Flabby, untoned arms can ruin your overall look in an arm-baring dress. While a reduced calorie diet and aerobic exercise can help you shed unsightly arm fat, muscle-toning exercises can help you get shapely, sexy arms. When you strength train with dumbbells, you give your muscles an extra challenge as you work toward getting sleek, toned arms.
Shapely, defined biceps will catch everyone's eyes, whether you're wearing a cap-sleeved dress or your favorite concert T-shirt. Perform eight to 24 bicep curls three times per week. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Bend your arms slightly while positioning your elbows close to your sides. Lift your forearms toward your shoulders, and then slowly lower the weights to complete one repetition.
Triceps Overhead Extensions
Lose bat wing fat with aerobic exercise and tighten your triceps muscles -- the muscles along the back of your upper arm -- with triceps overheard extensions. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart while holding the end of one dumbbell with both hands. Raise your arms overhead, positioning your elbows close to your ears. Slowly lower the dumbbell behind your head and toward your back. Raise the dumbbell until your arms are straightened again. Do eight to 24 overhead extensions, three times each week.
Side Lateral Raise/Shoulder Press Combo
Top off buff arms with show-stopping shoulders to look phenomenal in a tank top or dress. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a dumbbell in each hand. Raise your arms up at the sides until even with your shoulders, with the dumbbells facing the floor. Rotate your arms so your palms face up, bend your arms at a 90-degree angle, and then push the weights up toward the ceiling. Bring your arms back down, extend them straight out from the shoulders, and then lower the weights to your sides to complete one full repetition. Do eight to 24 side lateral raise/shoulder press combos.
Things to Think About
No matter how anxious you are to get the sexy, toned arms you're dying for, see a doctor first to get the OK on your exercises. Once you're in the clear, work out with dumbbells heavy enough to challenge your muscles without causing you to compromise your form. The last repetition should be challenging; when the weight gets easier to lift, switch to heavier dumbbells. If you need to lose weight to show off the toned muscles you're developing, engage in 300 minutes of cardio per week to lose the excess weight.
- MayoClinic.com: Strength Training -- Get Leaner, Stronger, Healthier
- American Council on Exercise: Why is the Concept of Spot Reduction Considered a Myth?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Physical Activity
- American Council on Exercise: Arm Exercises
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Shoulder Press
- ExRx.net: Dumbbell Lateral Raise
Mary Ylisela is a former teacher with a Bachelor of Arts in elementary education and mathematics. She has been a writer since 1996, specializing in business, fitness and education. Prior to teaching, Ylisela worked as a certified fitness instructor and a small-business owner.