create enough resistance to help tone muscles.
Two – Working all muscle groups
The upper arm consists of three major muscle groups: Deltoid’s are highest point on the outer part of the arms up over the shoulders, biceps are on the inside front of the upper arms & triceps are on the upper back part of the arms. Arm toning exercises should include movements for all three of these major muscle groups.
Here are some easy movements that target the upper arm areas:
Deltoid’s: Hold the weights with your arms straight down by your sides, gently lift your arms up & away from the body (making a “T” shape) at about shoulder height, keep the back of the hands towards the ceiling. Slowly lower arms back to sides & repeat 15-25 times.
Biceps: Hold the weights with arms down along the side or your legs, gently rotate the arm outward so that your palms face forward, then gently “curl” the arms, bend your elbows & bring weights towards the shoulders. Lower the weights slowly & repeat 15-25 times. You can also do this exercise in a sitting position by resting your elbow on your knee & repeatedly “curling” the weight up to your shoulder & back to a relaxed position.
Triceps: This can be the hardest areas to focus, but this is a good move to do so. Stand with arms raised straight over head, bend your elbows so your hands with the weights now hang down the back of the shoulders. Keep your upper arm close to your ears & elbows pointing straight up at the ceiling, gently extend the arm upward, raise the weights toward the ceiling. Lower them back to your shoulders & repeat this 15-25 times.
Three – Stretch
It’s important to stretch after doing any kind of exercise. Put the weights away & stand with your feet shoulder width apart, slowly lift both arms up toward the ceiling, stretching as far as you can comfortably. Hold for several seconds. Bring one arm across your body, using your other hand gently pull the arm closer to you & stretch the shoulder muscle. Hold & repeat with the other arm. Lastly reach both arms behind you & clasp your hands together, then gently bring your hands out & away from the body, lifting them up towards the ceiling as you stretch your arm muscles.
As with all toning exercises, it’s vital to give your arm muscles a rest in between workouts. Plan to work these muscles a couple of times a week, every other day allowing your muscles to rest & repair.