Happy New You : Going sleeveless

Published On: June 16, 2016 09:00 PM NPT By: Aditi Sharma

Flaunt those toned arms
Let me give you the good news first: Most women carry extra kilos in their midsection and hips as a result of which arms are easy to tone, regardless of total body weight.

Now, the bad news: Arm-toning exercises work the chest, shoulders, and arms from every angle to tighten and firm the droopiness that can start when you lose lean tissue as you get older but you have to keep at it otherwise it doesn’t take much for it to lose shape and all your hard work will go down the drain. 

Flabby arm is a common problem especially in women who store more fat in their upper arms than men, mainly due to hormones. A well-balanced diet and regular exercise routine can reduce body fat including excess fat at the back of your upper arms. When the fat reduces, targeted toning exercises can ensure the muscles that are displayed are well defined.

Sculpted, toned arms make you look leaner and fitter and the good thing is that it’s quite easy to achieve, as compared to losing weight from the belly area and other trouble spots. And it’s possible at any age. I see many women wearing sleeveless blouses with saris and with droopy arm muscles that makes the whole look fall flat. Don’t let that happen to you this wedding season. I’m here to share with you some tried and tested strength training workouts that are guaranteed to give you killer arms. 

Workout basics
Some pretty basic things you need to have and keep in mind before beginning your workout

What you need
A pair of three-pound weights (you can also opt for heavier ones later on) 
A mat or carpeted space (I prefer using yoga mats) 

How to do it
Perform the routine two or three times a week on nonconsecutive days. Begin with a five-minute warm up. For this, you can march in place while moving your arms overhead almost like you are doing jumping jacks but at a slower pace. Then for each exercise, do two sets of 10 to 12 repetitions on each side. Rest for not more than 30 seconds between each set. For best results, do three sets of the exercises and then do 30 minutes of cardio workouts four to five times a week.

Sit-up pullover 
Lie face up on floor with your knees bent, feet flat, and arms extended overhead with a light dumbbell in each hand. Contract abs and slowly curl up, lifting head, shoulders, and back off floor. Simultaneously bring arms forward in an arc toward knees. Hold for a second, then slowly reverse to start. This basic sit up pullover will have maximum impact if done religiously. 

Bicep curl
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms at sides, a heavy dumbbell in each hand, palms facing in. Bend left arm to 90 degrees while keeping the dumbbell vertical. Hold that position as you bend right arm and curl dumbbell to shoulder, keeping elbow in to side. Complete all repetitions, then lower both arms and repeat, holding right arm at 90 degrees.

Tricep extension 
Put your arms up above your head with a dumbbell in each hand. Drop your hands down behind your head and slowly lift them back up. This move is a double whammy on your triceps so you will feel the burn. Keep your elbows close to your ears when repeating the motion, and, again, keep your core taut as you do this movie. Do 10 repetitions. However, you can also do this one hand at a time, supporting your elbows, to prevent injury when you are just starting out. 

Dumbbell rows 
Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Push your hips back (knees slightly bent) and hinge your torso forward, so that it’s almost parallel to the floor. Keep your chest straight and don’t let your lower back hunch forward. Begin holding the dumbbells end to end, then pull them up by bending your elbows out to the side. You want your shoulder blades to pinch together at the back. Control the weights as you bring them back down to the hanging position, but don’t let your chest collapse. 

Tricep dips 
You won’t need weights for this, as triceps dips require just the use of your body weight. This exercise can be done using a sturdy chair. Sit in the chair and walk your feet forward, placing your palms on the edge of the seat so your buttocks hover above the floor and your fingers point forward. Bend your elbows and lower your hips toward the floor. When your upper arms are close to parallel to the floor, push yourself back up to the starting point. Do this 10 to 12 times and complete three sets.

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