When you want sculpted and strong upper arms, add dips and biceps curls to your workout routine. Dips focus on your triceps; the stubborn, sometimes saggy muscles on the back of your upper arms. Dips use the weight of your body as resistance to firm and tone this wiggly area. Biceps curls strengthen the fronts of your upper arms. Pairing the two exercises together leads to an even look to your arms as one muscle group will not get stronger or firmer than the other. You will have shapely arms that you can put to use for other activities such as painting, shopping, cycling or kayaking.
Sit near the edge of a sturdy chair or on a flat weight bench. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor at an angle slightly beyond your knees.
Rest your hands on the chair on either side of your hip. Let your fingertips hang over the edge of the chair and face toward the floor.
Shift your weight into your hands and raise your hips off the bench. Move your hips slightly forward so they will clear the bench when you lower into the dip.
Inhale, bend your elbows and lower until the tops of your arms are parallel with the floor. Aim your elbows straight behind you instead of out to the sides. Keep your stomach pulled-in tight as you perform the dip. Keep the weight centered in your heels to protect your knees.
Exhale, straighten your arms and return to the starting position. Allow for a slight bend in your elbows instead of fully straightening your arms.
Complete one to three sets of eight to 12 dips using a slow, steady pace. Straigthen your legs and rest your heels into the floor for an intermediate level dip. Straighten your legs and rest your heels on another chair for an advanced level dip.
Sit tall in your chair, or stand with your feet placed at hips-distance apart. Hold onto a dumbbell in each hand with your arms straight at your sides and palms facing up.
Exhale, bend your elbows and raise your hands toward your shoulders. Keep your elbows pointing toward the floor and lift through a range of motion that allows you to keep that position. Remain standing tall and avoid rocking backward as you lift the weight.
Inhale, straigthen your elbows and return the weights to the starting position. Avoid locking your elbows, instead keep a slight bend in your arms.
Complete one to three sets of eight to 12 biceps curls. Use a weight that is challenging for the final two repetitions.
- Another way to organize your workout is to alternate between dips and curls. For example, perform one set of dips followed by a set of curls. If you do not have access to dumbbells, soup cans, barbells or exercise resistance bands can be used for the curls.
- Check with your doctor before you begin a strength training program. Always warm up your body before you do dips and curls. Choose from activities such as walking, marching in place, cycling or dancing for five minutes to get the blood flowing to your arms.
A mother of two and passionate fitness presenter, Lisa M. Wolfe had her first fitness article published in 2001. She is the author of six fitness books and holds an Associate of Arts in exercise science from Oakland Community College. When not writing, Wolfe is hula-hooping, kayaking, walking or cycling.