Strength training involves challenging muscles through specific exercises with the goal of promoting growth and endurance. For women, strength training can help enhance bone strength, blood circulation and physical coordination, according to the Women’s Heart Foundation. Women who wish to incorporate basic arm exercises in their gym routine can choose to use a combination of dumbbell and cable machine equipment. Five- to 8-pound dumbbells make a good starting weight. If you are new to strength training, consult a doctor or exercise professional for guidance.
Seated Bicep Curls
The seated bicep curl utilizes a dumbbell to isolate the bicep muscles. Begin this exercise by holding a pair of dumbbells and sitting on a weight bench with a backrest. Position your feet shoulder-width apart, and plant them firmly into the ground. While keeping your back straight and chest forward, lower the dumbbells so they rest beside your hips. Carefully bend your arms at the elbow and lift the dumbbells up toward your shoulders. Stop the movement when the weights are parallel with your chest. Slowly lower the weights back to the starting position. Repeat eight to 12 repetitions with a goal of completely one to three sets.
The cable pushdown is a basic arm exercise that isolates the triceps through the use of a cable machine. Stand facing the cable machine with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place a slight bend in your knees while you grab the cable bar. Position your hands so your thumbs are pointing toward each other. At the beginning of this exercise, your hands will be close toward your chin. Use a narrow grip, which means your hands should be narrower than shoulder-width. Keep your elbows close to your torso. Push the cable bar down toward the floor until your arms are fully extended. Slowly bring the cable bar back to the starting position. Repeat six to 10 repetitions with a goal of completing two to three sets.
Dumbbell Front Raise
The dumbbell front raise isolates the front and side shoulder muscles. Grab a pair of dumbbells and stand with one foot slightly in front of the other foot. Place a slight bend in your knees as you hold the weights in front of your pelvis with your palms facing your thighs. Keeping your back straight, contract your abdominal muscles as you lift the weights up. While lifting, keep a slight bend in your elbows. When the weights reach your chest, twist the dumbbells so your thumbs are slightly pointing toward to the ceiling. Stop the motion when your arms are completely parallel with your shoulders. Return the dumbbells to the starting position. Repeat six to 10 repetitions with a goal of one to two sets.
Cable Reverse Curl
The cable reverse curls isolate the upper forearm muscles, also known as the brachioradialis. While the motion of this exercise is similar to the cable pushdown, instead of pushing the weight down, you will lift the weight with the cable bar. Stand facing the cable machine, and grasp the bar with an overhand grip, which means the top of your palms are facing the ceiling while your thumbs point toward each other. Keep your hands shoulder-width apart. With your abdominals contracted, and your elbows held tightly by your torso, raise the bar vertically. Stop the motion when your forearms are vertical with your torso. Carefully return the weight to the starting position. Repeat 10 to 12 repetitions with a goal of completing one to three sets.
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