Tank top season means exposed arms. And you don’t want to be covering up on those hot summer days. So, how can you get rid of flabby arms fast?
Ladies, it’s time to start sculpting those triceps and biceps!
It’s not rocket science. With a few arm exercises, you’ll get definition and tone that’ll make you want to bare arms. Finally, get those sculpted arms you’ve always wanted. Feel proud about flaunting it. And all it takes is 13 minutes to get there.
But first, let’s take a look at what muscles you need to focus on and why. Let this new information fuel your motivation!
Breaking Down the Arm Muscles
As women, we often complain about that upper and under-arm flab. You know what I’m talking about. You lift your arm to say wave hello at a friend from afar. But your hand isn’t the only thing waving hello.
And if you’ve ever seen the 2002 movie, The Sweetest Thing, Cameron Diaz holding up her arm and saying, “It’s like hello, hi, hi, how are you,” to her arm flab may come to mind.
This area of the arm is where the triceps are located. The triceps are responsible for extending the elbow. It also helps hold your elbow in place when you’re performing more precise movements with your hands or fingers, such as when writing. Arm exercises, such as tricep push-ups or tricep extensions, target and isolate this muscle.
Then, you’ve got your biceps. These muscles make up the front of your upper arm. The biceps flex the elbow. It also helps in shoulder flexion, as well as moving the arm out to the side. And the most common exercise to isolate and target the biceps is – you guessed it – the bicep curl.
These 2 muscles, the biceps and triceps, are the main muscles of your upper arm. And these muscles are the focus of our 13-minute arm toning workout below. But again, before we dive into the workout and other exercise, let’s debunk a few common misconceptions about arm toning exercises for women.
Common Myths About Arm Toning Exercise for Women
Myth #1: I’ll bulk up if I perform weighted arm workouts.
Not true! It’s actually really hard to bulk up. It takes a strict training regime and a very strict diet to get there. Performing arm exercises with moderate weights helps tone up this region of your body. You won’t be looking like the hulk anytime soon!
Myth #2: If I just do arm exercises, my arm fat will go away.
There is no way to spot reduce. This means if you want to lose weight or fat, it has to happen to the body as a whole. You can build muscle in your arms, but if your body fat composition is above average, you may still have a fat layer around your arms on the outside of that muscle. Don’t forget to workout other parts of your body as well.
Myth #3: Arm exercises are for men. Women shouldn’t do them.
Did you know that frozen shoulder – a condition where you shoulder literally freezes – affects more women than men? And women are just as likely as men to experience a shoulder injury, especially as they get older and lose valuable muscle mass. If you want to lead a healthy and happy life – minus the pain of injury – you want to make sure you exercise the whole body. And yes, this include your arms.
The Awesome 13-Minute Arm Toning Workout You Need
Not sure where to start? Or what exercise to even do? We’ve got you covered!
All you need is 13 minutes. The following workout is guaranteed to get you well on your way to more toned and sculpted arms. And all you need is a weight or kettlebell. Let’s get started!
This workout consists of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest for each exercise. It involves 8 sets with 3 rounds. For a more in-depth description of each exercise, see below.
Kettlebell Bicep Curls: Stand tall, and hold a kettlebell/dumbbell/weight in both hands. Begin with your arms extended. Slowly bend your elbows and bring the kettlebell or weight up toward your chest. Slowly lower, and repeat.
Kettlebell Tricep Extension: Hold the kettlebell or weight in both hands above your head with your arms extended. Bend your elbows, bringing the kettlebell behind your head.
Kettlebell Upright Row: Stand up tall and hold the kettlebell in both hands. Keep the kettlebell close to your body. Bend your elbows and lift the kettlebell up. Make sure your elbows stay above the kettlebell throughout the movement. Flex your biceps on the way up and on the way down. Slowly lower back down and repeat.
Kettlebell Juggler: Begin standing. Slightly bend your knees. Bend forward at the waist. Hold the kettlebell in one hand. Keeping the kettlebell in front of you, quickly switch hands back and forth.
Kettlebell Bent-Over Row: Begin standing. Slightly bend your knees and bend forward at the hips. Hold the kettlebell in both hands. Bend your elbows back, bringing the kettlebell toward your sternum. Slowly lower, and repeat.
Kettlebell Bicep Hold: Stand tall. Hold the kettlebell in both hands. Bend your elbows to about 90 degrees and hold the kettlebell and your arms here for the 20-second duration. Focus on pushing the kettlebell together using your arms. This way you will also feel the contraction through your chest.
Add this routine into your week, twice a week. Before long, you’ll have amazing arms. You’ll be ready to hit the beach and wear those summer tanks!
And there’s more! If these exercises above don’t work for you – or you want to try something different – the following are a few more exercises targeting your biceps and triceps. Give them a go!
- Create a triangle shape with your thumbs and index fingers.
- Set yourself up like you would for a full plank. If you find it difficult to perform this exercise from your toes, lower your knees to the ground.
- Slowly bend your elbows, lowering your body to the ground. Make sure to keep your elbows close to your body.
- Push back up and repeat.
- Repeat for 10-12 repetitions and 2-3 sets.
- Stand tall and hold a weight in each hand.
- Slightly bend your knees, and slightly bend forward at the hips.
- Begin with your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
- Slowly extend your elbows, bringing the weight up and back.
- Slowly bend your elbows back to start, and repeat.
- Do 10-12 repetitions for 2-3 sets.
- Face away from a chair or bench.
- Place your hands on the chair or bench behind you. Walk your feet out from your body. You knees can remain bent with your feet planted flat in front of you.
- Bend your elbows, lowering your body toward the ground.
- Extend your elbows and repeat.
- Perform 10-12 times for 2-3 sets.
Your Arm Toning Cooldown Guide
After you’ve completed your workout, spent about 5-10 minutes cooling down. Your cooldown should involve the following stretches. These stretches target your biceps and triceps, and help prevent injury or soreness later on. You can perform both these stretches 2-3 times a day or 2-3 times immediately after your workout.
The Tricep Stretch
- Bring your right arm up and overhead. Bend your elbow and reach your hand down toward your tailbone.
- Use your left arm to pull your elbow over to the left side more.
- Hold here for 20-30 seconds. You should feel a gentle stretch through the triceps (the back of the upper arm).
- Complete the same stretch on the left side.
The Bicep Stretch
- Stand tall and clasp your hands behind your back. Your palms should face away from you.
- Extend your arms as far as you comfortably can. You should feel a gentle stretch through your biceps (the front of your upper arm).
- Hold here for 20-30 seconds.
Get Geared Up for Summer with Confidence and a Body You’re Proud of!
And that includes toned and sculpted arms. Yes, you can!
Stay consistent with this workout and these exercises. Aim to perform them at least 2-3 times a week for optimal results. And when you’re feeling unmotivated, remember your ‘why.’ Why are you doing what you’re doing? Do want to feel more confident? Do you want to feel more strong and fit?
Remind yourself about your reasons. Let it fuel your motivation. Let it drive you. And stay positive! You can get where you want to be. It takes time and discipline. But know that you can get there. Don’t let self-critique or self-doubt get in your way. Challenge your thoughts, and power through your next workout.