With the summer season officially underway, and our weekend wardrobes often consisting of swim suits and tank tops, let us not forget to take the time to focus on a muscle group that we may very well ignore: our arms! This consists of both the biceps and triceps, and a bi-product of shoulders. To keep our children from jiggling our under arm fat, let’s make it a priority to devote a gym session or two per week to tightening and defining the muscle groups in our upper body. I promise you, it’ll all be worth it when you end up with sexy, well defined muscles that you can confidently show off at the pool this weekend. That being said, the triceps are an easy to develop muscle group if focused on. There are multiple ways to target this group of muscles. A straight pull down, as seen in the above photo, allows you to focus on the contraction and release of the muscle, thereby helping the “bulge” to grow. Simply set up the machine so that the pulley is at the top of the metal bar. From there, set your weight based on your strength. Place your hand around the rubber “ball” of the pulley and pull down in one smooth motion. Make sure to hold and squeeze for a second or two once you’ve completely pulled down and fully extended your arm. This exercise can also be accomplished with dumbbells. Known as tricep kick backs, grab a dumbbell and in a slightly bent over position, hold the dumbbell in a bent position close to your bicep and then “kick back” your arm so that it fully extends out by your bottom. Try three sets each of these exercises for reps of 12…incorporate often in your routine and watch the sexiness grow!
Don’t be afraid that you’ll get bulky or create man-arms as that’s quite a difficult task to accomplish. But also remember, not only will you have definition in your arms, but you will also sculpt your shoulders which will only add to the allure of your figure. Also, the strength you’ll develop in your biceps will allow for you to more easily pick up your kiddos or easily lift everyday objects that are heavy. Your arms will become the envy of your friends and you’ll smile in knowing that you look great in your sleeveless dress for girls night! When working your biceps, you can do a myriad of exercises and reps depending on how long you have at the gym, or even at your home. Some staples for me are bicep curls. You can either do low reps and heavy weight, high rep and low weight, or timed sets. This exercise can also be accomplished either with a straight bar or with dumbbells. Make sure to focus on squeezing and holding at the top of the curl, that way you will further activate the muscles in your upper arm and create the fatigue needed to help the muscle to grow. If using dumbbells, you can either stand or sit. Make sure to not swing your arms, yet rather, keep them close to your body and curl upward towards your chest. For an added twist, when bringing your arm down to the starting position, try to move the arm as slowly as possible for an added burn!
As I mentioned earlier, by focusing some time on your shoulders as well, you will further define the shape of your arms. Creating that “bulk” at the head of the shoulder adds that sleek “cut” between the bicep and the shoulder; giving the allure of even more definition. Shoulder presses are an easy way to target both the shoulders as well as the bicep (and some back)…so you kill many birds with one stone! If done on a bosu ball, you will also add core work to your routine and who doesn’t like a sexy, flat stomach? Only add in the bosu ball if you have the core strength to maintain your balance while extending the bar up over your head (feel free to try and if too difficult, then simply do this exercise while standing). You can either use a barbell or dumbbells to accomplish this exercise. Coupling this routine with the above bicep and tricep exercises, you will have accomplished a killer upper arm workout. When incorporating these exercises into your fitness regimen, I guarantee you will begin to see definition in your arms as well as increased strength. And what better way is there to show off your new swimsuit then in your “newly” defined body? Go on, have at those weights and then enjoy making all your friends envious of your sexy summer arms!