With summer just around the corner and that glorious British sunshine starting to creep out more often it’s time to peel off the layers. When losing our jackets and jumpers to reveal our arms and decolletage to the sun some of us may feel self conscious. But don’t worry, I’m here to help you tone up those exposed areas. Here are my 7 Steps to Slender Arms:
Tricep Dips – this fantastic movement targets your triceps on the back of your upper arm (or your bingo wings!). Start by sitting on the edge of a bench with your hands placed either side of you. Move you legs away from the bench and hold yourself up with your hands. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle or a little further out to make the exercise more difficult (the straighter you put your legs the harder the exercise becomes). Now dip up and down bending your ams and lowering yourself to the floor. You should feel the tension in your triceps. Try doing this 10 times.
Commandos – this tough exercise targets your core and your arms. By starting in the plank position you will come down onto your forearms and up again alternating arms as you go. Try doing this 20 times, 10 per arm, it’s killer!
Bicep Curl into Shoulder Press
This exercise will help to tone the front of your upper arms (your biceps) and your shoulders. Using dumbells holding the weights in either hand each side of your body with your palms facing upwards curl up your arm towards your bicep. From here twist your arms over to the side of your body so that your arms are raised in a W shape next to you. then raise your arms up into a shoulder press touching the weights together lightly at the top. Slowly bring them back down in the same way reversing the process and repeat.
Overhead Tricep Dips
This is another one for the back of your upper arms. Holding a dumbell vertically above your head in both hands, resting one end between both hands. Now dip the dumbell behind your head and between your shoulder blades, then bringing it back up to the top where you began.
Lateral & Horizontal Shoulder Raises
With the dumbells in either hand raise one arm in front of you keeping it straight but not locked, make sure that you are holding the weights so that your palms are facing downwards. raise one arm and then the other. When both arms have returned to where they started with your hands holding the dumbells next to each other turn your hands so that they are facing each other and raise both arms to the side (horizontally), again keeping the arms unlocked (they may be slightly bent). Then raise them back down to the centre and repeat the sequence. This exercise will help to define and tone your shoulders.
If you can manage a full press up then you’re super strong – well done! For others with weaker upper bodies these modifications will help. The press up works our chest, shoulders and arms. Lying face down prop yourself forward onto the tops of your knees or just above with your hands shoulder witdth apart place underneath your shoulders. Gently bend your arms and move your chest and chin to the floor keeping your tummy pulled in tight. For a less difficult version the Box press up can be done starting on all fours and bringing your chest and chin to the floor.
Plank Shoulder Taps
Starting in the plank position with your tummy pulled in and engaged and your bum and hips down and your neck aligned with your spine, bring one hand up to tap the opposite shoulder. repeat this on the other side and continue 20 times.