Second only to abs, arms are the body part that people long to tone and firm. Women especially bemoan their “flag arms” (they flap in the breeze) that jiggle and wobble.
Spot-toning, exercising a particular muscle group with the intention of reducing body fat in that one area, doesn’t work. No surprise there. But what does work is reducing body fat overall and as overall body fat goes down, guess what shows up? Muscle definition!
While you’re losing weight you can achieve greater muscle definition by strength training muscle groups. Not only is this great for developing definition, but strength training also boosts your metabolism which enhances weight loss.
Truly, there is no downside to strength training.
To whip those arms into shape so that you can wave with confidence I asked my trainer to put together a 30-minute upper body workout for us. Run through the sequence 2-3 times, depending on how much rest you take between moves. (Hint, hint: less rest is better because it keeps your heart rate elevated.) Do more repetitions with lighter weight to tone; do fewer reps with heavier weight to build muscle. As always, only start an exercise program with the approval of your doctor.
For equipment you’ll need:
- Bench or stability ball
- Dumbbells (3s and 10s for women, 8s and 15-25s for men)
- Medicine ball (soccer or basketball will work too)
Taryn’s Upper Body Strength Training Workout
Warm up: some type of cardio (jump rope, treadmill) for 2-3 minutes to get heart rate up.
- Bicep curl, bicep curl, overhead press x 12 reps (the picture only shows 1 bicep curl, but we’re doing 2; the movement is up, down, up, down, press and back down).
- Lateral and forward raises x 10 reps (here’s where you use the lighter dumbbells: typically 3s for women, 8s for men; the movement is lateral raise, down, forward raise, down).
- Medicine ball – or soccer ball or basketball – pushups x 8 each arm (the ball is in one hand, you do a pushup there then roll it to the other hand and do another, then roll it back; you don’t even need to say it I already know, this is very hard. Go to you knees if you need to, just keep your butt down. It doesn’t do any good if your butt’s up in the air for petessake).
Do this workout twice a week for the rest of the 10-Week, 10-Pound Challenge and you will see improvement in your upper body strength and overall conditioning.
And just as a side note, one of the most memorable moments of my own weight loss journey was the day I looked in my bathroom mirror and saw that little divot in my upper arm, the one that you get when you have nicely toned arms. Might sound like a silly little thing, but it was a big deal to this girl who had been soft and squishy for a very long time. That’s me in the “Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined” photo, by the way.
Want your own divot?
C’mon, we got this!