Thursday, May 16, 2013
Fit Tip: Focus on Arms
Summer is just around the corner, which means sleeveless tops and days at the beach can’t be far away either. Get toned and strong arms with classic free weight and bodyweight exercises. Use these tips to work your triceps, biceps and shoulders to get the definition you desire.
Front Shoulder Raise: You might as well call this exercise the “tank top toner.” Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding weights down in front of your thighs with your palms facing you. Keeping your elbows slightly bent, raise your arms up in front of you until they are parallel to the floor. Don’t shrug. Keep your shoulders relaxed and don’t raise your arms above shoulder level. Lower back to starting position and repeat.
Lateral Shoulder Raise: Strong shoulders help enhance the look of defined arms. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold weights at your sides with palms facing each other. Keeping elbows slightly bent, raise arms straight out to the sides until they are parallel to the floor. Like the front shoulder raise, make sure not to go higher than your shoulder level. Lower back to starting position and repeat.
Biceps Curl: Strong biceps are important for both men and women. With your feet hip-to-shoulder width apart and knees bent slightly, hold a weight in each hand with your arms down by your sides, palms facing forward. Bend your elbows to lift the weights toward your shoulders, stopping when they are at chest height and your palms are facing your body. Slowly lower back to the starting position and repeat.
Overhead Press: Wave goodbye to underarm flab by strengthening the back of your triceps. Sit or stand with your feet hip-width apart. Clasp one weight with both hands. Extend your arms straight overhead, and keep your elbows close to your ears. Bend your elbows to slowly lower the weight behind you, still keeping your elbows in and close to your ears. Contract your triceps and straighten your elbows to return to the starting position.
Pushups: Stretch out in the plank position. If you are a beginner, start on your knees instead of your toes. Keep your hands under your shoulders and a little wider than shoulder-width. Bend your elbows to a 90-degree angle and lower your body, keeping your abs tight. Keep the spine in a neutral position, not allowing your back to sag.
Triceps Dips: Sit on a bench with your hands next to your thighs. Lift your butt off the seat and move your body so it's slightly in front of the seat. Keep your knees slightly bent. Bend at the elbows and lower your body several inches. Keep your shoulders relaxed and elbows pointed back. Push back up to starting position.
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