Ok ladies, this week’s blog post is really directed to us…Did you know that over 50% of women suffer from body dysmorphia? This is how we see our bodies in a distorted or inaccurate way. Seeing ourselves like this can really take a toll on our self esteem! However, there is good news. We were designed to move, and there are several movements that can help us to strengthen our bodies and as a result, improve our self image and esteem!
Although choosing the right arm exercises may seem difficult at first, you can rest assured knowing that there are many options available. Just remember to maintain the correct form, keep your core tight, and take it slow with each rep.
1. Bicep Curls With Dumbbells
Ooooooo…..this is a good one! To get started, you will need a pair of dumbbells (soup cans work too if you don’t have dumbbells and are just starting out) and a bench or chair. Sit on the edge of the bench, and place your feet firmly on the ground. With your palms facing outward, and the dumbbells in either hand, raise both arms up to shoulder level. Make sure your elbows are bent at a 90-degree angle and hold the position for one second before returning to the starting position.
2. Tricep Dips
While we all secretly LOVE bicep curls, we do not want to neglect our triceps….you know….the part of our upper arms that sometimes keep waving after we stop! Working your triceps is just as important as working your biceps, and tricep dips are a great way to tone and strengthen your arms. To get started, you will need an elevated surface like a step, bench, or chair.
Place your hands on either side of the surface with your palms facing down. Straighten out your legs in front of you and let your body gradually lower towards the ground until your elbows reach 90-degree angles. Make sure you keep your back close to the surface and your elbows tucked in. Then, press up with your arms until you return to the starting position, then slowly let yourself back down.
I have a love-hate relationship with push-ups. For many women, push-ups can seem daunting. However, there are easier variations to try that are still quite effective for building strength. While we’ve all seen the full military-style push-ups, a GREAT place to start is by either using the wall or a countertop for this exercise.
Whether using the wall, a countertop, or on your knees (or toes if you’re so inclined), start in a plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Then, lower yourself down at a slow and controlled pace until your elbows reach 90-degree angles. Keep your core tight and chest close to the surface before pushing yourself up.
4. Hammer Curls
Oh….these are fun! Hammer curls are a variation of traditional bicep curls. Hammer curls also engage your forearms!
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a pair of dumbbells in either hand. Keep the palms of your hands facing inward and curl both arms towards your shoulders at the same time. You can also perform these while seated.
5. Overhead Press
For me personally, this exercise is tough. While it is primarily a shoulder-based exercise, it will also engage and work your triceps. With your palms facing forward, raise the weights up straight above your head. Make sure to keep your core tight while pulling the weights back down in a slow and controlled manner.
Stay cognizant of any strain you might feel on your shoulders. Since the deltoid muscles are so small, going too heavy could cause injury.
6. Arnold Press
Named after Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Arnold press is a great way to work your shoulders and triceps. To get started, hold a pair of dumbbells at shoulder level with your palms facing inward. Then, raise the weights above your head by rotating your arms outward until your palms face forward. Slowly lower the weight back to the starting position. At first, this may feel weird, but keep working….you’ll get there and it’ll feel more natural!
7. Tricep Extensions
This arm exercise is perfect for sculpting your triceps. You can do this with a dumbbell (or soup can). To get into the starting position, you will want to put the weight directly overhead with your arms locked. Then, lower it behind your head while keeping your upper arms still. Pause, extend your arms, and then lock them overhead.
How Long Does It Take to See Results?
You could potentially start feeling results rather quickly, but like everything, strength training is a process that takes time. That being said, it’s important to remember that everyone’s body is different. The amount of time needed for visible changes will vary depending on factors like your diet and exercise program. It’s also worth noting that you cannot overlook the importance of diet when training your arms. As you begin to lose more fat, your arms will look significantly more toned. If you build muscle without losing fat, you won’t be able to see the results of all of your hard work.
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Have other questions? We are here to help! Click here to connect with us and start your journey toward being more of who you were created to be!