At this time of year, spring’s here, summer’s coming; so out come the vests, sleeveless tops and little strappy dresses and thus showing your arms off. What I inevitably find in turn, is that the number one question to me revolves around “toning the arms”. Well, first of all we can’t “spot reduce” (specifically target fatloss from one area) so you need to ensure you eat as much as you need (or slightly less if wanting to lose bodyfat) and nail the nutritional side of things. As without getting what goes in right, the exercise we do simply won’t be enough. There’s a saying in the fitness industry: “you can’t outtrain a poor diet”. It’s unfortunately true.
So, now that we are clear that fat is extinguished through being focused on the 23hrs you spend outside of the gym. To make sure those arms are nicely sculpted once we have shed the unhealthy excess fat, I want you to follow this “Arm’d for Summer” program 2-3 times a week to ensure you have Vest ready Arms. However, you also need to do at least 1 leg session and 1 interval session as well. You can’t just train arms!
We start with the Press-up
A compound movement working the shoulders and triceps, ensuring the arms have a great shape like Kate’s in the photo above. The chest is also exercised in this movement. If you can’t perform full press-ups, drop to the knees but ensure your knees, hips and shoulders are still in one straight line.
Dumbbell biceps curls
Ensure you lift up slowly and lower slowly. Squeeze the biceps at the top (when the arms are bent) and try not to take a rest when the arms are straight: just go straight into the next rep.
Another great compound exercise, making the shoulders and the triceps work. Ensure a full range of movement in each rep as shown in the photos. To work the core (abs) as well as the arms/shoulders, suck the belly button in to hold the body tight and keep it supporting the back as the weight is pressed overhead. Try to squeeze the shoulders and backs of the arm at the top of the movement, raise and lower slowly and try not to take a pause at the lowest point.
Incline triceps extension
Lying on an slightly incline bench, keeping the hands close together aim to keep the elbows pointing at the ceiling and the upper arm parallel with the walls; extend the arms up to a straight line; squeezing the triceps at the top and lower slowly to the start point. Again, try not to take a pause; keep going straight into the next rep.
Single Arm Row
Another superb compound exercise, this time focusing on the back of the shoulder, biceps and large back muscles. Supporting the body on a bench through the knee and a straight arm, hold a (relatively heavy) dumbbell at arms length. Pull up slowly so that the elbow come above the waist and the dumbbell towards the hip squeezing the biceps as you do, return slowly to the start position and don’t stop at full extension but go straight into the next rep.
Dumbell Shoulder Press
Perform just as for the oiverhead press. Ensure the dumbells come down to at least the ears, if not kust above the tops of the shoulders.
An0ther superb compound exercise that really hits the Triceps at the back of the arms. Aim to keep the back as lose to the bench as possible – don’t let the backside come forward away from the neck. If you find the exercise is too difficult with legs straight perform with bent knees with the whole foot on the floor instead of just the heel. As with previous exercises; squeeze the triceps at the straight arm point and lower and raise slowly avoiding stopping for at rest at the top of bottom points.
Perform as for the bcieps dumbbell ciurls.
Another compound exercise, hitting the shoulders, traps and biceps. This one is great for strengthening the area you ladies rely on for carrying ridiculously heavy handbags. Hold a barbell around hip width apart, then with the elbows leading the way and remaining highest pull the bar up to the upper chest. Lower and control and without stopping for a rest, raise straight up into the next rep. As with the other exercises, perform slowly on the way up and down.
A great little isolation exercise for the backs of the arms. Yo may find a lighter dumbbell than you’d expect is needed. Lean dforward, then poiint the elbows back behin you. Atraighren the arms slowly, squeezing the triceps at the straight point. Lower slowly; keeping the elobws ppinted to the rear and repeat without taking a pause.