Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Get Toned Arms Fast

Yesterday was fun: I did some impromptu personal training at the gym!  Someone wanted to learn my killer abs workout, so I got to work up a sweat while helping a random gym goer do the same. 

I love sharing anything I've learned while overhauling my health in the last 10 months...and so I thought I'd share with you the upper body workout I'm currently focused on. 

All you need is a set of 4-10 lb. dumbbells and 20 minutes to yourself.

Do this workout as a circuit (each exercise right after the other).  This saves a ton of time and keeps your heart rate up.  After going through the whole set of moves once, rest and get some water, then repeat the circuit. 
Try these circuits once a week for 4 weeks as your upper-body strength day, or twice a week for 3 weeks on non-consecutive days if you want to see results more quickly. 
Follow up every strength training/weight lifting session with a protein bar/shake/snack within 30 minutes for maximum muscle tone.
  • Push-up Position Row: A. Start in a plank holding a dumbbell in each hand.  B. Row right elbow towards the ceiling, using your core to stabilize.  Repeat on left side.  (That's one rep.)  Do 8-12 reps.  (Be sure to tighten your glutes.  This will protect your lower back and put more work on your abs...which you want, right?)

  • Shrug: A. Start standing with a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing forward.  B. Carefully shrug shoulders up towards ears.  Return to start.  Do 16-20 reps.

  • Hammer Curl: From fit tip daily...my photos didn't turn out well.  Do 10-16 reps.

  • Reverse Fly: A. From a standing position, soften knees and bend forward from the hips, keeping back straight, with elbows at sides in a 90 degree angle.  B. Focus on keeping your neck relaxed while drawing your shoulder blades together and pulling the weights out to be parallel with your back.  Do 8-12 reps.

  • Tricep Kick-backs: A. Start same as reverse fly.  B. Keeping elbows "locked" to sides, bring weights directly back towards hips and hold for a count of two.  Do 10-16 reps.

  • Front Raise: A. Start standing with arms relaxed, palms facing you.  B. Keeping arms straight, raise weights to shoulder height and slowly lower back down.  Do 8-12 reps.

You can also have two different sets of weights handy depending on which exercises are easier for you.  There are two ways to gauge whether you are pushing yourself enough: first, the final rep should be very difficult to complete with good form...if it's not, you need to add reps or use a heavier weight.  The other is the sweat test.  If, after you are finished with the workout, you feel you could wear your clothes for another workout before washing, you haven't worked hard enough.  Aim for sweaty, smelly, and gross.

Let me know how it goes or if you have any questions!!!

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