You don't have to sit on the couch and wish for toned biceps like Whitfield or First Lady Michelle Obama. Get up and get moving with four arm exercise routines celebrity fitness trainer Dawn Strozier says will have you going sleeveless with confidence in no time. But take note, along with good arm workouts, developing lean and defined forelimbs requires a proper diet and intense cardiovascular exercise. "Diet is the single most important part of the puzzle," says Strozier. "Making sure your body is getting a balanced diet of protein, carbohydrates and good fats in every meal is essential," she adds.
It doesn't matter if you like to walk, run, bike or swim, just get your body moving. Doing 45 minutes of intense cardio exercise three times a week is important in creating impressive arms, Strozier says. "You can work hard doing the right exercise to develop lean muscle, but if your muscle is covered with fat you won't be able to see them," she explains.
Arm Workout Routines
To start, you will need a set of dumbbells that should be light, moderate or heavy weight depending on if you want to look lean or bit more muscular (For newbies, light dumbbell weights would be five-pounds, moderate would be 10 pounds and heavy would be 15 pounds.). If you desire a lean, muscular look à la Serena Williams, do three sets of 10 reps with heavier weights. If you want a more toned, defined look like the First Lady, opt for four sets of 15 to 25 reps using lighter weights. Don't have dumbbells? No problem! Go the old school route by doing push-ups, arm circles, ball tosses or bench dips to get the look you want. "Women are not necessarily born with toned arms. I believe sexy defined arms are developed over a period of time from doing the same movement consistently," Strozier says.
Grasp the dumbbells in each hand with your back and head straight, feet together and palms at your side. Now, simultaneously rotate your wrist and raise the weight to touch your shoulder while keeping your elbows close to your body. Finish by lowering the weight slowly back to the starting position.
Push-up/ Tricep Push-up
Start on your hands and knees, fingers spread, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips. Extend one leg back to rest on your toes, then the other, forming a straight line from your heels to your shoulders. Keep the butt and ab muscles tight, the ribs knitted together, and the shoulders sliding down the back. Be sure the neck is in line with the spine. Make sure you don't hang your head or jut your chin out. Now, bending the elbows, slowly lower the body as far down as you can while maintaining proper form. Straighten the arms, making sure not to lock them, and come back to the starting position.
Kneel comfortably on a bench or chair with the same leg that you will hold the weight with. Now with your arm bent at your side and you looking straight ahead, extend your arm to a straight position keeping your elbow completely stationary. Once you have extended your arm to a straight position hold for two seconds, squeezing the muscle, and then with complete control lower the weight back to starting position.
Position your hands shoulder width apart on a secured bench or chair. Move your feet out as far out in front of you as possible. Straighten out your arms and keep a little bend in your elbows in order to always keep tension on your triceps and off your elbow joints. Slowly lower your upper body down towards the floor and keep your elbows tucked into your sides. Once you reach the bottom of the movement, slowly press off with your hands and push yourself back up to the starting position with your triceps.